Saturday, April 6, 2013

Beer with a Painter: Jane Dickson

Originally published on Hyperallergic Weekend, April 6, 2013
Jane Dickson, "LV63 (Pink Video Poker)" 36x48 inches
Jane Dickson, “LV63 (Pink Video Poker).” Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 inches.
Jane Dickson is best known for her nocturnal cityscapes of the old Times Square — peep shows and porn parlors — but she has also mined subjects such as Las Vegas, Coney Island, American highways, demolition derbies, and suburban homes. She often paints on alternative supports like carpets, vinyl, sandpaper, and Astroturf.
The pixelation of the image she achieves with these surfaces, and the implied feeling of distance, could be mistaken as a commentary on modern detachment. However, it is more reflective of Dickson’s attitude, a non-judgmental form of observation that creates space for projection and reflection. Being with Dickson is similar: I distinctly remember feeling like a tourist in my own city during a studio visit and midtown Korean barbecue dinner when we first met in 2000. During our recent conversation, I felt compelled to share my own stories of Times Square, then to see it anew after our time together.