Opening March 16th, 2018 The Reclaimed Room is excited to present WHAT IF? a group exhibition featuring the puzzling creations of three Bay Area artists whose process-based work draw attention to societal chaos and conflict. WHAT IF? artists Clint Imboden, James Shefik and Jamie Banes provoke viewers to question the reality and truths of the structures displayed before them. Although recognized for their use of everyday materials in unexpected and unusual ways, these artists’ sculptures and installations also stimulate and challenge their audiences’ preconceptions of material, purpose, and intent. This exhibition will be on view through May 11th 2018.
“I come to making art with the perspective of a therapist. Just as a good therapist can act as a catalyst for change in a client, good art should elicit a strong reaction from the audience, provoking them to explore the reasons why they’ve been affected.”
“I find my materials at local flea markets and estate sales. I start with the artifacts of daily living, things that most people overlook: battered globes, worn shoes, and dilapidated tools. I’m drawn to old materials because they foster purposeful imperfection in my art, an attribute that’s connected to their previous lives. I use them for their connotative, associative or narrative possibilities. My installation work is tactile and handmade; as an artist, I focus on process and on topical, issue-based content.”
“Viewing my artwork is not meant to be a passive experience; it involves reading, deciphering, taking the initiative to engage physically and psychically with text and objects. I use materials that challenge my audience to consider multiple references in order to understand the full meaning of a piece. I want people to be caught up in the experience of my work, just as I am, in making it. My goal is to have them come away from an encounter with the work knowing something new about themselves.”
Conceptual, multidisciplinary artist James Shefik lives in Oakland. Along with making art in his studio, he is a scenic artist and scenic foreman on movie and television sets (Sense8, Thirteen Reasons Why, Steve Jobs, Big Eyes, Chasing Mavericks, and Milk, to name a few).
Primarily a sculptor, Shefik creates artwork that reveals his strong concern for the environment, for the government’s tyranny of purposeful invasion of our privacy, and social political absurdity that often accompanies concentrations of power.
His latest work employs photographic prints to mutate small transient into an almost theatrical experience. His work has been exhibited at the Aqua Art Fair in Miami, the Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA, Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA, and Autobody Fine Art in Alameda, CA. Shefik was a recipient of a SF Weekly Mastermind Grant in 2011.
“Growing up in a blue-collar construction family, I connected with tools and materials at an early age. Exposure to the job site as a youth helped shape my interest in architecture and the ever-changing organism of the built environment. These early experiences continue to inform my work and contribute to my own sense of place and identity.”
“The built environment serves as a multilayered record of human activity, mirroring the effects of society’s needs and motives over time. The concept of structures as living entities is a natural starting point for my experiments, often stemming from themes of origin and decay within the urban landscape. The breakneck speed at which this life cycle revolves in the Bay Area underscores the socioeconomic and political issues of our time and further influences my work.”
“My process results in quirky assemblages reminiscent of childhood forts or tree house constructions in miniature. My most current work presents as a collection of eccentric architectural models and maps, wryly alluding to the seriousness of many ominous societal issues on our collective horizon. The materials I collect are typically found, bartered or bargained for in keeping with my inclination to reuse when possible.”