My Name is Wormy and I Love Goddess Rebecca so much she is so pretty, kind and nice to me and she is all that I think of. I cannot wait to be a worm wriggling in the dirt and mud in her garden.
— Reba Maybury, The Goddess and the Worm
P.P.O.W is pleased to present Do You Love Me?, a group exhibition featuring work by Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Martine Gutierrez, Gerald Lovell, Reba Maybury, Sophia Narrett, and Kyle Vu-Dunn.
Bringing together a diverse group of emerging artists working in various media, Do You Love Me? explores contemporary desire by displaying artworks that double as entreaties for connection, intimacy, and external validation within the context of broader societal power structures. Exhibiting artists examine the inherently unbalanced power dynamics between those that ask to be loved and those that have the power to give it.
Do You Love Me? acknowledges a contemporary climate in which interior lives become public, pushing artists to grapple with the fine line between being seen and being exploited; between presenting themselves and giving themselves away.
Elliott Jerome Brown Jr. (b. 1993) is a conceptual photographer whose work explores the theoretical implications of power and access. Constructed as recontextualised moments in ongoing narratives, his documented abstractions of daily life examine the tension between the public and private self. Brown's work has been featured in exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York; Platform Gallery, Baltimore, MD; Galerie AMU, Prague; Forum Art Space, Purchase, NY; Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA; and Polifórum Digital Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. Brown was a participant in The New York Times Portfolio Review (2016) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2017). He received his BFA in Photography from the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Martine Gutierrez (b. 1989) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. She draws from eclectic media, acting as subject, artist and muse. Through performance, photography and film, Gutierrez documents her personal transformations by embodying various imagined personas. Recent solo exhibitions include Martine Gutierrez: True Story at Boston University Art Gallery and WE & THEM & ME at Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh in North Carolina. Gutierrez's work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions including the 58th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy; MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas: Consciousness Razing, New Museum, New York, NY; 23 Pairs: Considering Compare and Contrast, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY; and Fast Forward//Rewind, MOCA GA, Atlanta, GA.
Gerald Lovell (b. 1992) is a self-taught painter based in Atlanta, GA. Born in 1992 in Chicago, IL, to Puerto Rican, and African American parents, Lovell began his career as an artist after dropping out of the graphic design program at the University of West Georgia, realising his need to embrace a new creative path. Attuned to the inherent struggles of his chosen medium, Lovell uses his artistic practice as a means to self-discovery and self-articulation while careful not to subject his subjects to fictitious narratives. His work has been featured in exhibitions at The Gallery | Wish, Atlanta, GA; the Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta,GA; Mason Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; and Swim Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Reba Maybury (b. 1990) is a writer, political dominatrix and lecturer. She is the founder of Wet Satin Press and, in 2017, she published her first novella Dining with Humpty Dumpty. She teaches a program in subversive thinking at Central Saint Martinson the Fashion Masters. Her work has recently been exhibited at Paramount Ranch with Shoot the Lobster (2016); Karma International, Los Angeles (2017) and Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York (2018) as a part of Putting Out which Maybury curated with Taylor Trabulus. She has performed readings at Cleopatra's, New York; Bridget Donahue, New York; Donna Huanca's Studio, Berlin; The Community, Paris; Schloss, Oslo; Royal College of Art, London; Claire de Rouen, London; HER, London; and Fanfare x NXS, Amsterdam.
Sophia Narrett (b. 1987) received her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University and a MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her fantastical embroideries explore role-play, the emotional results of escapism, and the evolving nature of identity. With a mixture of vulnerability and satire, Narrett collages images gleaned from the internet into new narratives, describing her own feelings while building a larger commentary on gender, the social implications of images, and our collective unconscious. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Arts and Design, Paul Kasmin Gallery, the Museum of Sex, Jack Barrett Gallery, BRIC Arts | Media House, Freight + Volume in New York, NY, and at the Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ; Lux Art Institute, Encinitas, CA; Museum Rijswijk, Holland; and Kunstforeningen GL STRAND, Copenhagen, Denmark. Her work is included in the collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the CAPP Collection of Contemporary Art at the University of Maryland.
Kyle Vu-Dunn (b. 1990) defies categorical restraint, disregarding any sole representational technique in favour of his own unique approach. Blurring the lines between sculpture and painting, Vu-Dunn's reliefs drip with a liquid eroticism that celebrates an often-repressed male sensuality and softness. In his Artforum review of Vu-Dunn's recent solo show, Always, at Thierry Goldberg, Alex Jovanovich wrote 'Vu-Dunn's unequivocally queer work is slyly revolutionary—a raised fist that doesn't shy away from the power of a gentle caress.' His work has been included in exhibitions at Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA; Nationale, Portland, OR; Part 2 Gallery; Oakland, CA; and Ground Floor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, among others. He received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Sculpture at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He lives and works in Queens, NY.
Press release courtesy P·P·O·W Gallery.