The ECUAA Gallery Project presents an artist talk with alum Richard Nielsen, hosted by Art Perry on campus at ECU in Rennie Hall. Vaccine passport requirement will be in effect. Richard will be discussing his work related to the exhibition Then and Now that takes place at BMO Theatre Centre: ECUAA Gallery Project at the BMOTC – Arts Club in Olympic Village on Friday, March 11th, 2022 at 7pm.
“This journey began in March of 2020 when, while filling my apocalypse jerrycans with gasoline, I glimpsed my masked reflection in the service station window. I realized this was the new public face of our indeterminate future,” shared Richard Nielsen (Diploma 1998). “I began asking friends to send me masked selfies to use as the basis for paintings.”
Working closely with curator Denise Markonish, Richard assembled more masked selfies from an extended network of artists, writers, activists, and cultural workers in the MASS MoCA community. These became the basis for an exhibition of over 50 painted portraits at MASS MoCA.
“I have continued this work painting masked portraits of communities in LA, and now Vancouver,” said Richard. “The present portraits were based on iPhone selfie-videos collected from the community surrounding my alma mater, ECU, and includes many former classmates, professors, and friends. Painted in acrylic on paper mounted to canvas, the resulting works are exhibited in a zoom-like grid, serving as a monument to community resilience in the face of these ‘socially distanced’ times.”
The iPhone videos have been edited into a supporting digital piece which gives voice to the subjects’ shared and divergent experience of the pandemic. The digital video will be on view in various locations over the course of the exhibition.
Images courtesy of Richard Nielsen. Single portrait is of Art Perry.