NEW YORK, NY.- Sargents Daughters
presents Jordan Casteels first solo exhibition, Visible Man opening on Wednesday, August 13th, 2014. The exhibition presents a new series of paintings.
Casteels subject in this series is black men, all of whom are unclothed, both literally and metaphorically. Drawing on a long line of art historical portraiture, Casteels nudes confront the viewer with an unprotected gaze. They are surrounded by objects of domesticity: photographs, clothes, and furnishings. Often they are encompassed by the winding tapestry of prints on the surrounding upholstery. Casteels preoccupation with paint lends a fluid thickness to her works. The love of paint is apparent in each stroke, which recall the bright colors and thick lines of Jacob Lawrence, Nancy Spero and the blocky beauty of Matisse.
In her painting Yahya, the subject is stretched out on the floor in front of a floral couch, his arm encased in a cast. Though it would seem logical to assume we are looking at him from above, the actual perspective is shifted and we appear to be below him. Yahya regards us cooly, eyes unflinching as Olympia.
The contrast of popular images of black men and the humanity of actual individual black men is highlighted by Casteels inclusion of personal objects and the setting of the subjects at home, most often in repose and relaxed. This pose was chosen by Casteel as one at odds with the usual portrayal of black men, and it is consequently exciting to shift our own perception. In addition to her placement of the subjects, Casteel often experiments with color. Is, Casteel seems to ask, a black man a black man no matter the color?
Jordan Casteel was born in 1989 in Denver, CO. Casteel received her MFA in 2014 from Yale in New Haven, CT. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.