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LOST SUMMER MIXTAPE VOL. 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE A GEOFFREY ALDRIDGE

 

 

 

GEOFFREY ALDRIDGE was born and raised in the rural midwest. He graduated from Northeastern University in Chicago and attended American University’s MFA program in DC. He is the recipient of Chicago’s Union League Civic & Arts Foundation Scholarship, a Mellon Grant and the Catharina Baart Biddle Art Award. His work has been included in exhibitions both nationally and internationally: Conner Smith Gallery (DC), The Contemporary Jones Center (Austin), Transformer Gallery (DC), The Painting Center (NYC) and SÍM Gallery (Iceland).

Geoffrey currently lives and works in Austin, TX with his husband, two cats and a Miniature Long-Haired Dachshund puppy.

Works from Faking Formalism

I’m interested in how cultural and institutional structures create a hierarchy of expectations for who makes what type of artwork, how artworks are made, contextualized, accepted, or rejected. The commentary is not only a reflection on the art world, but also on a larger context of the structures that otherness has questioned in society. My works are smaller compositions of acrylic paint, glass, and stucco-like ceramic paste arranged as columnar forms, beams, arches—like the frameworks and materials that support physical structures—metaphorically.

       Works from Faking Formalism

 

All works above from the series Faking Formalism

Faking Formalism began as a joke between some artist friends. I would say something like, “Since I’m expected to make queer art, my abstract and purely formal paintings are fake.” Over time, that flippant joke became a way of working. It wasn’t overnight, and it wasn’t a planned transition. What you see today in the work is a placement of individual paintings faking structures such as columns or beams as a way to question how we might restructure. I grew up during a time and place when being gay wasn’t accepted. I copied gesture, voice, movement - all to seem more masculine, to avoid any type of attention to who I knew I really was. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our public, cultural or political systems could be what they really want to be rather than allowing for corruption, hierarchy, or outdated rules/regulations to dominate? Call me idealist, but it’s a big part of what I think about.

Works from Ritualistic

 

 

 

 

 

Above: The World’s Perfectly Turned Shoulder, 2020, ceramic, paper, acrylic, beeswax, foam, mirror tiles, sand, rock

 

The Ritualistic series began as a side project while I was making works for Faking Formalism. Ideas around rituals and behavior became a tangential find within my research. Specifically, I was interested in how we regard objects as important and their arrangement within our lives. I use the term objects loosely as it also includes experiences. It’s definitely a more psychological approach to my work.

 

 

My practice isn’t consistent. I don’t schedule my days/hours--It’s more of a project based routine. I work on a body of work over a period of time and sometimes I take long breaks. It’s important for me to give distance between the making process and research.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SIDE B
GEOFFREY/ART ENABLES

The mix below features work by Geoffrey and three Art Enables artists he selected: Jay Bird, Vanessa Monroe, and Chris Schallhorn. Geoffrey responded in particular to Jay’s use of line, Vanessa’s playfulness, and Chris’ interest in geometry. Click on images below for more info about each work.

 

Chris Schallhorn

Geoffrey Aldridge

Jay Bird

Geoffrey Aldridge

Chris Schallhorn

Geoffrey Aldridge

Jay Bird

Geoffrey Aldridge

Vanessa Monroe

Vanessa Monroe

Geoffrey Aldridge

Vanessa Monroe

RECOMMENDED READING
I decided to pull readings that are either on my mind at all times or resurface frequently. The context is a combination that’s directly related to the choices I make within my paintings and how I think about the world at large–all of the nouns. The paintings are, for me, the verbs.

 

Constructing Nature: This blows my mind every time!

 

 

A start to exploring Heidegger to Brown

 

 

Hannah B. Higgins, The Grid Book
Everyone should read this book!
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
I started painting my backgrounds black after I reread Moby Dick a few years ago. Specifically, "The Whiteness of the Whale." Like the detailing within this chapter, I too felt angst and sometimes fear when confronted with a white and empty painting surface, doing nothing but waiting.

excerpt from Moby Dick

“The Whiteness of the Whale” click thumbnail to read

PLAYLIST

The longest I’ve ever spent with a painting in one sitting was 16 hours. That wasn’t a start-to-finish – it was just that I was working on it for 16 hours straight. It was quite amazing, and so I decided in October of 2019 to begin a playlist of songs totaling 16 hours. I just have to like the song enough to add it to the playlist, and the sources vary from remembering a tune from adolescence to hearing something for the first time in a grocery store. I think it’s just over 3 hours at this point. . .a long way to go!

 

[If playlist doesn’t load, click here ]

FLORAL FORMALISM

I’ve been thinking about landscape lately – in particular: plants, succulents and the cactus I see every day when I walk throughout my neighborhood. It’s a strange time, and walks have become a daily ritual, but the experience of encountering what my neighbors have planted curbside and beyond has been like a sort of socialization. They definitely assimilate figurative forms, and my work references natural forms, shapes, and the body. Like with architectural nods in Faking Formalism, maybe I’m thinking about plants (et al) as a way to organize the experience?

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SECRET TRACK
These recent images are coming from a ritual of spending more time with the food I buy, prepare and ultimately eat. During this pandemic, everything has slowed and that has given me more time to cook and develop meals and shopping lists. In a lot of ways, I approach the entire cooking process like my studio practice. The produce grids are a way for me to arrange through a washing and drying process. Before everything is put away, I take a photo.