Perception is a very peculiar and funny thing. Your eyes process on the assumption of what you see is what you get. Arte Fuse attended the opening reception for Chris Wiley’s “Technical Compositions” at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery on the Lower East Side last April 14, 2012. And boy, what one sees is not necessarily what you get at first glance!
Wiley’s work is framed in shadow box mode and it ranges from the neutral icy grays to the vibrant orange. Each piece reads more like a patterned painting or is it a giclee, collage, or a hybrid of some sort. Asking the artist how he did the images, he simply put it as photographing walls in such a manner that it is composed and makes it look more like an in depth scene rather than merely a window to a world captured by the lens.
This is quite surprising and at the very least amusing. The entire night was a discussion of the works being a multi-media piece but it’s so flat, the orange grids looks like paper popping out of the crisscrossed chrome barriers, it’s a manipulated op art piece, or there is no way that this is just a photograph. Wiley takes it all in stride and would rather have you just look. The minute details are so boldly featured that the degree of work makes it exceedingly substantial than just a mere photograph. It compels you to look at it again. Every grain or painterly surface makes you scratch your head and ask, how does he do that in just taking a photo? Did he go to town on Photoshop? These are questions that crop up and guessing whether to be perplexed or amazed at the painterly execution of how Wiley does a photo.
Scenes of a life where there is no human subject are supposed to be placid and not crackling with life. It’s just a moment captured by a snapshot but the dynamic way it is composed and infused with details that it’s hard to perceive it as just a photograph. In employing a very clever execution that Wiley indeed makes a technical composition that is far from pristine flatness but rather layered with so much vibrancy. The bravado of the image may be captured in a frame but if these walls could talk, the litany of stories cannot be contained.
Chris Wiley: Technical Compositions / On View: April 14 – June 3, 2012
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (11 am – 6 pm)
Nicelle Beauchene Gallery. 21 Orchard Street. New York, NY 10002
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan