"Actually, I'm from the suburbs; I just say DC because it's easier"

an installation by Aaron Maier-Carretero with work by Art Enables artists Michael Haynes, Paul Lewis, Raymond Lewis,
 Max Poznerzon, and Nonja Tiller

May 8 - August 28, 2021

Public Gallery Hours: Saturdays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Thursdays, 5 - 7 p.m.

In casual conversation, claiming a well-known city as your hometown rather than one of its suburbs can be more expedient than the granular truth. It can also imply the discomfort of being associated with a generic place, the notion of it being "easier to explain," almost an apology for a small lie. Aaron Maier-Carretero is interested in these subtleties. His experience growing up was shaped around the idea that the "American dream" was built in the suburbs. To hold on to that dream, one had to embrace both its pleasantries and a more insidious culture shaped by whiteness and patriarchy: protecting and reinforcing racism and gender roles, hiding violence, and erasing or tokenizing other cultures. 

The private spaces of suburban homes can shelter both familial love and the dysfunction and violence of individual families and society at large. In Maier-Carretero's work, moments of tenderness co-exist with tension and unease. In "Waltzing with Bears," a father holds his young son in his arms, singing sweetly to him in the darkness of a child's bedroom. In sharp contrast, bright light from the hallway illuminates the bedroom door, where two indentations have been punched into its surface. For Maier-Carretero, these complexities are inherently and compellingly human. The latent and overt expressions of value in the places we live – both positive and negative – form stories that transcend the suburban landscape and speak to a broader American experience.

 This installation invites viewers to explore a family home formed from a collage of physical objects and illustrated elements by Maier-Carretero and Art Enables resident artists Michael Haynes, Paul Lewis, Raymond Lewis, Max Poznerzon, and Nonja Tiller. Actual pieces of furniture co-exist with household items drawn on paper or directly on the flat surfaces of the floor and walls. Maier-Carretero's paintings on canvas present multifaceted scenes of domestic life along with works on paper by Art Enables artists that stand in for family photos and other household ephemera. Spaces and divisions are concrete and illusory – indicated alternately by actual walls, suggestions rendered in graphite lines, and even our own memories and expectations.

 Click images and links below to expand images and/or purchase artwork.


Aaron Maier-Carretero 
branch drive, 2019

oil on linen
55 x 72 in
Not for sale


Installation view. Left to right: 
Raymond Lewis, Birdhouse, 2021
Car and houses wall drawing based on Paul Lewis'
Paul Lewis' Favorite Car Volkswagon Jetta Under the Quarter Moon in the Rain, 2020; enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretero
Paul Lewis, Untitled (Bird 1), 2020
Aaron Maier-Carretero, los primos, 2019




Raymond Lewis
Birdhouse, 2021
graphite and marker on paper
12 x 9 in.
$40

Paul Lewis
Untitled (Bird 1), 2020
colored pencil on paper
12 x 9 in,
$45





Aaron Maier-Carretero 

los primos, 2019
oil on paper
22.25 x 30 in.
Not for sale


Installation view:

House painting based on Michael Haynes' House, 2019

enlarged and traced in ink by Aaron Maier-Carretero, approx 8 x 11 ft.



Installation view

Installation view:
Windows based on Nonja Tiller's "Window with Duck Curtains," 2021; enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretero
Raymond Lewis, Clock, 2021 (below)
Paintings by Aaron Maier-Carretero (below)


Raymond Lewis
Clock, 2021
colored pencil and marker on paper
9 x 12 in.
$35


Aaron Maier-Carretero 
breakfast, 2020
oil on canvas
55 x 72 in.
Not for sale

Aaron Maier-Carretero 
not in front of the kids, 2020
oil on canvas
55 x 72 in.
Not for sale

Click here to view "mark cutting limes for his mom" - on view in place of "not in front of the kids" in the extended run of this exhibition










Raymond Lewis
Calendar, 2021
graphite, marker and colored pencil on paper
12 x 9 in.
Sold

Installation view:
Painting by Aaron Maier-Carretero
Calendar by Raymond Lewis (left)
wall drawing based on Paul LewisVincent's Room, 2019 (sold)
enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretero



Installation views including work by Max Poznerzon, Raymond Lewis, Aaron Maier-Carretero, Paul Lewis, and Nonja Tiller





Paul Lewis 
Fruits, 2017
oil pastel on paper
14 x 17 in.
$85


Nonja Tiller 

Flower Pot, 2021
marker  on paper
10 x 5 in.
Sold 



Aaron Maier-Carretero 
Still Life #5, 2021
oil on canvas
20 x 16 in
Not for sale



                               










Chair, TV, TV stand, plants and lamp wall drawing 
based on Max Poznerzon's My Living Room, 2017
and window with curtains wall drawing
based on Raymond LewisWindow, 2021
enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretero



Installation view, left to right: 
Nonja Tiller, Fish Bowl, 2021 (below)
book shelf wall drawing based on Nonja Tiller's Book Shelf, 2021; enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretero
Aaron Maier Carretero, martin and rita, 2021 (below)
couch wall drawing based on Nonja Tiller's Couch, 2021; enlarged and traced in graphite by Aaron Maier-Carretro
Nonja Tiller, My Childhood Memory, 2018 (below)






Nonja Tiller 
Fishbowl, 2021
marker on paper
9 x 12 in.
Sold

Aaron Maier-Carretero 
martin and rita, 2021
oil on canvas
55 x 72 in.
Not for sale




Nonja Tiller 
My Childhood Memory, 2018
watercolor and marker on paper
11 x 14 in.
$70



Installation view, left to right:
Paul Lewis, Sculpture, 2018 (below)
bed and nightstand graphite wall drawing by Aaron Maier-Carretero
trucks, buses, and cowboy by Michael Haynes (below)
Aaron Maier-Carretero, waltzing with bears, 2020 (below)



Aaron Maier-Carretero 
waltzing with bears, 2020
oil on canvas
55 x 72 in
Not for sale


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Installation view with graphite wall drawing by Aaron Maier-Carretero






Aaron Maier-Carretero 
flower study #2, 2019
oil on panel
20 x 16 in.
Not for sale

Aaron Maier-Carretero 

alone in the room, 2019
graphite on paper
30 x 22.25 in
Not for sale



Paul Lewis 
Kitty Cat, 2020
oil pastel on paper
12 x 9 in.
$50

Paul Lewis 
Sculpture, 2018
marker on paper
12 x 9 in.
$55




Installation view

Paul Lewis 
Paul Walking with Marilyn Munster, 2020
watercolor and graphite on paper
14 x 11 in.
$75

Max Poznerzon 
Growing Season, 2018
acrylic on canvas board
18 x 14 in.
$85


About the artists:

Aaron Maier-Carretero creates narrative paintings that use the visual language of caricature and cartoons to better understand his connection to Latinidad, whiteness, Jewishness and maleness. He works from memories, personal photographs and journals to make paintings that critically examine the way in which he and his family have bought into an American belief that to be white (or closer to it) is to be more important, more beautiful, more worthy of love. His goal is to expose and challenge problems such as domestic violence, physical abuse, racism, and self-hatred that proliferate unchecked for generations behind the carefully constructed façade of suburbia.

Michael Haynes is a life-long Washingtonian and a free and enthusiastic spirit. His work frequently focuses on his love of all transportation modes, which is reflected in his creative layered collage technique. Michael likes to hand-build his creations to bring a three-dimensional element to his work. When Michael is not busy recreating buses and ambulances (his favorites), he enjoys watching Pixar movies and playing music. 

Paul Lewis draws as easily and as rhythmically as most people breathe.  He is equally at home in acrylic, watercolor, or oil pastel and prefers strong color and line work to create form and texture.  He takes inspiration from pop culture, sports, and current events.  Paul is incredibly prolific in his practice, and has been making work at Art Enables since 2002. 

Raymond Lewis, with his gentle and kind demeanor, creates pieces of art that are full of movement, life, and detail. His work is wide-ranging, featuring subjects such as sweeping landscapes, unbridled wildlife, and portraits of people, both known and unknown. He draws inspiration from the world around him and from his love of comic books and graphic novels. Like Raymond himself, his work can be subtle and soft-spoken, with a lot going on beneath the surface.   

Max Poznerzon likes to think of himself as an outlaw, cowboy, and rock-and-roller, but his wry smile and playful spirit gives way to his good natured, gentle soul.  He loves depicting joyous beach and nature scenes as much as he does motorcycles, electric guitars, and cowboy boots. Max takes his artwork seriously and carefully considers detail and story.

Nonja Tiller brings her intricate creations to life through her character and narrative-driven artwork. Nonja’s work often tells multiple stories at once. The absurdity of the human condition, whimsy of the animal kingdom, and the dangers of society are all targets for her keen sense of humor and detail. There are often surprises in the least likely places. Nonja is exceptionally driven and works to improve her style of work constantly.  Markers are Nonja’s primary medium.

Click here to learn more about Michael, Paul, Raymond, Max, Nonja and other Art Enables resident artists.