On Friday, April 22, local artist Chuck Tingley will be returning to his “first home” at 464 Gallery for the opening of his latest show entitled “Art is Dead.”
The show will feature a series of paintings on display at 464 and a wall-to-wall installation at Blink Gallery. The paintings will feature representations of fallen political leaders, elements of popular culture and societal expectations. Tingley incorporates text from various articles written on the subject matter in order to provide the viewer with a context in which they can better interpret the message of each piece.
Tingley’s installation on display at Blink will feature a visual collision of street art, political commentary, popular culture, and contemporary social issues. When you first walk in, it will appear as though the space has been completely ransacked. Yet, further examination will lead you to see intricate stencils surrounded by spray painted messages and advertisements that are throwing mainstream culture in your face. Tingley will present it all with media that varies as much as his subject matter, utilizing hand cut stencils, acrylics, spray paint, abstraction and figuration.
The influences for this show were twofold. First came Tingley’s interest in street art and his personal experiences with it. One of his goals with presenting this installation is to convey the distinction between street art and regular graffiti. Tingley argues that while graffiti tends to be perceived as a negative, selfish form of expression, street art is neither gang-related, nor illegal and should be recognized as a rising art form in modern society.
The second contributing factor to the creation of Tingley’s show was county executive Chris Collins’ cuts made to cultural organizations’ funding. “Something was wrong with that picture to me and I wanted to speak on it in some way,” Tingley said. One of the pieces that will be on display in 464 Gallery will be a painting of Collins, with text reading “Art is dead, brought to you by Chris Collins.” Tingley added that this show will be the first time that he has injected his opinions into his art, approaching controversial issues head-on.
Tingley hopes that this show will provide a point of intersection for the interests of the younger generations geared toward mainstream culture and those of the older generations who lean more toward traditional art. “I think the younger generation will appreciate it because of the street art, and I think the older generation will learn to see the difference between street art and graffiti,” he said. To accomplish this, Tingley has chosen to embrace popular art as a part of his work, rather than fight it. “More artists need to not go against the grain so much,” he said. “You have to have true fans, it can only get you so far if you only have artists supporting artists.” By creatively blending representations of mainstream culture, both good and bad, with his own political and social critique, Tingley provides a broader visual explanation as to how art has become lost in our society.
“I don’t think art is dead,” Tingley said. “I think art is dying in a living society. Because of consumerism, people just want the next best thing and the attention span is just not there, the art just isn’t there in the public eye. I want art to go more mainstream and I don’t want it to suffer in the process.”
The opening of the show will be held on Friday, April 22 from 6-11 p.m. 464 Gallery will have pieces for sale and will also be featuring a video loop of Tingley’s production process. The event will be free and open to the public. The installation at Blink and the paintings in 464 will remain on display through April 28.
464 Gallery is located at 464 Amherst Street. For viewing hours, visit the 464 website or call 716-983-2112.
To learn more about Chuck Tingley and to see samples of his work, visit his website.
photo: ART IS DEAD (hand cut stencil, collage, spray paint & acrylic on canvas, 24″x30″), © Jim Bush