On view in the Thinkspace project room are new works by Canadian, New York-based artist Daniel Bilodeau in State of the Art. Bilodeau’s paintings explore the symbolic fracture and disarticulation of the individual through the literal reorganization of the figurative subject. As a way of exploring the postmodern, free-appropriation of visual culture in an age of ubiquitously shared, albeit contextually impoverished, digital information, Bilodeau visualizes a subject literally spliced, divided, and simultaneously circumscribed by competing articulations of history, subjectivity, and identity.
Bilodeau’s paintings and mixed media works borrow freely from art history, observation, subject portraiture, and personal association. He references everything from Seventeenth-Century Dutch still-life painting to Sixteenth-Century Italian Mannerist Agnolo di Cosimo, known more famously by the epithet Bronzino, and Nineteenth-Century French Neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, among others. His subject is assembled through a revisionist appropriation of images, the collage of cultural debris, and an anachronistic sampling of sources drawn from past and present to produce a strangely exciting, ahistorical subject. Unhinged by the specificity of a singular or unified conception of identity, time, or space, Bilodeau’s portraits reverberate in uncomfortable and factious simultaneities, as though competing apparitional forces are visually ricocheting across spatial registers.
Combining abstract and realistic handlings of paint within any single given work, Bilodeau creates a dynamic and mutably elastic impression of portraiture, surreal in its freedom from the restraints of plausibility and time.