Donald Fodness has been seeing double in the studio, from the looks of Duets, a series of drawings and bronze sculptures that make up his inaugural solo exhibition at David B. Smith Gallery in LoDo. As art fans who know and love his funny and grotesque imagery would expect, the new body of works blend everyday objects and Fodness’s trademark comic doodle-drawings to new heights of weirdness. But in this case, their impact will hit you, two by two.
Case in point: Fodness, who’s been casting in bronze since working in a foundry after high school, returns to the medium for a work titled “Mr. and Mrs. Manyheads” that consists of two columns of stacked mugs.
“I used kitschy figurative cups that have body parts, like feet and boobs and heads, dipped them in wax and cast them in bronze,” he explains. “The cups stayed in the interior of the wax core. They are still there, entombed inside the bronze.” In spite of their assigned designations, the stacks are essentially non-gendered, giving thought to gender dualities.
The drawings begin with found source materials, such as album covers, magazine pages and VHS cases, overlaid with drawings, often in sets of two — two record albums, two figures on a poster, and so on. And intrinsic to each is the dichotomy of Fodness’s experience of his own imagination and laborious process in contrast to the viewer’s experience in the gallery. “Like the Internet, and a good soap opera, my art provides the viewer with a multiplicity of accessible inlets and sub-narrative paths to weave a tangled cosmos,” notes the artist in a statement.
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Duets opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 20, and runs through February 18 in the David B. Smith Gallery Project Room, in tandem with a two-person exhibit by Chris Oatey and Dylan Gebbia-Richards in the main gallery. Visit David B. Smith Gallery online for additional information.