Art duo DaveandJenn poke around the dark side
The Hinterland Will Find You by artist duo DaveandJenn might just swallow you whole.
That’s “DaveandJenn” by the way. One word. Artists Jennifer Saleik and David Foy have been working collaboratively since getting their BFAs in painting in 2006. Considering how stunningly detailed their pieces are two artists working together on each painting seems a necessity. Despite this though you’d never be able to tell Foy’s handiwork on an image apart from Saleik’s or vice versa.
The richly coloured and mind-numbingly intricate exhibition at Trépanier Baer is both enticing and foreboding — the series makes you feel as though you’ve entered into a scene from Where the Wild Things Are — only here the forests are deeper and darker saturated with urban waste and there are more wild things than you’d expect.
Each painting consists of intricate fragments of a final image painted upon layer after layer of resin. The “landscapes” within each piece are simultaneously enchanting and nightmarish. The artists’ depth of scenery really does look like it could devour you. Yet somehow the work has a brightly coloured playfulness as well. A long look into the depths of the pieces reveals a collection of birds animals monsters skeletons and disembodied fangs residing alongside bottles buckets and beer cans to name only a few objects out of the infinite curiosities hidden within each image.
The artists describe these frames as “Windows that let you permeate into the private space shared and created by our over-saturated minds.”
On the wall — and despite the depths they depict — DaveandJenn’s paintings are surprisingly luminescent with gem-like colours and qualities unique to the artists’ technique.
Off the wall there are two free-standing pieces mounted atop cast-iron legs with clawed feet. The larger of these two standing pieces “And then Voyager Returned” stands just over six feet tall and looks much like the creatures depicted within the frame of the paintings. Alternately the smaller piece “Even as the Sky Falls” is adorned by two skeletal bird-like sculptures perched on top of the canvas. Both reflect the duality of the exhibition itself — morbid yet playful and entirely consuming.