Aaron Johnson & Barnaby Whitfield – Don’t Be Scared, You’re Supposed To Be

“Don’t Be Scared, You’re Supposed to Be” is an exhibition of recent work from Aaron Johnson and Barnaby Whitfield. The show runs through the first week in June at Irvine Contemporary in Washington, DC.

Aaron Johnson - Sick Muse - 2010
Aaron Johnson, Sick Muse, acrylic on polyester knit mesh, 2010.

Sometimes, when great painters are in the process of resolving their individual destinies, it becomes important to present new work alongside the work of other great painters. This is what you can expect if you make the trip into the nation’s capital.

Barnaby Whitfield - Into The Woods! (All The Blondes Are Fantasies) - 2010
Barnaby Whitfield, Into The Woods! (All The Blondes Are Fantasies), pastel on paper, 2010.

This exhibition will have gallery goers slowing down to rubberneck at these gorgeous atrocities. Johnson and Whitfield share a love for the abject and infect the viewer with a fever that will not subside. Look too long and you may find yourself transfixed by the confrontational gaze from the curious subject within the picture plane.

Aaron Johnson - Don't Ask, Don't Tell - 2010
Aaron Johnson, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, acrylic, copper pigment and urine on polyester knit mesh, 2010.

A common theme that appears in this show is that of a real Americana. This nation, like most empires, was formed from force and ruled with the detachment of a raised brow. Both artists in “Don’t Be Scared, You’re Supposed to Be” have a shared interest in this seedy underbelly of our decadence. The directness of approach stands out and makes for wonderfully candid expressions that indict power and often transform it into a friendlier state.

Barnaby Whitfield - I Can't Get Out of What I'm Into With You - 2010
Barnaby Whitfield, I Can’t Get Out of What I’m Into With You, pastel on paper, 2010.

Aaron Johnson & Barnaby Whitfield
Don’t Be Scared, You’re Supposed to Be
1 May – 5 June 2010
Irvine Contemporary
Washington, DC



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About Scott Lickstein, Look Into My Owl

Scott Lickstein is a visual artist and was the founder / primary writer for the art news source, LookIntoMyOwl.com until January 2013 when it merged with NOWhere Limited’s Magazine.


One Response to Aaron Johnson & Barnaby Whitfield – Don’t Be Scared, You’re Supposed To Be

  1. doghed says:

    the look in the lover’s eyes, the lover of the sick muse, is simply superb. it is perfect .

Comments are closed.



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