Kristen Rego: “Ubiquity And Produce” At Kent Place Gallery
There will be a reception for the artist from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 23.
Rego’s works render beautiful, lush images of food products in layered compositions. Representations of ripe vegetables and fruit mingle with the surfaces of commercial packaging and presentation. They are abstractly seductive and open questions about our relationships to what we buy and eat.
“My work begins with modest and familiar materials: cardboard, brown paper bags, recycled plastics and newsprint,” stated Rego. “The promise of a ‘utopian experience’ of a product is conveyed by the glossy exterior, though the line between what we’re buying and what we are promised is often blurred. Like the brands I reference, I prefer my work to be pleasing and attractive but belie a more ambiguous content.”
“Rego’s work is dealing with a double-edged aspect of beauty and appeal to the senses. The ripe skin of a tomato, evoked by a pleasing and carefully staged pop of saturated red may heighten our appetite to consume (in both the literal and the economic sense), but are we being fooled, do we know what we are eating?” asked Kent Place Gallery Director Ken Weathersby. “Are we OK with everything that went into the production and distribution? The skin of the vegetable likened to the skin of packaging. In both cases there are multiple purposes: attraction, defense, disguise. Patterns and gradients of subtle color surround, contain and mingle with the shapes and logos, supporting and enhancing the elegance of the compositions, and simultaneously evoking grids or graphs. The patterns can become almost hallucinatory as they expand across the surfaces of her paintings.”
Rego has previously shown in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Virginia and Ohio. She holds a BFA from Ohio State University, and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. The Kent Place Gallery is on the campus of Kent Place School, 42 Norwood Avenue, Summit, NJ. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information call (908) 273-0900, or visit www.kentplace.org/gallery.
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