FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: © Mark Peckmezian, Untitled, gelatin silver print, 2010, © Abby McGuane, Cave, mixed media, 2012.
O'Born Contemporary is proud to bring together the gallery's newest artists, Abby McGuane and Mark Peckmezian for our summer exhibition, Two Day. McGuane and Peckmezian share a critical interest in the consideration of the ordinary: McGuane's sculpture and collage works elevate everyday household materials by suggesting the iconic. Peckmezian's photographs of peers, plants and pets work in a similar way: Through quantity and repetition, his photographic collection transcends the subject to reach a simultaneously individual and universal perspective of daily life.
McGuane's photocopy transfers on fabric require a physical massaging to bond the two elements. The artist welcomes both calculated and unexpected abstractions: An incomplete portion of a transfer or a seam in the fabric fragments a man's face and undulations in a bed sheet are exemplified through layered collage of a similar image. McGuane's visible hand in the abstraction of masculine archetypes reclaims the authorship of idealistic imagery.
Similarly, Peckmezian collaborates with his darkroom, allowing printing flaws and expired papers to modify his prints. He embraces the accidents and limitations analog photography presents and therefore, concedes his negatives partially to chance. Test strips, ripped edges, and dog-eared corners are anything but dogmatic and can be approached without pretention. His small photographic works form a community of images with a bond between them that is the artist's complete devotion to his medium.
It is necessary to also consider both artists' works and broader practices individually. In an effort to bring the two practices together for exhibition, one must not accidentally deny the underlying gender philosophy that seems to push McGuane's work well beyond the formal. Similarly, Peckmezian's work exists within a well-established tradition of portrait and vernacular photography, which ought not be shrouded in a conversation of his subject matter. Peckmezian's worldview is still too young to be absorbed by contemporary art theory but quickly one senses that his particular eye for the everyday is anything but conventional. Art-making practices and philosophies are too complex to be deduced to a single aspect. As curators, we invite you to use this as your starting point and challenge yourself to follow the work, wherever it might take you. Two Day, we begin in every day life.
Abby McGuane received a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2010. Her practice undertakes a sculptural negotiation of pictorial concerns. In her work, found objects and images are fused with raw materials and pushed into a state of partial transformation through painterly means, blurring the distinction between image and support. McGuane is currently based in Toronto.
Mark Peckmezian is a Toronto-based artist and commercial photographer. Working within portraiture and documentary photography, Peckmezian attempts to leverage the analog-digital divide, producing work that draws into relief the enduring value of analog processes. He recently completed his BFA in Photography from Ryerson University in Toronto, and is represented for commercial work by Lisa Bonnici in Canada, and Webber Represents in the US and Europe.