Tony Clifton Eats for Free
March 6 - April 11, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, March 6, 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Utilizing the materiality of canvas like a screen or a rag, the works in Tony Clifton Eats for Free are at once both surprisingly interrelated and in playful opposition. The titular character of the exhibition’s fame and mythology are spread amongst various actors, interpreters, and imposters; an apt reference for a body of work that acts as a stage for multiple roles and citations. The egregious lounge singer’s disputable existence only adds to his reputation, he maintains an open tab at a restaurant nearby the artist's studio but its unclear if the offer has ever been taken up. Clifton’s legacy justifies the restaurant’s policy, and in turn the policy makes Clifton that much more real.
A similar impending possibility exists in the works on view. The hybrid paintings in oil, acrylic, and inkjet transfer offer an insouciant look into the ontology of the self as negotiated amongst digital and physical territories.These are not endgame or absolutist maneuvers. In looking towards the specific problems of painting and representation, Hood combines subtly familiar forms of digital image making - errant doodles, cloning, masking, deletion etc.- with the gaps, strokes, stains, misdirections, and distortions that arise from and bear witness to the paintings’ production. This operation may be the result of labored translation from source to screen to object and back, or it may be contained in swift gestures.
An array of source material from art history, personal photographs, signage and clipart anchor these works in a ground of familiarity, but one which is askew from any singular narrative or process. Hood calls attention to the ever-shifting interplay of image and meaning, fractured amongst various screens and methods of viewing. Anti-humor, bathos, relativism and the nonsensical connect in painterly exchange.