There is something palpably nostalgic and bittersweet when referring to something as a “lost art”. On July 12th, Arte Fuse ventured down into a very innovative gallery situated on Clinton Street to rediscover a lost art but touching on contemporary themes. Recession Art at CULTUREfix presented a solo exhibition by Tate Foley entitled “100% Stratification or Your Money Back”.
A native of Millerton, PA but currently lives and works in St. Louis, MO – Foley is an Assistant Professor of Art at Webster University and earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking. It was evident in the printed work that he has unparalleled skills in the craft. Based on vintage product advertisements found in Good Housekeeping magazines where it was de rigueur to have illustrations back then in the 50’s before the stringent use of photos. Using a duo-colored palette and sets of plates for his prints of milk cartons, canned goods, ketchup and other domestic items with wry texts touching on economics and other current biting issues that a classic American iconic image gets twisted into its more current subtexts.
“I’m kept inspired by the failings of society, politics, and the economy. Once these three entities stop screwing up, I’ll put the cap back on my marker.” – Tate Foley, 2012
The illustrations of toy guns are utilized to entice you with its space age Jetson-esque design but as customary to Foley, the text integrated into the piece touches on current serious issues puts it back as a symbol of danger or destruction. Next to it are billboard signage festooned masks that scream out the socio-demented vestiges of depraved consumerism. We seek the materialistic and profane yet fail to recognize the unfair access to resources and the gaping hole it inflicts. All the flat colors and illustrative flourishes are springboards for Foley to hoist his socio-economic agenda to the viewer. In illustrating the discrepancy, differences and widening gaps by offering a familiar pill that it ensures to be ingested easily. There’s a finessed way to push an agenda but it’s better to do it with honey rather than vinegar. In Foley’s case, he’d rather use maple syrup to sweeten the viewer’s initial glance and get them to reconsider the sobering facts as it sticks.
Foley plans to put out a booklet containing selected prints and ensures that the price won’t be prohibitive. By his own assessment, he’d rather be 100% authentic to a philosophy that shares to all instead of creating art that’s a privilege for the few.
Tate Foley “100% Stratification or Your Money Back “
On View: July 10 – August 19, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (2 – 8 pm)
Recession Art at CULTUREfix. 9 Clinton Street. NYC, NY 10002
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan
artist portrait by: Max Noy