Settle Your Dust
CJ MAZZALUPO at Chashama “SETTLE YOUR DUST” January 29, 2022–February 20, 2022 Opening: Saturday, January 29, 6-8pm
“Settle Your Dust” is an exhibition of selected works from a two-year series that delves into our individual and collective search for understanding, freedom, and safety during the pandemic. Images of distance, connection, danger, and intimacy diverge and collide, reflecting humanity’s core instinct to survive in a time of great turmoil.
During the height of the pandemic, Mazzalupo found solace in a Brooklyn apartment with a quiet and tranquil backyard. However, living next door to a funeral home brought stark realities out the front door, day after day. These alternating views were the ultimate juxtaposition safety versus alarm, enclosure versus exposure. In the center of their apartment, equidistant from the yard and the street, Mazzalupo painted. Their process and work became about these energetic, visual, and emotional collisions. Layers, lines and texts are created and often concealed to reflect varying levels of awareness, the persistence of temporality, a lack of predictability, and the concept of time as amorphous. Each mark responds to the one before it either through seeking connection in overlap and collision, or seeking distance through distraction and retreat. Water is used to merge line and color while graphite gives a voice to moments of emotional release.
In 2007, Mazzalupo was diagnosed with optic neuropathy and their vision declined steadily for a decade, leaving them legally blind. After the completion of their 2018 series, “Thank You for Breaking My Heart,” CJ recognized that they could no longer work in the exacting and meticulous way they always had, as it now caused tremendous eye strain, difficulty, and frustration. They began to allow for more risk and error by renegotiating how their body engaged with their creative process. Through using their arms and torso instead of just their mind and hands, playing with distance from their surface while mark-making and applying paint, and standing instead of sitting, CJ met what had felt like a loss of control with a new set of tools: an experience very much reflected in the content and context of “Settle Your Dust.”
About the Artist: A mixed media painter, Mazzalupo has been working and exhibiting in NYC since 1994. Their work has surveyed topics such as the psychology of human behavior, the complexities of identity, and humanity’s relationship to the concept of apocalypse. Mazzalupo received their MFA from New York University in 1998, and their first solo exhibition was at NYC’s White Columns Gallery that same year. CJ had five solo exhibitions while represented by Mixed Greens Gallery in NYC from 2000-2012. Group shows include Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA: New Langton Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Artist’s Space, NYC; BLANK Studio, Brighton, UK; Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA; AMP Gallery, Provincetown, MA; Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA; and LaMaMa Gallery in NYC. Press includes The New York Times, Zing Magazine, France’s Art Actuel (featured artist), Art21, Gothamist, and Hyperallergic. Mazzalupo’s work has been presented at The Museum of Modern Art (NY), The School of Visual Arts (NY), and School of the Museum of Fine Arts (MA).
For more information about CJ Mazzalupo, visit cjmazzalupo.com.
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