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April 3 – 30, 2010

ADAM MYSOCK, Giving St. James the Less His Moniker (after GEORGES du MENSIL de LA TOUR Saint James the Less, Date unkown), 2010
ADAM MYSOCK, Transfigured Through His Fishing Story (after FRA ANGELICO- Convent of San Marco: Transfiguration cell 6. c. 1437), 2010

PRESS RELEASE ::: ADAM MYSOCK --- 'Mythconception'

JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is proud to announce, Mythconception, a solo exhibition by painter ADAM MYSOCK. The exhibition opens on Saturday April 3rd, 2010 with an artist reception from 6 to 9 PM and features new paintings by Mysock who is known for his meticulously rendered small-scale paintings based on works by masters from art history.  He is a Professor of Practice at Newcomb College of Art at Tulane University.

In Mythconception, Mysock delves into the rationale behind popular legends and reshaping narratives that hold authority in our society.  He uses old master works as the basis for his presentation of these altered interpretations.

In his own words: 

George Washington never had wooden teeth.  And he didn’t chop down a cherry tree, and then tell his father that he couldn’t tell a lie.   But we believe he did.

Our imaginations find the fantastic more indelible than the reasonable – especially when it comes to our comprehension of our own history – but why?  And what stops us from telling stories of Washington performing superhuman feats?  Is there a limit to the fictions we’re willing to accept as truth? With so much scholarship having been undertaken about the true Washington, why is it that so many tall tales still follow him?  Why do we believe in the most fantastic over the most reasonable?

The rationale behind popular legends has been the driving force behind my work for some time now.  I love playing around with narratives and images that hold authority in our society – here the portrait of George Washington and the stories of the Apostles from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (an some apocryphal writing as well).  For me, presenting alterations to the authoritative images or stories highlight their origins and inconsistencies.

I’m interested in the role of the image in creating acceptance of the apocryphal.  From our earliest childhood experiences with illustrations to the documentary photography of newspapers, we need to see something to believe it.  When we look at figures who lived before the advent of photography, we have to look to paintings for a truth.  But how often did those painters/paintings lie?  Is the authority that a famous/popular painting carries transferable…?  I’m interested in playing with the scale of my work to contrast the distance we typically need to create a myth.  If you’re familiar, or close to something or someone, you’re less likely to mythologize it.  But what happens when you have to get close to the myth itself?

ADAM MYSOCK (born Cincinnati, OH, 1983) is the son of an elementary school English teacher and a lab technician who specializes in the manufacturing of pigments. From a steady stream of folk tales from his mother, his father’s vividly dyed work clothes, and a solid Midwestern work ethic, he developed an interest in painting and drawing all things Americana from a very early age. He received a full scholarship from Tulane University earning a BFA in Painting and Art History. He holds a MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He then worked as the coordinator for Cincinnati’s MuralWorks mural program and as an adjunct drawing professor at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.  In 2008, he returned to New Orleans to teach at Tulane University. 

Mysock has had solo exhibitions in Cincinnati and New Orleans and been in group exhibitions in Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Louisiana.  In 2009, his work was selected for the 14th annual No Dead Artists juried exhibition.  This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.