V1 GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS
Us As A Logo
A solo exhibition by Geoff McFetridge
V1 Gallery proudly presents Us As A Logo, the first solo exhibition in Scandinavia by Los Angeles based artist and multidisciplinary auteur Geoff McFetridge (b.1971). Instinctively ignoring creative boundaries, McFetridge has created everything from poetry to animation, from graphics to paintings, from movies to wallpaper. He has created title sequences for the movies Virgin Suicides, Adaptation and latest, Where The Wild Things Are as he has exhibited widely throughout Europe, America and Japan. McFetridge is currently featured in MOCA's (Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles) extensive exhibition Art In The Streets. For US AS A LOGO McFetridge has created a new body of work which he elaborates on in this artist statement:
These paintings and drawings are mainly of people. Mainly girls, really. All of the images come from drawings that I do, some of which are included in the show. These drawings come out of my constant exploration of graphics. I am looking for graphics in the world around me, and interpreting ideas into graphics to create new visual language that I can use in my work. This work serves no direct purpose, but like all language, can be made to be purposeful. It is the images that promise some usefulness or purpose that interests me.
Designing a logo to represent something is very much like inventing a new letter of the alphabet, a letter that you will decide what it sounds like (ptthsst or plt?). And then these logos try to force themselves into our lexicon. They present themselves as permanent and meaningful fighting off the truth; which is they are both abstract and useless.
I like it when my work operates like orphaned logos. Visual language devoid of context, yet proposing to mean something concrete. Like poetry written in an invented language.
Like logos, the people in my paintings have been put through the process of being reduced. Shapes are combined and simplified. The design process is eating them up, they are becoming abstract in a way that is not artful, but typographic.
As a child, when I would have a fever I would often have uncontrollable hallucinations. These were things that would happen when I was fully awake, as if I were on acid (I have never done acid, but I imagine this is what acid would be like). They were terrifying and at times amazing. One of the horrifying episodes was a time when I believed that I had become the letter T. I remember it distinctly. I stood up on my bed with my arms out to my side and tearfully told my parents "I am a T". I was not acting out being a T, I WAS A T! and would be for the rest of my life. This was much scarier than the time when I saw myself in my bathroom mirror with no skin.
Imagine a girl walking away from you. As she reaches different limits of your eyesight pieces of her fall away; at a certain distance her fingers lose their definition, her eyes disappear, her hair becomes melted into her torso, and once she is far away only a wobbly legless shape is left to represent her. Yet these girls are standing in front of you, the abstractions are not happening at a distance, but the abstractions are creating a distance right in front of you. I like the moment when an image is full of feeling, yet is almost falling apart visually. These are moments before you lose yourself into meditation - their consciousness is directly related to their physical presence.
The image of people in a group hug from above comes from drawings I did as explorations for a logo for a company (that ended up not hiring me). I liked the image of these guys gathering together in a goofy embrace; they could also be clustering as if they were crash survivors trying to stay afloat in the sea, or in a group prayer of some sort. But the truth is they are gathered together, crushing each other trying to become a logo!