Jamie Zeccola: The Paintbrush Has Been Drinking (Not Me)Parasol Projects @ 2 Rivington Street
Jamie Zeccola: The Paintbrush Has Been Drinking (Not Me) Pop-Up @ 2 Rivington
May 4 – 10, 2021 | 11am – 9pm
“Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order.”
— Samuel Beckett
Straitjacket Arts and Parasol Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent paintings by Jamie Zeccola : The Paintbrush Has Been Drinking (Not Me). Furthering his interest into the comedy of chaos and the Theatre of the Absurd, this new work continues Zeccola’s experiments with caricature, kitsch, and satire.
Employing a wide range of collage materials and diverse styles, he lampoons modern life with a whimsical blend of paint and absurdity. The paintings on display are assembled from found objects and reclaimed materials, they present a bacchanalian world lost in a classical tableaux of nostalgia. Like props on a stage, these canvases oscillate between the romantic and the fantastic, between parody and farce, as they embrace abstraction, eroticism, primitivism, with a feverish attack on color.
The paintings often include interiors with domestic couples lost in a coital bliss, as in The Big Chill, Mephistopheles, Tokyo Drift, while others are of exteriors with moody figures in surreal landscapes, First Love, The Burning Bush, The Passenger. Many of them share references to art history, cinema, literature, and music, Jazz Hands, LIFER, Intermezzo. These works are a visual memoir of what this painter has been doing in his studio for the past year. In summa: it all comes from blood, sweat, semen, and tears.
The title of this exhibition was inspired by the song “The Piano Has Been Drinking”, written by Tom Waits. “I want my paintings to be like Tom Waits’ songs,” Zeccola says, “filled with grit, shit, and wit!” His songs always conjure up all sorts of crazy oddballs down on their luck, but in the end, they always face their existential calamity with a brave smile, a stiff upper lip, and a tall shot of whiskey. This show is also an homage to the early dramatists who produced and performed the great absurdist plays of the day: Adamov, Beckett, Genet, Ionesco, Pinter. Humankind is hopeless, bewildered and anxious, they say, but this is what makes us so damn funny. Yes, nothing is funnier than unhappiness, like Beckett said, it’s the most comical thing in the world. When plot is eliminated, language is dislocated, it becomes full of cliches, puns, repetitions and non sequiturs. A painting is a rope strung between the real and the absurd, it’s a tone poem of the imagination, made without words. But when Tom starts to sing, the real poetry begins: “And the box-office is drooling, and the barstools are on fire, and the newspapers were fooling, and the ashtrays have retired, cause the piano has been drinking, the piano has been drinking, not me, not me, not me, not me, not me!”
For more info, please visit: www.jamiezeccola.com