Cross MacKenzie Gallery, in collaboration with Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, and Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans, presents this exhibition of photographs by the collaborating partners Matt Vis and Tony Campbell who practice as “Generic Art Solutions” on view during FOTOWEEK DC.
This New Orleans-based art duo use nearly every art medium as they examine the recurring themes of human drama and the (dis)functions of contemporary society. Always rooted in performance, they play every character in their work. In their more distilled “duets” we see something of a yin and yang (a balance between individuals that aren’t quite interchangeable), but in their more elaborate “stageings” the result is as epic as the subject matter itself. By combining Classical, Romantic, and Baroque compositional elements with contemporary pictorial techniques, they manage to illuminate the common thread that connects past histories with current events. This strategy creates something of a “Déjà Vu effect” that is often driven by the well-known works of art they reference.
In this dialogue between the past and present the viewer realizes several things: 1) that the history of art is inextricably political, 2) that human behavior repeats itself no matter how tragic or brutal, and 3) that this cycle of repetition must be broken so personal and societal progress can be made. Despite all this, their work contains a glimmer of hope and an element of levity. Washington DC’s extensive museum culture could very well be fertile ground for Generic Art Solutions’ passionate engagement with art history.