Justin John Greene, The Elysian. (DETAIL), Airbrush media and oil on canvas, 2016. 60 x 36 in.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Justin John Greene: Moonlighting
January 9th – February 20th, 2015
Opening reception on January 9th, 6-8 pm
LOUDHAILER is pleased to present Moonlighting, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Justin John Greene. The exhibition opens with a public reception on January 9th from 6-8 PM, and continues through February 20.
Moonlighting refers to work taken on in addition to one’s regular employment. The scenes in Greene’s paintings depict a world preoccupied with constant, never-ending labor – often of a mysteriously sultry nature.
This series strings together visual representations of schemers and hustlers from various eras and media, referencing Baroque tavern paintings, pulp magazines, German Expressionism, early cartoons, film noir and the Harlem Renaissance. The paintings form anachronistic tableaux to
underscore a perpetual labor. By nodding to and pulling from these references, Greene conveys a common statement: life is hard and people are often pushed into strange situations simply to get by.
The scenes presented —a desperate man on the phone, a gathering of cartoonish gamblers, the tired face of a woman working late— are all meant to evoke the unintended side effects of networking and freelancing, which may include sexual arousal, adrenaline rushes, nepotism, drunk texting and hangovers. Each character is caught up in a constant state of becoming, which is both exhilarating and oppressive at times.
Greene says: “I hope these paintings invite a way of openly discussing the stressful and deeply uncertain aspects of living under capitalism, especially poignant in this era of the ‘sharing economy,’ when employers utilize hordes of unpaid interns. Secondly, I hope to re-examine how the role of the artist in society has long been seen as exceptional or unconventional. Today, it seems that artists are more and more just like other types of workers, in an economy that increasingly values ideas and creativity. One could read the various dramas in my work as adding up to a sort of satirical allegory for an artist’s life, albeit one that embraces kitschy clichés of urban bohemianism.”
Justin John Greene (b. Los Angeles, California, 1984) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, and studied art history at Lorenzo de’Medici, Florence, Italy. Previous solo projects include Raw Deal at DIANA, (2015), Los Angeles, CA, A Dusk That Never Settles (2014) and You Oughta Be In Pictures (2011), both at Actual Size Los Angeles, CA. Greene’s work was recently included in the exhibition, Staging Los Angeles (2015), curated by the USC MA in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere class of 2016, at the Gale and Ed Roski Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. Greene’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Torrance Art Museum, CA and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids, MI. He has also exhibited work throughout Los Angeles at 356 Mission, Patrick Gomez 4 Sheriff, The Property Gallery and Human Resources.