David Kennedy Cutler - 1:1
Derek Eller Gallery
615 W 27th St, New York
May 25 – June 25, 2017
The title 1:1 (one to one) references a scaling technique used to create a model or a virtual rendering of architecture or objects. While most ratios of scale are meant to economize labor and space (1:500 or 1:100), this exhibition employs 1:1 scale to reproduce tangible, commonplace objects. The resulting sculptures pervert, distort and saturate otherwise benign subjects, which exploit the breakdowns in Kennedy Cutler’s own labor and in the digital imagery they are derived from.
Using a hand-held wand scanner, Kennedy Cutler photographically captures his personal archeology, mined from his most immediate environs: plaid shirts, work aprons, hammers, bananas, kale, bread, and his entire body, front and back. Kennedy Cutler digitally prints or transfers these repeated motifs onto aluminum, plywood, plastic or fabric. These flat materials are then twisted, bent, hammered, melted, cut and sewn, revealing a frenetic making process which brings digital images back to life in sculptural form. His studio has become a factory with one worker, bent on the repeated reproduction of his introverted material reality. This work is the result of struggle, evidenced by the clash of artistic mediums(photography, printmaking, painting, sculpture and performative action), as well as in its allusions to repetitive exertions and a visceral attempt at making surrogates for lived experience.
Kennedy Cutler endeavors to replace his everyday reality with, in his words, “images of things instead of things.” These replacements, or surrogates, set up a conundrum of comparison. 1:1 becomes 1 instead of 1, or even 1 against 1 – setting off a chain reaction where the original is lost in an assembly line of production. By replicating his most intimate possessions – the clothes he wears, the food he eats, the tools he uses to make a living – he reduces his identity to solely the proliferation of his labor and the propagation of his image through digital culture. These conditions, palpably felt in our current culture, highlight the deception of representation and the loss of definition of the self, even as that self is repeatedly thrust out into the world.
In 2016 David Kennedy Cutler mounted a solo exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia in partnership with Art in General. His work is currently included in an exhibition at Locust Projects, Miami, FL. He has recently been included in exhibitions at The Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY; Lyles and King, New York, NY; and the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA. This will be his third solo exhibition with the gallery.