Stranger Factory is gearing up for a romp into the realm of the strange and unsettling with a triple-header solo extravaganza this June. Master of the macabre, Chet Zar, sugary surrealist Charlie Immer and gothic sculptor Stephan Webb are blowing into the Duke City to intrigue and dazzle us with explorations of death, biomechanics and a hearty dose of violence. The exhibitions stand alone and also blend seamlessly with overarching themes, creating a narrative of bizarre and beautiful darkness through painting and sculpture.
Chet Zar on Le Petite Mort:
I have been fascinated by death since I was very young. Skulls and death related imagery have always resonated with me, probably as a place to hang my childhood fears.
Since I usually create artwork from my subconscious, you might conclude that I am subconsciously confronting my own mortality through painting. It could be true. But honestly, I don’t really know for sure. I know what I like to paint, and I like to paint skulls!
Benjamin Franklin once said, “‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, taxes are quite a boring subject. But death! That is another story entirely. It’s going to happen to me, you, everybody we know and everybody we don’t. It’s even going to happen to those who have not been born yet and it has happened to everybody who have come before us. Surely this is a valid topic for exploration though art!
Charlie Immer on Scuffle:
Scuffle is a tribute to 2D fighting video games. I hoped to capture the specific structure of those games. From the individual character portraits complete with battle damage, to the themed areas where the damage is received. Ranged magic and melee combat is explored. In all of my work my characters feel no pain so there is no need for empathy. We can all just enjoy the blood, icing, and gem bits as they spill, splatter, and ricochet onto the beaches and cave walls of the world that’s been created.
Stephan Webb on Sinister Dexterity:
A major theme for this upcoming show is the representation of hands throughout the series. I feel that a hand gesture can evoke just as much as an emotional response as a facial expression. Also, the name for this show has just as much roots in biology as the pieces themselves. Biologists love their Latin root words when creating names for anything that, previously, is unprescribed. For instance, the word “sinister” is derived from the Latin word Sinistra, meaning “left handed.” During the middle ages (and in some modern cultures) left handed people were seen as being evil, thus the word has developed an ominous connotation in modern contexts. The word “dexterity” is derived from the Latin word Dextro, meaning “right handed” and, in modern contexts, is referred to as the ability of carrying out manual tasks. What happens when you combine right and left hand? My show, Sinister Dexterity, an ominous compilation of manual aptitude!
Le Petite Mort, Scuffle and Sinister Dexterity run through July 2nd. Opening reception June 1st from 6-9pm!