Not Your Average
November 12 – December 31, 2020
Not Your Average features work by Jenny Reinhardt and Ricky “Rico” Heeraman, two artists breaking out of social stereotypes by creating their own visual languages. Reinhardt’s vehemently feminist work rejects assumptions associated with the suburban-maternal, creating a style incorporating elements of traditional figure drawing, collage of heavily-loaded pop-culture stereotypes, screen-printing, abstract expressionist paint application, and a strong homage to aerosol, graffiti, and street art. These styles meld to create surprisingly symbiotic presentation of the chaos created when people are boxed-in to ideas, exploring, in her words, “sexism, materialism, consumerism, manipulative advertising, as well as personal joy, and loss.”
Bronx-born, Paterson, NJ-raised Ricky “Rico” Heeraman grew up inspired by the vibrant colors of urban graffiti, but surrounded by wealth inequity that “wouldn’t allow kids to dream.” While witnessing peers “becoming statistics for the inner city stereotype,” he eventually started to create art as a form of therapeutic communication addressing urban youth issues that “weren’t brought to society’s attention.” Entirely self-taught, he fuses an aesthetic based in street-art with mixed media elements such as spray paint, acrylic, found objects, and screen printing, creating a unique visual language marrying his own street art background with various artistic references, such as Banksy, Keith Haring, Basquiat, Retna, Andy Warhol, Dali, Rothko, Michelangelo, COPE2, Revok, KAWS, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Monet, RISK, OSGEMEOS, Dondi, Vhils, TAKI183, Ron English, and many others.
Each artist draws in viewers with bright colors, pop references, and an aesthetic heavily referencing street art, while incorporating their own voices and broader art historical references. Their work is not only united by this enigmatic approach to visual language, but also an active rejection to stereotypes about who they are or what their art should be about. Not only does this exhibition highlight new works by both artists, but also features an entire collaborative wall fusing both of their aesthetics, for it’s not their backgrounds that unites them, it’s their humanity.