‘Two Places at Once’ Opens at Darger HQ

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January 12th, 2018

Omaha, NE—Tonight at Darger HQ, artists Garric Simonsen from Spokane, WA and Craig Roper based here in Lincoln, open their joint exhibition, Two Places at Once. Paired together by Darger’s Director, Launa Bacon, Simonsen and Roper will share the gallery space until March.

Much of Roper’s work is based in the American West. Landscape photography merged with sparse text gives the impression of signage on rural roads.

Simonsen is inspired by the story of his family who immigrated to the United States from Sweden in 1903. He works with photographs and postcards from the very beginning of the 20th century, reimagining portraits and collaging landscapes into something new.

“And a lot of the found photographs,” Simonsen said, “these are actually photographs of family and friends of family that I have digitally altered, scanned into a computer, blown up on oversized prints and worked on in an i Pad interface.”

Simonsen’s grandfather arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and the family exchanged postcards between the two countries. He still has over a thousand of those postcards and photographs from the States and Sweden that he uses in his work.

To get a better sense of Simonsen’s style, he has described himself as an “antipainter,” inspired by 20th century artist Joan Miro.

“It was a book I found. I think it was called Anti-painting [sic], and it was Joan Miro’s projects when he started identifying himself as resistant to the traditions of fine art, you know, ‘painting’ as being paint on canvas.

And how Simonsen puts it all together?

“I’ve worked outside of the realm of painting—digital painting, collage—it’s still like painting with these postcards, though, because you’re creating a landscape. In a way, you’re bringing in these different locations—there’s something about it that’s very close to the compositional approach to painting, and I’m definitely a process artist. What I mean by that is someone described it to me once is I’ll build a bunch of little campfires around me—speaking metaphorically—and I’ll tend to this campfire over here and throw a bunch of material into this and it’ll get bigger, and then it’ll get so big that it ends up being part of this other smaller campfire, and then they become one.”

Two Places at Once, featuring Garric Simonsen and Craig Roper will open tonight at 6pm at Darger HQ. At 8pm there will be an artist talk moderated by Josephine Fatima Martins. The exhibition will be on display until March 4th. For more information, visit DargerHQ.org.

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