EXTRAordinary is a celebration of the everyday. Transforming and elevating common items into works of art, this show recognizes ordinary dignity and random delightfulness. Brad Nelson’s paintings of mostly packaging materials and the resin cast everyday objects by Mark Power are an immersion in the pleasures of the popular and a meditation on the daily grind.
Brad Nelson paints in his living room, instead of a space reserved strictly for art making, in an effort to make painting feel more seamlessly intertwined with his life. He is interested in exploring how a daily ritual or rhythm can bring him things that are at times outside his sphere of control and yet can also be the driving force behind what he chooses to make. The artist finds his subject matter in what comes to him serendipitously: the cardboard packaging from a yogurt maker, bed-linen packaging, or an old clip-top storage container that used to store hand-me-down shoes for his youngest daughter. Still-life painting is a perfect fit since its history is irrevocably tied to the portrayal of the less important wares of domestic life. Nelson chooses to examine the ubiquity, design elegance, and unintentionality of the ephemera that deliver what’s important.
Mark Power’s typically monochromatic sculptures are life-size and exact replicas of the real objects. The artist is interested in the use of words, and how our identification with them as they exist as objects can be compromised and challenged, redirected from the clinical and antiseptic to a feeling of emotion, time and intimacy. Power transforms anonymous utilitarian everyday objects such as paper plates or sneakers into unique works of art, re-contextualized by material, surface and quantity. The logic, and eventual location of this "source material”, versus the venues they were cultivated from, create a dynamic that the artist works in and from. Power’s interest in John Cage’s work already gave him a vocabulary for the unobserved/unnoticed; making the decision to select profoundly simple unimportant yet at time useful objects seem to carry that message farther.
Falmouth, MA based Brad Nelson received a Bachelors degree in photography from the University of Kentucky, Post Baccalaureate Certificate, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University. Mark Power lives and works in New York. He holds a B.F.A. from the Virginia Commonwealth University at Richmond, VA and an M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, NY. He received grants/awards from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Johnson Foundation.