Conch and Berries and, 2015–17
On view from March 17 – July 17, 2023
On view from July 21 – November 20, 2023
Some Eggs, 2019
On view from November 24, 2023 – March 15, 2024
Lucas Blalock’s work appears deceptively cute and comical; upon second glance, his images are surreal openings into worlds and feelings at once familiar and strange. A vase, a conch shell, and raspberries form a disjointed still life in which realistic photographs of these items have been positioned precariously so that the objects are out of sync. A series of ducks march in a row, their white bodies swallowed by the blue backdrop. Amorphous yellow blobs sit atop cosmetic sponges, conjuring devilled eggs on toast. Each work presented asks the viewer to accept ambiguity – of subject matter, of artistic intent, of perspective, of form – raising more questions than it answers. The title of the exhibition, French Country Kitchen, refers to a certain kind of middle-class aspiration that existed while the artist was growing up, signaled by this style of domestic décor. In reality, the dream of this lifestyle was often cobbled together, much like these images.
Referencing the German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht, who stressed the importance of a theatre that made its labour visible, Blalock’s work emphasizes his process of creation and embeds remnants of the means by which the work is made in the final result. His images are Frankensteined together in a way – celebrating the “cobbled together-ness” and constructed nature that Photoshop makes possible. The artist states, “I started to consider how much labour was hidden in the making of a photograph and began making the evidence of these things part of my picture-making.” His work makes visible the changing possibilities technology presents, pushing the limits of what photography is and can be. In making his hand deliberately evident within his works, the works sit somewhere in-between photographs and drawings.
The GreyChurch Billboard is generously supported by Jane Irwin and Ross Hill