Friday, January 22, 2010

Adam Lee Farrell - Solos at Knapp

Of all the artists that I currently represent, Adam Farrell is the most intense, complicated, and opinionated. A heady cat, he is a closet academic. A Graduate of Tyler School of Art, Adam Farrell is a product of Philadelphia. A veteran Knapp Gallery painter, he is known for serving up complex, controversial and cryptic faire. He picks at pressure points, the spots of irritation that are difficult to scratch. Recognizable imagery disarms and lures us into awaiting snares of complicity.

Diametrically opposed to physics’ fundamental postulate, “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line,” Adam magnetically responds to “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” I would imagine Adam’s theme song to be Supertramp’s 70s classic “Take the long way home.” This is a game he plays. Like a copyright, he retains the final rights to the meaning behind is work, wanting you to walk away with your own experience. Creating and speaking a new language, it is impossible to cipher Farrell truth. Google Translate is of no value. You are on your own. He likes it like that.

Farrell possesses photo realism drawing and painting skills. Shhh! Few people know this. Why is this you ask, he leaves this particular skill in the tool box. Adam cares little for the mundane. After all, anyone can replicate, creating afresh requires skill. Part and parcel to Adam’s skills set is his commitment to the craft. It is all about the paint. Adam is quick to tell you his visual message is gleaned always though the application of paint. OCD in his delivery, Adam’s imagery selection must first withstand the rigors of his brush and stroke. Perspective and light quality reinforce and validate his tenure as a journeyman. If there were such an organization, Adam would be a card carrying lifetime member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Painter’s Coalition for the advancement of Oil Painters. He is serious about his craft. This is most refreshing.

With a proclivity for the comedic, Adam’s sarcasm can be unsettling. Often politically based and socially charged, Farrell’s images demand of us alternative levels of collective responsibility. Farrell is extremely present to real time, requiring of us a commensurate measure of awareness. He does not tolerate slackers and requires our undivided participation. A pervasive a sense of the hilarious, the ridiculous even, Adam is not to be taken lightly. He is serious as a heart attack. Despite a continued and reinforced ideal of anonymity, Adam’s situational plotting point the bony finger at the randomness of folly, fury and futility. Adam is not loud but crafty in ensnaring his victims, only the ignorant escape.

Farrell gives us enough room to hang ourselves. Take nothing for granted. Adam has sized up every angle of his work. A results minded creator, it is not Adam’s intent to steer the viewer towards a specific end. Pensive in all things, he exerts significant consideration of the possibilities where and how one might draw a final conclusion. A premature assessment or judgment like ejaculation will leave you unsatisfied. This painter expects of you a diligent and thorough work ethic. Deceiving portals offer apparent safe passage through to his truth. Pejorative insults lay in wait for the fool hearty. He wants you to take the bait.

Adam’s distinct and purposeful choice of caricatures, his iconography, keeps us on guard and off balance; a bizarre and unnerving menagerie. Forced viability, the employing of repetition as a tool to anneal his forgings, enforces his sculptural sensibilities. Though a painter, structural dogma raises the stakes to 3d. An illusionist by nature, Adam‘s keen sense of suggestion sets up his pointed though remarkably sophisticated prestige.