As we struggle to remember the specifics of a certain memory, some of the edges come into focus, sharp and well defined. Other details are hazy and remain tantalizing, just beyond our grasp. A photograph—presenting a two-dimensional representation of an exact moment in time—would seem to contain the truth of a memory, but often stands in opposition to our recollections. Add the fact that photography is so frequently altered in subtle (or dramatic) ways, and the nature of reality becomes perplexing and malleable.
In a body of work based on the Zapruder film of 1963, Richard Neal builds on the images of a tragic event that altered the trajectory of modern history. He builds with charcoal, oil, collage, and blown-up photographic stills from a moving picture, manipulated and printed on canvas. In presenting the tenderness and horror of a specific moment, Neal also examines the limits of visual perception. Can an exact line be drawn between what is real and what is abstract?
Working on paper, Mylar, canvas, wood, and aluminum, Jackie Reeves spills and splatters, pours and drags to build images that evolve from contemporary and historic family archives. Her paint pours often form slow-moving, aqueous pools, while pulls and drags can remove entire areas. The resulting images emerge and dissolve at the same time. Concerning memory, she asks, “How are our lives defined by what we experience and remember? What is the nature of our existence when those memories fade or disappear altogether?”
1st photo: West Wind, oil on aluminum, Jackie Reeves (left) Frame 313, oil and glass on panel, Richard Neal (right)
2nd photo: Birthday Wish, oil on canvas, Jackie Reeves
3rd photo: Study Frame 313, charcoal on paper, Richard Neal