November 3 – January 12th, 2014
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 3, 6 – 8 p.m.
Stephan Stoyanov Gallery is extremely proud to announce the opening of a solo exhibition by Brian Dailey. This will be the artist’s second show in the gallery, following his acclaimed America in Color exhibition in 2012.
This exhibition features two new series of photographs, entitled Tableau Vivant and Project Morpheus. In both of these projects the artist manipulates the photographic medium to create thought-provoking images that engage the viewer on multiple levels.
The Tableau Vivant series was produced in a studio environment using stage design, props and actors. It reflects the inspiration Dailey draws from old masters such as Caravaggio, Vermeer and Goya. The artist employs theatrical lighting and composite imagery to create complex scenes - critical comments on contemporary social and political themes. Carefully staged, the narrative in the compositions is elucidated not only through the actors’ pose and gesture but also through embedded symbolism that reveals Dailey’s ongoing interest in ciphers, mythology and deception. The photographs depict members of all social classes, revealing societal hierarchies and the current landscape of political and institutional structures and privileges.
The Project Morpheus series is an autobiographical project revolving around dreams. Dreams have been recorded since humans could write or draw. Civilizations have assigned a range of reasons and meanings for dreams since their earliest beginnings. In modern times, dreams have been viewed as windows into the unconscious exposing fears, desires, and providing a source for psychoanalysis. In contemporary terms, dream research has taken on a more pronounced scientific dimension. However, despite thousands of years of speculation and study, little is really known about the purpose of dreams and, more importantly, what they mean. Undeterred by the uncertainty of dream interpretation, artists have used dreams as inspiration in their work for centuries, exploring altered realities and/or unconscious states as a way to unlock creativity. In Project Morpheus, Dailey leverages dreams as a way to understand the state of “being and time” or individual ontological questions. The works capture the artist’s dreams through surreal and often dramatic settings, actions and gestures, delivering visually fascinating, enigmatic compositions charged with layers of meanings.
Brian Dailey received his Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Design from Otis Art Institute, LA, in 1975. During the 1970s, he worked and exhibited in Los Angeles including performance art pieces at the Roger Wong Gallery and the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. In November 1977 “Vice”--his last performance work of that period--was staged at LAICA and featured in the art magazine High Performance. Beginning in 1980, Brian became involved in government policymaking and corporate management. He returned to art full time in 2008, maintaining his studio in Woodstock, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. His work uses various media including the photographic process, digital film, installation and painting. Recently, Dailey exhibited at I-20 Gallery, New York (2011) and The Project Biennial of Contemporary Art, D-0 ARK Underground, Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013). He lives in Washington, D.C.