Quiet Lunch and Bodega de la Haba hosted a brunch on Sunday, December 11th, at our Fifth Avenue offices for the artist Eddie Rehm whose show, “9-13-81% Plasticity”, is currently on view.
All photos by Bryan Thatcher
Eddie Rehm: “9-13-81% Plasticity”
The Yard, 234 Fifth Avenue
Presented by Quiet Lunch Magazine
Curated by Gregory de la Haba
To stare in the face of chaos and belligerence; to walk the line between good and evil, decency and decadence, sanity and insanity, middle class and poverty, is to come face-to-face with the art of Eddie Rehm. Unsettling, perhaps, hyper most definitely, Rehm’s paintings and mixed-media works are composites, literally, of and from his life. They are deeply layered (metaphorically and painterly), constructed shabbily out of cheap and used canvases, fabrics torn and repurposed, battered or burned no matter, these the materials available the artist, marred by hardships and fastened with honesty. When his studio in Patchogue, Long Island, was destroyed (decimated actually) from Hurricane Sandy, Rehm turned the experience and the detritus into art. There was no other option. There was no relief. When the Housing Bubble burst and Rehm lost home (and his wife, eventually) he did what any self-respecting artist would do –he painted about it. His work a chilling record of his life, reflections of loss and failure, of a failed business venture, an eviction notice, of isolation and displacement, challenging themes spilling out relentlessly onto the surface and his surfaces akin notepads of a genius poet laureate’s perhaps, scribbled and crossed-out, of a work in process and in the throes of his/her attempt to compose one single metrical line of profundity–before final edits–before syntax magic reached and shared publicly.
The art of Eddie Rehm may leave us uncomfortable, wondering if we’re on the right bus, in the right place, in the right zone or frame of mind. But we are left on the edge of our seats nonetheless and guessing what it is he’s searching and where it is he plans on taking us. Answers don’t come easy and unravel only if we allow for further contemplation and peer a little deeper beyond the familiar, beneath the draw of pretty and vibrant colors, of cartoon characters remembered from childhood, and at a distance and apart the raw and expressionistic graffiti gestures that harken our primordial past–our earliest memories–and we zoom instead on the uncomfortable, the questionable, the risqué, the ugly, the aggressive, the tattered and avert not our eyes from those things we wish not see–like a zit at the end of one’s nose–but zero-in and choose instead to embrace life’s warts and all and then–when standing in front an Eddie Rehm–you’ll know you’re at the right stop, in front the right painting or, better yet, find yourself wading knee-deep in a reflection pool way inside your mind’s eye only to discover your standing next an talented artist in perpetual motion and in constant flux ever searching for that something better and that something better is now on display at The Yard in the guise of powerful pictorial aspirations–portals almost–that bring the viewer vis-à-vis with eternal hope. Adversity be damned!
– Gregory de la Haba
Quiet Lunch is a grassroot online publication that seeks to promote various aspects of life and culture with a loving, but brute, educational tinge. When we say, “Creative Sustenance Daily,” we mean it.