SAN JUAN, PR.- Walter Otero Contemporary Art
presents Anthony Gianninis solo exhibition, "Crossing the Line".
Anthony Giannini (b. 1984, Colorado) is an American artist who currently lives and works in Providence, RI. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2007 and received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012.
Using a complex improvisational process involving image manipulation software, toner transfer, and wet sanding, Giannini pushes his sources to the limits of recognizability while opening up spaces of associative projection for the viewer.
Crossing the Line explores relationships linking language, non-verbal modes of communication, space, and power. Giannini approaches these issues by working with images recorded in times of conflict alongside a digital archive documenting a nautical initiation rite, the line-crossing ceremony, which marks a sailors first passage across the equator.
This international folk tradition, dating back to the 16th century, signals a transition from a familiar world to a new mythological zone with a baptismal villainization. The Naval ceremony uses the narrative structure of withdrawl from reality, the geographic symbol of the equator, and the metaphorical use of Neptune mythology as key concepts of a tradition that enforces a sailor's praxis as well as identity. The ceremony has been continually changing and taking on new forms since the 16th century. During the 1990s, unregulated hazing within the U.S. Navy, including abuse, torture, and death, created public backlash against the ritual.
Gianninis paintings use the line-crossing ceremony as a point of departure for examining larger themes such as the interweaving of social convention, military might, and the use of interrogation to control dissidence. These works are an exploration of the destabilizing effects of consuming the torture eras visual and textual culture. They invite the viewer to linger in the space of uncertainty where doubt corrodes trust in official insituitions, where language turns into sinister double speak, and where boundaries, once imagined solid, dissolve before our eyes.
His work has been exhibited at The Pace Gallery, New York, NY; MAN Museum, Berlin, DE; Galerie Christian Hosp, Dubai, UAE; Oliver Francis Gallery, Dallas, TX; 532 Gallery Thomas Jaeckel, New York, NY; The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI; The Museum of New Art, Pontiac, MI.
In 2013 Giannini was awarded the MacColl Johnson Fellowship from the Rhode Island Foundation. This program is considered to be one of the largest no-strings attached awards available to artists in the United States. The fund provides up to three artists fellowships each year, rotating among composers, writers and visual artists on a three-year cycle.
Giannini was also nominated for the 2013 College of Arts & Letters Distinguished Alumni Award through Michigan State University and has received grants and fellowships through the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Roger and Gayle Mandle Foundation. Giannini has participated in several national and international artists residencies including Denniston Hill, Woodridge, NY; Contemporary Artists Center, Troy, NY; Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, MI; Culturia, Berlin, DE; Takt Kunstprojektraum, Berlin, DE
The exhibition "Crossing the Line", will be on display until March 6 at WOCA. Walter Otero Contemporary Art (WOCA) is located on Ave. Constitución #402, San Juan (Puerta de Tierra), Puerto Rico. The gallery is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. or by appointment. For more information call WOCA at 787-998-9622 / 787-627-5797 or visit www.walterotero.com