Dream of the Soft Look, Jason Bard Yarmosky’s new solo exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of the human life cycle. Building on his earlier work in the Elder Kinder series, these new meticulously constructed and strikingly life-like paintings invite the viewer into intimate moments of truth, many of which are reflected in the model’s gaze in a mirror.
The resulting view sparks an external/internal conversation filled with moments of bewilderment, frustration, humor, and wonder as the aged body is reflected back at the still vibrant soul, dreaming of the soft look.
Yarmosky explores the tension between the physical and psychological elements of aging. However the show also has much to do with memory, and its enduring role throughout the life cycle. His powerful black-and-white paintings reflect the “realness” of now. They are the mirror of the present, while the “idealized” memory, often colored over time, is presented in myriad pigments.
The artist created a short video (featured above) to further explore this concept of aging. Yarmosky’s black and white lens follows his grandfather, Leonard Bard, waking up to one of Chopin’s Nocturnes. As his grandfather goes through his daily painstaking routine of waking, showering, shaving etc., he has contemplative moments interspersed with flashbacks to his past. These memories are of his wife and daughters and are represented by 8mm footage, which was filmed by Leonard in the 1950’s.
Yarmosky presents us with his grandfather now in black and white, and his grandfather’s actual memories in color. As the video dances between the present and past, Leonard comes face-to-face with his countenance and circumstance, ultimately finding equilibrium in his memories and the wisdom gained from a lifetime of living.
Even the ever-enlightened art world is guilty of ageism, with young models posing for up-and-coming artists just like they do in fashion magazines. That’s why we’re so thrilled to see Jason Yarmosky taking his brush to the older set, even at the young age of 25. His series, entitled “Dream of the Soft Look” portrays elderly subjects revisiting their childhood alter-egos. – HUFFINGTON POST
For his upcoming solo show, “Dream of the Soft Look” at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery in New York, Yarmosky went in a more cinematic direction than in his previous work — whether deliberate or not, hints of film noir and David Lynch-ian strangeness can be discerned. – HI FRUCTOSE
Download the exhibition catalog (PDF).