20 October 2022 (New Orleans, LA) JONATHAN FERRARA GALLERY is pleased to announce the gallery premiere solo exhibition of Louisville-based artist Tiffany Calvert, entitled Image Value. As an artist, Tiffany Calvert applies contemporary painting techniques to historical imagery. Her recent work uses the seventeenth-century Dutch floral still life as a springboard for exploring the shifting nature of human perception. Calvert’s paintings incorporate diverse technologies, including fresco, 3D modeling, and data manipulation. The exhibition includes eight new paintings from her latest series which uses image generating machine learning models (StyleGAN) trained on images of 1,007 historical still life paintings to create the image printed on canvas. A digitally-designed large format vinyl stencil is then applied to the surface before being painted on with oils. When the stencil is peeled off it creates hard edges, and preserves areas of the print. John Yau, in his Hyperallergic profile, compares their “improvisational riffs and fractured views” to de Kooning.
Calvert says of her latest work…
My practice connects painting’s history to our current visual culture, which is shaped by algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), and blurred boundaries between real and virtual. I use image generating machine learning models (StyleGAN) trained on a dataset of Dutch and Flemish still life paintings to create new invented images, which I print at large scale. Using stencils to protect parts of the printed images, I paint onto them. These masks create hard edges where paint meets reproduction.
The machine learning models generate forms reminiscent of still life, but distorted and unexpected. It was, in fact, a viral mutation which created many of the tulips depicted - a virus which today growers must use AI to eradicate. Like AI itself the images are seductive, but the initial beauty of the paintings is a ruse. Reproduction and painterly abstraction are indistinguishable in some places; the paintings unfold to reveal their mutations.
These blurred boundaries describe both the production and the product of my work–even my own gendered position is unstable, since my paintings contrast flower subjects, historically suitable material for women artists, and interventions into the fields of gestural abstraction and digital media, which are both historically coded masculine.
Tulips depicted in paintings, like digital imagery (NFTs) have been subject to use as currency, and particularly ripe for economic manipulation. By recalling flower paintings, I elicit their role as emblems of value speculation, futures trading, and Dutch colonialist trade and power. In turn, my work explores the way that painterly “transgression” and invention are often complicit in the expansion of speculative capitalism. Like the invisible hand of the market, AI in our lives is largely invisible. By collaborating with AI, I investigate how these neural networks shape our decisions by predicting and replicating needs and desires.
Tiffany Calvert received her MFA in 2005 from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers and her BA in 1998 from Oberlin College. She first exhibited at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in the 2020 group exhibition Art in Doom, curated by Matthew Weldon Showman. Calvert’s work has also been exhibited at the Lawrimore Project (Seattle, WA), E.TAY Gallery (NY), the Speed Museum (Louisville, KY), the Susquehanna Art Museum (PA), and Cadogan Contemporary (London, UK), among others. Residencies include the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, I-Park, and ArtOmi International Arts Center where she received a Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship. Calvert has received grants from the Great Meadows Foundation and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. She is Associate Professor of Art at the Hite Institute of Art & Design, University of Louisville and a member of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid curatorial collective.
The exhibition will be on view from 26 October through 10 December 2022 with opening receptions coinciding with the Arts District of New Orleans’ (ADNO) First Saturday Gallery Openings on 5 November + 3 December from 5 - 9 pm.
For more information, press or sales inquiries please contact Gallery Director Matthew Weldon Showman at 504.343.6827 or email@example.com. Please join the conversation with JFG on Facebook (@JonathanFerraraGallery), Twitter (@JFerraraGallery), and Instagram (@JonathanFerraraGallery) via the hashtags: #TiffanyCalvert, #JonathanFerraraGallery, and #ArtsDistrictNewOrleans.