KYLE BEAL: FUNTOWN: FEBRUARY 19- MARCH 20, 2016
And you know that tilt-a-whirl down on the south beach drag
I got on it last night and my shirt got caught
And they kept me spinnin’
I didn’t think I’d ever get off
Bruce Springsteen – 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
The body of work that constitutes this exhibition is inspired and informed by a news story from 2013 about ‘Funtown Pier’, which in brief was a amusement park in Seaside Heights, New Jersey destroyed by a electrical fire months after having suffered heavy damage as a result of hurricane Sandy. Beyond the irony of such a named place suffering a double tragedy, this project speaks to a sense of the favouring of instant gratification over pragmatic investment. Of provisional architectures and solutions mistaken or perhaps wished to be permanent or longer lasting. Of fleeting pleasures and changing ideas of leisure. ‘Funtown Pier’ and its demise act as a bridge to early 20th century parks and their own roles in changing social behaviours and patterns as well as introducing what then were modern technologies. That early parks were also constantly burning due to electrical fires helps too.
Sourced from various websites, these images are rendered in charcoal and pastel on large paper. The low quality of the source images allows imagined detail, lack of detail, and spacial speculation to creep into the drawings all executed in quasi-realistic manner. Everything is there, but its a little off. Each drawing is framed in a colourful and complex frame that refers to the amusement park aesthetic, offering an important and distracting contrast to the depicted destruction.
MULHERIN Toronto is pleased to present FUNTOWN, new works by Kyle Beal.
Kyle Beal (born in Calgary, Canada 1978) holds a diploma from the Alberta College of Art and Design (2001) and MFA in visual art from the University of Victoria (2004). Beals studio based inquiry uses traditional media (primarily drawing) along with interactive electronic objects to explore ideas related to language, comedy and the space between authentic and affected behaviour. He has exhibited throughout Canada in solo and group shows, and his works can be found in a number of private and corporate collections. He has participated in residencies at the Vermont Studio Centre (VT, USA) and the Corbin Union Residency (BC, CA). 2015 featured his work in the exhibitions Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, AB), Electric Park at Douglas Udell Gallery (Edmonton, AB) as well as Roulette a solo exhibition at Truck Contemporary Art (Calgary, AB). Upcoming exhibitions include a commisioned work for the project space of the Esker Foundation (Calgary AB).