433 HARRISON AVENUE | BOSTON, MA 02118
November 2 – January 13, 2013.
Opening Reception: Friday Nov. 2, 2012, 5:30-8:00pm.
Laconia Gallery is pleased to present the first Solo exhibition of work by David Curcio. Curcio creates intricate, illustrative personal narratives through an obsessive use of stitching, printing and patterning. Repeated hand drawn motifs result in a folk art feeling that embraces awkwardness in rendering objects and figures to temper the directness and even violence of some of his imagery. Curcio’s humor and stylistically naive illustrations create an intensely personal, often diaristic story full of the emotional upheavals that challenge us throughout our lives. The attraction for the audience is both pictorially and curiosity driven. We read the stylized banners of poetic texts and literary quotes written or chosen by the artist, or lyrics pulled from unexpected musical sources and we want to know what they mean exactly.
David references difficult struggles in his personal life and career symbolically through references to Abraham Lincoln and imagery of pharmaceuticals familiar to him from growing up as a “Prozac baby”. The esoteric combinations of objects like scissors and bear traps with proverbial texts creates a fertile counterpoint to the delicate symmetrical patterns of pill capsules or woodcut printed borders of floral motifs.
These compositions feature a homespun feeling and folk art quality due to heavily worked surfaces, many cut outs and repairs, and lots of hand scrawled wording. The skin-like Japanese paper is stitched together from several smaller pieces and looks old and out of square. Decorative patterns surround some of the illustrated items and the staccato stitches that define most of the edges feel like quilting. The slightly yellowed paper imbues a historic importance to the melancholy combinations, which often feature grand architecture and utilitarian objects from an earlier age.
While these works are introspective and emphatically reference the perils of depression (Abraham Lincoln is pictured crying after all) they are not as pessimistic or dour as the text or images alone might indicate. Curcio achieves this by balancing images of specific anti-depression meds with images of Viagra and references in both word and image to amorous activity. Love and lust are expressed in poetic verse and naughty drawings of underwear clad bottoms. It is this clever back and forth that keeps us looking for clues and reading the intricate passages of text beneath the banner headlines in Curcio’s work – because with any autobiographical work we learn some truths by reading between the lines.
– James Hull, Curator