Saturday, September 26, 2015
Join us for the first artist talk of the 2015-2016 season. We will visit with Jay Senetchko and he will tour us around his exhibition of new works.
The Best Of Life explores the dangers of our nostalgic, romantic, and distorted relationship with the past and its impact on our present lives by drawing contrasts and parallels between a halcyon era of history and contemporary Western life.
When Jay Senetchko’s grandmother passed away in December 2012, he was given her collection of Time Life magazines from the 1960s, an era she had once described as being “the happiest of her life”. This declaration, combined with the name of the magazine, forms the title of this series. Each painting is based on images that are cut away from their associated text. New narratives are formed by recontextualizing them into black and white, and colour collages. Selected images are then transformed into paintings that are part collage, part photograph and part painting, maintaining distinctions between each medium while drawing parallels between them. The goal in both the creation of the collages and the paintings is not a faithful depiction of either an historical or fictitious event, but the creation of a new narrative for exploration and interpretation. The viewer is welcomed to wade through confusing and sometimes contradictory visual information in an attempt to make sense of what they are seeing.
The result are pictures that are unbalanced and uncomfortable, and simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar as they visualize the pathological nature of the North American dream. Through the reoccurring themes of nuclear family, violence, racial tension, labour and leisure, the dreamlike aspirations of a 1950-60’s North America are presented, but never reached. Rather, they parallel many of the social tensions and obstacles we face today, but in unsettling, and at times nightmarish iterations.
ARTIS BIO: Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Jay Senetchko now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a University of Alberta graduate (1997 – Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction) and spent several years as a professional soccer player in Edmonton and Montreal before pursuing entrepreneurial interests in Canada and the United States. In 2000 he moved to Vancouver and received a Diploma of Classical Animation from the Vancouver Film School in 2001. Primarily self-taught, his painting has been strongly influenced by apprenticeships with both Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. His work has exhibited since 2002 and shown in North and Central America and Europe.
Recent awards and events of interest include an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, shortlist for the BP Portrait Competition (2011, 2012, 2015), shortlist for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow publication (2013), shortlist for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2015), inclusion in the recently published The Nerdrum School (a collection of paintings by those who have apprenticed with the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum – 2013), and 1st place in the juried 2012 Painting on the Edge competition sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Artists. Senetchko is also a founding member (2010) of the Vancouver-based figurative collective Phantoms in the Front Yard.
The Best of Life opens on September 24th and runs through until October 31st 2015 at the Burrard Arts Foundation.