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Open season

Dana DeKalb

May 5 to June 4, 2022

Inner Room Project Space

The paintings in Open Season depict a variety of characters purposefully engaged in a range of joint efforts. Posed diorama-like, the subjects appear to busy themselves with hunting and gathering forays, while encountering unforeseen or miraculous events. Although they are challenged and awed, the subjects seem not to have let it dim their enthusiasm for the task at hand. Each scene captures a moment’s pause in the action: for respite, assessment of the path forward or perhaps second thoughts about the enterprise itself.

These works can be read as a metaphor for the ways in which we manage the uncertainty and constant change in our own lives. The narratives reflect on our most recent journey together through two years of pandemic, environmental peril and political upheaval; as well as our individual endeavors to navigate the world.


Artist Statement:

My figure paintings are rooted in the narrative tradition. Primarily acrylic on canvas, polyester or wood, they incorporate many different-colored glazes, which bathe the surfaces in a sensual, tinted light.  

The characters are sourced from social studies textbooks, antique travel guides and high school yearbooks. They are placed in improbable settings that are simultaneously nostalgic and disorienting, and are often captured in a moment of decision. The open-ended fables explore the unexpected, humorous and exotic in seemingly familiar situations, suggesting a morality play in progress but with the lesson left unstated. 

My intention is that the viewer will become as absorbed in the characters as they are in their activities, and that perhaps some preconceptions will be gently teased along the way.

Photos by Jamie Treacy