Hey, Stranger: David Eichenberg, Amir H. Fallah, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Erik Olson, Carrie Riehl, L.J. Roberts, Kelli Thompson and Selina Trepp

November 21 - December 20, 2014
Opening: Friday, November 21, 6-9 pm

PLUG Projects proudly presents Hey, Stranger a group exhibition of works that share one commonality: the portrait as subject. The featured works speak to issues of social engagement, narcissism, individuality, and the act of observing in a modern selfie world. These topics are approached through a variety of media including embroidery, painting, photography, sculpture, and an interactive installation.

Artist Carrie Riehl has collaborated with artists Megan Mantia, Ross Redmon, Leone Reeves, Brandon Segelke, and Patrick Wolf to create an interactive photo booth complete with costumes, makeup, hair and props for the night of the opening.

About the Artists

David Eichenberg received a BFA in sculpture and painting from the University of Toledo. He has exhibited in the Outwin-Boochever National Portrait Competition 2009 (US NPG, Washington, D.C), The BP Portrait Award (UK NPG) 2010, 2011, and 2012, The Realism Biennial 2012 (US, Fort Wayne Museum) The Figurativas 13’ (MEAM in Barcelona, Spain). David is represented by the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in NYC, Fairfax Gallery in Hampstead, UK and GoFigurative in London, UK. http://www.davideichenberg.com/

Amir H. Fallah is interested in truthfulness and limitations, and his current body of work grapples with those issues in a way that almost seems backwards: by taking the mistakenly truthful photograph and converting it back into the always suspect, incontestably subjective medium of painting.” Exhibitions include shows at Weatherspoon Art Museum, The Sharjah Biennial 2009, LA Louver, The Third Line, Gallery Wendi Norris, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions, Cherry And Martin, 31 Grand, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, Mary Goldman Gallery among others. http://www.amirhfallah.com/

Paul Mpagi Sepuya has been Artist-in-Residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency (2009-2010), the Center for Photography at Woodstock (2010), Studio Museum in Harlem (2010-2011), and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (2014). Sepuya’s work is in the collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and his print zine series SHOOT (2005 – 2008) is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Modern Art Library, and the Fotomuseum Winterthur. He lives and works in Los Angeles. http://www.paulsepuya.com/

Erik Olson’s work reconfigures the traditional portrait in the manner of a collage with mismatched slivers that combine multiple gazes, or that rearrange one viewpoint, to create boldly geometric paintings, which ask the viewer how they observe themselves and others. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and has been a resident of The Banff Centre, the Emma Lake Artist Residency, and the Sanskriti Artist Residency. He is represented by BravinLee Programs (NY, USA), Michael Gibson Gallery (London, Canada), and Douglas Udell Gallery (Edmonton, Canada). http://erikolson.ca/

Carrie Riehl constructs figurative and environmental narratives to exploit contemporary social and economic policies. She explores the ideas of the millennial in the face of destruction of values of prior generations, spoiled by bubble crashes and exorbitant expenditure—a culture that is commercialistic, not materialistic. The materials which represent this commercial obsession are accessible yet intangible through the Internet. A visual portrait of the Internet is created through images uploaded daily. Subjects are explored through symbolic props and relative figures to sociological demographics. Portraits of faces and spaces exemplify or make these standards defunct. Riehl graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2014. http://carrieriehl.com/

L.J. Roberts holds a MFA in Fine Arts and MA in Visual and Critical Studies from California College of the Arts. Their studio practice primarily consists of large-scale site-specific knitted installations created with children’s toy knitting cranks and detailed embroideries that explore the intersections of feminist queer and trans politics, activism, collective action, community, and protest. Their work has been written about in such publications as The New York Times, Artforum.com, ART News, ARTPULSE, American Craft, Hyperallergic, Hand/Eye Magazine Surface Design Journal and The Journal of Modern Craft among other publications. http://ljroberts.net/

Kelli Thompson’s work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Art Voices magazine in New Orleans, The Northeast Regional New American Paintings, #86, Studio Visit magazine, and was mentioned in The New Yorker in January of 2013 for her work at A.I.R. Gallery’s Biennial Exhibition. She has had two solo exhibitions, both in New Orleans, and she has been included in many group exhibitions in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. Thompson currently lives and works in Ridgewood, Queens. http://kellithompsonart.com/

Selina Trepp’s work explores economy and improvisation. Finding a balance between the intuitive and conceptual is the goal, living a life of adventure is a way, embarrassment is often the result. Growing up in a commune in a conservative small town in Switzerland taught her that there is strength in the position of the outsider. Her work encompasses a variety of media (installation, video, drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture) and has been exhibited widely internationally. Awards and honors received include the Swiss Art Award and the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. http://selinatrepp.info/

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