Arts+Leisure is thrilled to announce ProtoPhotoTropism, an exhibition of recent work by Jared Deery. Encompassing a series of fifteen richly layered and textured paintings, the works on display highlight the experiential aspects of picture-making, particularly the process in which the disparate forms of a piece are synthesized by cognition. Binaries of figuration and abstraction, reality and fantasy, and others are dissolved into pictorial planes inhabited by forms reminiscent of spiritual and psychological archetypes. Exploring the phenomenology forms from a self-described “primitive place of creation”, Deery’s simultaneously elusive yet enticingly tactile paintings beckon the viewer into a parallel discourse with the mechanics of perception.  

Despite Deery’s eye for the optical workings of visual representation, his paintings bear mystifying inner energy, as if grafted in-vivo from a dream. In Friends, the veins of two plants surge with luminescent energy, their bio-morphic appearance hovering between reality and technicolor mirage. House Plant also adopts plant forms, presenting an image of a burning tree. Each cluster of fire burns as a self-enclosed blaze, their hallucinatory nature emphasized by the blue and yellow flares they emit.   
In Hidden but Still Here, Deery portrays the figure of a mystic or magician; a veil of beaded strings hangs from the brim of his hat, and his beard is rendered similarly as a sheer veil, a visual analogy for the artist’s own illusory, obscured tableaux. A variety of complementary patterns dominates the composition, from the print of the wallpaper to the figure’s cloak, creating a hypnotic swell of rhythmic repetition.
Man Behind the Mask ostensibly peels back layers of facial flesh to reveal inner anatomy, however instead of veins and tissue, the inner face is instead composed of passages of alternatingly stippled and dashed strokes and meandering lines of red paint. Recalling the fractured forms of Cubism as well as Surrealism, Deery’s cross-sectional portraiture situates biology as a site of an almost fantastical absurdity, replacing the morbidity of flesh and blood with riffs of painterly expression.  

Jared C. Deery has exhibited in Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Milan and Berlin.  He has participated in the Salone del Mobile in Italy and the Saint-Etienne Design Biennale in France. Born in Philadelphia in 1980,  Deery moved to New York in 1997.  He received his BFA with honors in 2001 from Pratt Institute and his MFA at Hunter College in 2009.   He is in private collections in New York, Chicago, Denver, Japan and Italy.  His work explores ideas of memory, perception and phenomenology.  The paintings depict images of flowers and people in nature, examining that place where figuration intersects with abstraction.