December 13, 2017 - January 27, 2018
The gallery is delighted to present Scott Alario: Soft Landing, the Providence, Rhode Island-based artist's third solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will include five new 32 x 24 inch photographs, printed as dye sublimation prints, and three collages made collaboratively by Alario and his wife, artist Marguerite Keyes. An artist book featuring full-color images of the works is available.
Five photographs feature Alario and Keyes' 3 1/2-year old son Marco as the performer, and narrate a familiar vignette in science fiction: a human reacts to the site of a ship landing onto earth from outer space. The scenes are conveyed as child's play: The spaceship is a toy ice cream truck. The Martian invader is a lizard, directed across the surface of an oil painting by a child's tiny hand. Marco performs three different reactions-action, fear, and surprise.
Soft Landing developed from Alario's childhood fascination with comic books during the 1980s and '90s. In his recent adult life, the artist noted an obvious machismo in the books' character-based narratives, including images of buff male superheroes and hyper-sexualized women. His photographs explore removing the traditional sense of masculinity inherent in the superhero narrative, a process that Alario and Keyes enacted literally within the small collages included in the show. As Alario discusses,
It's me revisiting my own childhood obsession, and wanting to protect my own son from this particular visual language, despite loving it too. The comic page of the '90s is a violent space
where boys (especially white) learned that the world would one day be theirs to manipulate with the limits of their perverse desires unchecked.
As other artists such as Richard Hamilton and the Independent Group, for example, explored the theme of science fiction in art during the Cold War period, Alario reprises this theme in today's climate. His images suggest that play itself can provide a way for families with young children to safely process complex emotions associated with outside fear, within the interior space of the home.
Scott Alario was born in 1983 in New Haven, CT, and lives and works in Providence, RI. He received a MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 and a BFA from the Masachusetts College of Art in 2006. Recent exhibitions include, Vernacular Spectacular, group exhibition, Gelman Student Exhibitions Gallery, Providence, RI, 2016, Surface to Air, Radiator Arts, group exhibition, Queens, NY, 2016, Love, group exhibition, LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2016, and Scott Alario: Ecstatic Consumption, solo exhibition, Kristen Lorello, New York, NY, 2016. He is the recipient of a 2016 TIS Books Essential Non-essentials Grant and a 2012 Fellowship Merit Award from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. His work has been discussed in The New Yorker, American Photo, Collector Daily, Time Lightbox, and Vice.com, among other publications.