, Associate Professor of Art at CBU, is currently exhibiting his paintings at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. The exhibition, titled “Processing the Ideal,” features large-scale paintings that re-visualize perceptions of the “American Dream” and the effects that pursuit has on our environment.
Many of Peña’s paintings begin with personal nostalgia and culminate in serious, social, or political inquiries. He considers both changing social norms and the physical appearance of the American landscape in his work. “Processing the Ideal” presents an interesting conundrum and questions if the ground that we live upon is both physically and ideologically solid.
“Each painting is set up with a similar schema that includes a house as a symbolic ideal of family and home ownership that is juxtaposed with an environment that is familiar yet, equally fragmented, abstracted, and strange,” Peña says. “The result is a series of images that represent the solidarity and stability of our personified 30-year fixed rate mortgages and the leftover fragments of waste that lie beneath them.”
“Processing the Ideal” is on exhibit through October 5 at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens (4339 Park Avenue). More information at www.dixon.org.