Kellen Chasuk, Ryan DeLaval, and Laura Rokas
24 February - 25 March, 2023 Opening reception
Friday, 24 February, 6-8pm
Jack Hanley Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition featuring artists Laura Rokas, Kellen Chasuk, and Ryan Delaval. All three artists have ties to the Bay Area and are friends with Oak- land-based artist Alicia McCarthy, who has organized the exhibition.
Laura Rokas (b. 1989) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the fluidity of identity through class, gender and the inferred understanding of material hierarchy. Rokas uses drawing, painting, ceramics and textiles to create a dreamlike world where sinister characters and beautiful objects shift effortlessly through dimensions, at once dangerous and playful. Rokas’ dismembered avatars bounce through different mediums and moods, at times powerful and in control and others vulnerable and seeking comfort. Her images are drawn from a personal mythology that is rooted in art history, pop culture and craft, mingling flat forms with highly rendered figures. Patches, both hand sewn and vin- tage, adorn her works, signaling group affiliations, personal preferences and evoking 90s childhood nostalgia. Having mainly been exposed to folk art while growing up, Rokas has a deep appreciation for handmade objects and a make-do sensibility to art making. A self taught textile artist, these works meld utilitarian craft with her laborious technical fine art skills, retaliating against a culture that praises fast production and low quality over mindful expression.
Kellen Chasuk (b.1995) lives and works in the Bay Area. She has had solo exhibitions at Pacific North- west College of Arts as well as Stephanie Chefas Projects in Portland, Oregon. Her most recent solo exhibitions have been at Part2 Gallery in Oakland, California. Her work has been included in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. The work is born from the artist’s connection to the medium, as well as the need to process life’s internal workings externally. One’s ever-changing perspective is depicted through colors, textures, and shapes that negotiate with the canvas’ boundaries. The works reach for independence, but are woven together to create a more complete picture of the artist’s thoughts. They present a complete picture of often slippery and uncomfortable changing realities.
Ryan De Laval (b. 1987) lives and works in New York. He attended Laney College in Oakland, California and recent exhibitions include Public Access Gallery in New York, Perrotin Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Hit Gallery in San Francisco, CA. De Laval has created a body of work including works on paper and paintings on canvas that are, according to the artist, “taken from unfinished dreams, where you keep waking up just trying to get bits and pieces. Then you try and scribble it down as fast as you can so you can try to understand the full plan and the hidden messages you are trying to tell yourself.” The use of vibrant colors, mixed media, and jarring imagery incites a psychological response from the viewer. While the narrative may be disorienting, emotional resonance is the artist’s intended response.