Sunday, September 06, 2015

Duet: Friday, 18 September 2015

Juan William Chávez (St. Louis) and Chemi Rosado-Seijo (Vega Alta, Puerto Rico)

September 18 – November 21, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, September 18, 6pm-8pm

Working on board shipping in the Mississippi isn’t the exuberant scene as depicted by George Caleb Bingham in his classic Jolly Flat Boatmen, 1846.  It’s actually lethal.  Instead of a quaintly romantic experience with po’folk dancing a jig on the deck, these flimsy boats regularly sank with all hands. Bingham must have had quite an imagination to conceive his masterwork; in fact, I’d guess most boatmen would have laughed up their sleeves at the picture after cursing him out. The flatboat’s mega-industrial grandchildren, AKA the barges and tugs seen on the river today, crash and overturn regularly. Pilots are legally required to fish corpses out of the grizzly mud banks as a reminder that catastrophe is only an uncharted sandbar or a careless moment away. Chemi Rosado-Seijo  and Juan William Chávez are both interested in the slightly less dangerous “wipe out” of skateboarding for Duet’s upcoming exhibition.  Both artists plan to work with damaged and crushed barge hulls to build skate ramps and half pipes in the gallery. Various drawings and films will complement these repurposed objects, juxtaposing the skate culture of each artist’s hometown. The vernacular materials of work and the whimsical impulse of extreme sport come to together in a jolly tribute to the menacing river and the industrious people who work on it.

Hours:  Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, Noon - 5pm or by appointment

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Suite 300
St Louis, MO 63103


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