Opened May 7, 2010
In his new solo exhibit, 'Plaid and Twill,' David 'Netherland' van Alphen combines his signature 'stereo heads;' creatures created via assembled images of electronics, fashion from 1970s men's magazines, added to landscapes and architectural pictures of the same era. These are employed to create graphic, modern montages of achievement, despair, and humor. On wood canvases, often painted with monochrome backgrounds in colors reminiscent of 1970s plastic furniture, van Alphen arranges and pastes images cut directly from their original sources. A meticulously applied thick coat of resin adds a yellowish, vintage hue.
By constructing subjects in which images of electronic equipment serve as expressionless heads atop '70s fashion models, van Alphen's compositions carry dual meanings. In 'Hillside,' is the business-suited stereo head looming above a home admiring its acquisition, or is its downward gaze lamenting it? In 'Metamorphosis,' is the stereo head, donned in an overcoat and walking away from a then-modern factory on a patch of grass and rocks reflecting upon an accomplishment of commerce, or lamenting the shrinking of the natural environment? Van Alphen's newest works, while continuing to utilize 1970s nostalgic imagery from his childhood, suggest modern themes of commercialism, materialism, and loss of self.