UNIX Gallery is pleased to present Servant To Infinite Distraction, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles–based artist Desire Obtain Cherish at our 532 West 24th Street location in New York. The exhibition opens with a public reception on May 5th from 6 – 8pm and runs for six weeks.
This new body of work features large-scale paintings — a significant departure for the object-oriented artist — that challenge the decision-making process humans undergo while chasing the elusive state of happiness. Whether happiness is understood through finances, beauty, sex, or intelligence, artist Jonathan Paul, aka Desire Obtain Cherish, is fascinated with the pursuit and the decisions involved in such a journey.
The time-honored genre of still life painting has strong correlations with representations of happiness. Studying inanimate objects like flowers, food, and assorted treasures has rich implications. Desire Obtain Cherish references this tradition with his new body of work with flowers, a staple in still life paintings, then inserts pills, the contours of archetypical anime figures, and globs of paint that dwarf the proportions of the objects they obscure. The multi-panel piece Servant To Infinite Distraction pits this anime landscape against rich, expressionistic brushstrokes. A battle of signifiers, the luminous and purposefully abstract marks dominate earthly desires much like a network censor. Ironically, the luxurious surface of the paint is a much more attractive element than the two-dimensional figures it obscures, creating an odd tension of elements.
The Feast Of 1,000 Likes references a social media lens for success. A massive piece that is comprised of over 12,000 pills collectively features a harmony of colors and shapes that burst toward the viewer. The flowers, shards of vases, bits of paint, and atmospheric color blast outward like confetti as they are suspended in time. Desire Obtain Cherish explains: “We are on a never-ending quest to attain happiness, yet every lesson we’ve learned since birth has epically distracted us to a cathartic apathy.” Much like a cultural critic with the best of intentions, Desire Obtain Cherish brazenly analyzes these empty approaches and allows the viewer to be part of a conversation to rethink this very important life issue.
Desire Obtain Cherish (b. 1975, Salinas, California). The exhibition marks the third solo show of his work at the gallery. 2015 brought his first museum exhibition at the William Benton Museum of Art, and a major outdoor sculpture installation on view during the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2016, he will take part in an exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
Servant To Infinite Distraction runs from May 5th through June 18th, 2016 and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.