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Catharine Clark Gallery: Ray Beldner: Portraits
Media Room: Nicholas and Sheila Pye
- 5 Nov 2011 to 23 Dec 2011

Current Exhibition

5 Nov 2011 to 23 Dec 2011

Catharine Clark Gallery
150 Minna Street
Ground Floor
San Francisco, CA
CA 94105
North America
T: +1 415 399 1439
F: +1 415 543 1338

Ray Beldner, Barack 03.02.10, 2010
archival print
48 x 48 inches
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Artists in this exhibition: Ray Beldner, Nicholas and Sheila Pye

Ray Beldner: Portraits
Media Room: Nicholas and Sheila Pye

November 5 – December 23
Reception Saturday, November 5, 4–6pm

Catharine Clark Gallery announces Portraits, a solo exhibition of new digital works and drawings by Ray Beldner exploring celebrity image and the media through two portraiture series: 101 Portraits and Drawn by the hand of…. Nicholas and Sheila Pye’s single-channel video The Flower Eaters is presented in the Media Room. The exhibition dates are November 5 through December 23, 2011. A reception will be held on Saturday, November 5, from 4 to 6pm. Ray Beldner's 101 Portraits catalogue and the newly published Drawn by the hand of… catalogue will be available during the reception.

Ray Beldner ’s solo exhibition Portraits stems from the artists interest in exploring celebrity image and how identity can be changed or interpreted by maker, viewer, and subject. The two portraiture series included in the exhibition— 101 Portraits and Drawn by the hand of… — contend with this subject from different perspectives—that of the synthesized and selfperpetuating relationship with the media and the intimate and more personal relationship with the maker. For 101 Portraits , each of the digital portraits were made by performing a Google Images search for particular celebrities, artists, sports figures, politicians, or spiritual leaders. By collecting and layering the first one hundred one images found for each individual on a particular day, the artist creates an abstracted “meta-portrait” that reinforces the collective idea, or the “essence”, of the publicly-held image of that person at that particular time. The titles of the portraits include the celebrity’s first name and the date the search was conducted, referencing the time-based nature of the portrait, given that an image-search conducted on a subsequent date could look completely different based on the star’s current look or latest media blitz. The ink drawings in the Drawn by the hand of… series, by contrast, are more organic and literally hand-drawn (without brush or pen) using silicone gloves made from the casts of other people's hands. The artist dons the glove, dips the fingers in ink, and applies it directly to the paper to create the images. Each glove is conceptually related to the image it has made—Michael Jackson drawn by the hand of a young boy, Philip Garrido drawn by the hand of a young girl, etc.—and allows the artist to physically embody someone familiar to him, again highlighting the uneasy relationship between the subjects. With both series, the portraits are mediated—either by the computer or by the glove.

Ray Beldner was born in San Francisco and received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Mills College. Seeing art in the objects of everyday life, he creates his work using clothing, money, stolen items, signage, and porn, relying heavily on the re-contextualizing of these items. Beldner’s work is conceptually driven and is presented in a broad range of mediums, from installations and sculpture, to digital media, public projects, photography, and text-based works. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally, his work can be found in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian Center for American Art and Portraiture, National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the San Jose Museum of Art; the di Rosa Preserve, Napa, California; the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C.; amongst others. Beldner has received grants from the California Arts Council, Creative Work Fund, Potrero Nuevo, and the Ruth Chenven Foundation and has received critical attention in Artforum, Arte, Wired, Playboy, Art Papers, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal . Ray Beldner has shown with Catharine Clark Gallery since 1999.

The Flower Eaters , a single-channel video by Canadian collaborative team Nicholas & Sheila Pye is presented in the media room. Relentlessly blurring the borders between their lives and their art, the Pyes tackle the highly-charged and poetic issues that arise from their own partnership as a reflection of all things that can go wrong in a mutually-dependent relationship. Sheila Pye was born near Hamilton, Ontario in 1978 and currently lives and works in Madrid. She studied painting, photography, and video at the Ontario College of Art and Design and completed her MFA in film production at Concordia Univeristy in Montreal. Nicholas Pye was born in Torquay, England in 1976 and currently lives and works in Toronto. Moving from music to visual art, he received his undergraduate Ray Beldner : Rush 04-28-10 , 2010, archival pigment print, 48 x 48 inches Nicholas and Sheila Pye , The Flower Eaters, 2010, single-channel video Page 2 degree at the Ontario College of Art and Design in spring 2002, and completed a Master of Fine Art degree at Concordia University in 2005. The Pyes maintain an active collaborative art practice and have exhibited their work at museums such as The Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Canada; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; The Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada; and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Their work has been screened in numerous international film festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada; the Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland; and Les Rencontres Internationales in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid. Their work has also been exhibited internationally at numerous galleries including Curator's Office, Washington, DC; Artcore / Fabrice Marcolini, Toronto; Alexia Goethe Gallery, London; Begoña Malone Gallery, Madrid; and Caprice Horn Gallery, Berlin among others. This is their first exhibit at Catharine Clark Gallery.

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