exhibitionJoseph YaegerPower Ballads08.09—03.10.2020242 Marylebone

08.09—03.10.2020 Wednesday—Saturday
242 Marylebone

V.O Curations is pleased to present ‘Power Ballads’, the end of residency solo show of American artist and writer Joseph Yaeger, the culmination of a 3-month residency at V.O Curations. The show will take place at V.O Studios in 242 Marylebone from 8 September until 3 October 2020. Born in Helena, MT, Yaeger (b.1986) is a recent fine art graduate of the Royal College of Art.

The subjects of Yaeger’s paintings are tightly bound to the artist’s upbringing and imbued with references to American popular culture. Sourced from screenshots captured across various media — from Olympic competitions to film stills and online newspaper articles — the paintings explore the boundary between sincerity and irony, drama and melodrama, pathos and bathos. Yaeger’s oeuvre is almost a photographic documentation of fragmented imagery that evokes collective dejà-vu, ubiquitous and disquieting in their commonality, shards of a shared consciousness. The solo show encompasses wider elements of Yaeger’s oeuvre, obsessions and imagery which sublimate in works that possess a distinctive aura of the mundane.

The settings are straightforward: a street, a bathroom, a swimming pool, a nightclub. A suburban backdrop manifests subjects that are rarely figured in their entirety, snippets of a whole which summon a sense of the quotidian. In this realm everything is felt deeply, expressing it unevenly, uncontrollably: a forehead sweats, a head goes bald, faces bleed, desire overflows and thirst is voraciously quenched — water manifesting across the canvases as a stand-in for sound, music. 

Through a fogged pane of glass, two lovers share a kiss. In ‘Power Ballad’, sheltered from the outside, the observer peaks into an intimate moment, its vivid quality guarded by raindrops, confusing and blurring the image into a distant memory. The striking realism of the scene is a leitmotif of Yaeger’s style, acquiring intensity through the layers of watercolour on gessoed canvas, emerging vivid and complete.

Similar to power ballads, the works come together to summon the sensation of fast-paced and fractured memories coming to light in a moment of subconscious recollection, flowing freely in one’s mind. These fractures appear on the gessoed surface of Yaeger’s paintings, the craquelure itself a sign of the inevitable passing of time. 

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