I picked up a copy of Adbusters and came upon the work of artist Terry Rodgers, large-scale paintings of affluent youth, posing at parties in states of calculated undress, scenes that could equally come from a clothing catalog or a mainstream porn mag. It could be any night in the condos of Manhattan, after champagne bacchanal brunches in MePa, and in the luxury hotels that dominate the low-rises of the Lower East Side.
Are they critiques or celebrations? You decide.
from Standing Watch (click to see large, all may be NSFW)
"In this world of wealth, the survival of which depends on its subjects' obedient consumption, individuals are reduced to harboring superficial human relations. Fallen prey to desires that neither bodies nor available luxury seem to satisfy, each of the beings that crowd Terry's paintings is self-centered--the body on display and the gaze introverted. They all seem to have crafted their appearance so as to render it as sleek, chic, and delectable as possible. From their being only a marketable image remains, the one which will give them their life credentials in what Guy Debord has named the Society of the Spectacle.
Terry Rodgers gives us a taste of these ritual gatherings--festivals sans festivity--where participants seem to have abandoned life as a meaningful experience, and replaced it with a material enterprise. Petrified by the power of their own stare, they have become the lifeless idols of an era driven by consumption."
from Stealing Scenes
"Rodgers’s characters seem primed for an orgy, if they could only notice one another."
from Palace of Automorphic Delights
"My hope is that ultimately these paintings show fragile, genuine human beings trying to make something of what they are confronted with. Each of them is unique in their individuality—in their hair, their eyes, their lips, their hands—and they are all separately struggling and often finding merely surface solutions and ephemeral escapes to the timeless riddles of consciousness."
--Terry Rodgers, artist's statement