Steven Pestana: Collectors
Septemeber 6 - 19, 2019
Friday, September 6th, 6-9pm
Exhibition walk-through with Steven Pestana:
Friday, September 6th, 7:30-8pm
Space 776 is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in Brooklyn by artist Steven Pestana as part of its open call program from September 6 - 19, 2019. In our era of data, his new works in Collectors, turns an eye toward data collection and transformation — a crucial facet of everyday life that we often take for granted. "Data" begins as an ambivalent mass of undefined phenomena. It is collected by a specialized instrument or method, transmitted via another process, and deciphered via yet another process. Pestana sees parallels between this and how we translate ordinary phenomena and stimuli into more articulate thoughts, ideas, and communication as we go about our daily routines.
The objects in Pestana’s exhibition range from drawings and paintings to artworks which harness ephemeral phenomena like natural light. Sculptures evoke antennas, vessels or visual displays. Paintings and drawings exist in an ambiguous zone between tools, documents or artifacts of the collection process. By resembling a thing - a collector, a receptor, or record - without directly referencing any recognizable real-world object, Pestana draws our attention towards the strangeness of those actual objects in everyday life and our own participation in that economy.
Dispersion Window continues Pestana’s explorations of the use of classical motifs as a vocabulary used to enshrine and thus legitimate knowledge as authoritative. Adhered to the gallery’s storefront window, Dispersion Window is made of diffraction grating - a film used to disperse light into the colors of the spectrum - and evolves with the sunlight’s movement.
Receptors is a pair of prongs that call to mind an antenna or perhaps a dowsing rod, appearing ready to receive. Thought Nimbus, Mid-Registration is a hazy image draped formlessly between two supports. Painted in dye on semi-translucent silk, it captures the in-between stage of ambivalent information as it comes together into a discrete image.
Phase Realia via Memory Tiles (An Idea Becomes an Ideal City) incorporates various instruments which appear to perform a telescopic function. A small display case contains artifacts which may somehow be the product of the observation process: an ideal city modeled after a utopian layout envisioned by Renaissance architect Vincenzo Scamozzi.
With a title echoing the nomenclature of the supposedly mad scientist Wilhelm Reich's orgone machines, Pure Phase Accumulators is a progressive series of ceramic vessels. Pestana imagines them as containers for raw information, yet to be deciphered.
Ernst Mach Notating the Coalescence of a Fanciful Idea references the scientist-philosopher’s own self-portrait of himself perceiving himself (1886). Pestana places the Mach’s portrait in a surreal landscape with Mach taking note of the abstract forms assembling before him.
About Steven Pestana
Steven Pestana is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. He earned his BA in Art History from NYU and his MFA in Digital Media from RISD. He has exhibited in numerous venues including the Rubin Museum, Knockdown Center, Spring/Break Art Show, Satellite Art Show, BRIC, Invisible Exports, Grin Providence, and Rhode Island College. He was the recipient of a Puffin Grant for Fine Arts and has attended residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Mass MoCA, and Santa Fe Art Institute. Steven Pestana also indulges his love of writing as a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.
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