Sep 26 — Nov 15, 2014
Featuring work by: Anthony Campuzano
Texts appropriated from magazine and newspaper headlines and articles; film poster advertisements; song titles and lyrics; paperback covers; and the lingua franca of the moment are among the raw materials for Anthony Campuzano’s lexical approach to drawing. Campuzano mixes lifted language with his own voice, creating personal commentaries on what he finds noteworthy, resonant, or simply likes. His affinity for sharing what interests him and remarking about it anticipated the “share” culture of social media (he began making art in this spirit in the late 1990s), with one major exception: his media platform is a highly personal, handmade take on text/image drawing rather than the digital templates that readily accept the cut-and-paste of urls, jpegs, and keyboard-typed text.
Many of Campuzano’s drawings originate from the vantage of obsessive fan and his fandom casts a wide net: from the arcana of British post-punk, to daily tabloids and People magazine, to ranking his favorite debut appearances of actresses in feature films. Slow Movies touches on the latter, but also less obviously fan-related celebrations of film, such as the experimental contributions of an unrealized movie by Orson Welles and the achievements of producer Samuel Goldwyn. Fandom evolves into a more esoteric obsession here. Situating his drawing practice at the service of the moving image, Campuzano presents a hand-drawn animation based on Orson Welles’ exposition of self-reflexive filmmaking which would have constituted the prologue to his never-realized adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. An avid fan of cinema, Campuzano was drawn to Welles’ idea for short vignettes which would disrupt a tried and true Hollywood axiom: the suspension of disbelief.
Using the humblest of materials—pens, pencils, and artist board—Campuzano transposes text into blocky letterforms broken up by graphic design conventions that evoke the felt banner aesthetic of the post-Vatican II Catholic Church or the Catholic pop of Sister Corita Kent. As sentences fracture and splinter following the demands of wonky graphic design or the limits of paper size, texts become increasingly difficult to read, and morph into a kind of concrete poetry where language becomes image. Campuzano’s hand is everywhere in these drawings: the imperfectly drawn letters; the fields of color that serve as the backdrop for texts that on closer viewing reveal themselves to be veiled in skeins of tiny ink markings, obsessively drawn and consuming much time and labor. Campuzano pays homage to the sources on which he bases his drawings by recessing a small photograph of the influential item directly into the drawing.
Anthony Campuzano (b. 1975, Philadelphia, PA, lives Philadelphia) holds a degree from the Tyler School of Art (2000) and attended the Skowhegan School of Paintings and Sculpture (2000). He has had solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Churner and Churner, New York; White Columns, New York; Fleisher/Ollman, Philadelphia; and the Levy Gallery, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia. Campuzano has been included in group exhibitions at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY; Fleisher/Ollman; Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; ICA Maine College of Art, Portland, ME; Salon 94, New York; Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York; Bellwether, New York; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, among others. He received a 2009 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. His work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.