January 14—February 20, 2010
Depicting public scenes that comment on political and social issues with a sardonic yet whimsical sense of humor, Massachusetts-based artist John Judge presents a series of new works that combine illustration aesthetics drawn from the 1950s and 60s. Each drawing is based on a series of photographs taken by the artist during his travels to Los Angeles, California. His interpretations are rendered through a process of translation: Judge photographs different scenes and then re-draws them by hand using illustration and graphic design techniques that recall popular media of the 1950s. Judge’s editorialized views, applied with a California-inspired palette, speak to human curiosity, the production of spectacle, and the nature of voyeurism in our media-saturated lives. Judge’s works capture despondent, funny, and curious moments between groups of people inhabiting the same public and private spaces, and his fragmented views blend nostalgia with reality in telling ways.
Judge’s artist statement: My drawings/paintings have been influenced, in part, by political cartoons. I try to blend this cartoon-like style with a fine art sensibility. Color, composition, spatial relationships, and other formal devices are employed to support and enhance the content of the images. I use humor and playful color schemes, in part, to keep my paintings and drawings from seeming preachy or heavy-handed.