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"Teen Spirit "
(in the North Gallery) Gustavo Roman

July 14th – August 11th, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday July 14th, 2007 7-10 PM

The sublime, that beauty worthy of reverence, quickly turns grotesque and ridiculous when exaggerated. The opposite is also true, whereas that which is freakish in its amusing appearance, can also become an unexpected source of beauty. For his first solo exhibition at Ingalls & Associates Teen Spirit, Gustavo Roman has created an installation of drawings and video animation explorations that reside at that intersection where the grotesque and the beautiful are indistinguishable from each other. These drawings convey the delicate and the poetic within the awkward period of pubescence. Sexual tension, gender ambiguity and the myth of male sexual prowess are some recurrent themes Roman explores. Roman speaks of an exaggerated sexuality, which renders itself useless achieving a state of ridicule, anti-sensual at best. The work is a commentary on contemporary exaggerated ideas of sex and sensuality. It comments on the sensual body as a projection of the self, of identity and our cult of personality. The work’s scale refers to the private and personal, of intimacy and shyness, as well as the forbidden and taboo.

Teen Spirit is a poignant portrait of youthful indiscretions. It consists of small scale, delicate drawings that depict commonly held experiences in the sexual life of a teenager. The drawings are vignettes of adolescent rites of passage, conveying the awkward yet precious bittersweet experience of the teenage years. In their seemingly unfinished state, the drawings invite the viewer to complete the narrative. Contained in shadow boxes, the works occupy an architectural space into which the viewer peeks/is invited, the site of the personal and the secret.

The animation entitled The Hairs is made of hand drawn frames. It depicts an androgynous figure sprouting wild pubic hair that completely engulfs and overwhelms the screen. The Hairs is a metaphor for the swift and chaotic metamorphosis from childhood to adulthood to which adolescence subjects us all.