This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Robert C. Jackson, “Crossing,” oil on linen, 2011

Gallery Henoch
555 West 25th St. between Tenth & Eleventh Aves.
Tuesday - Saturday through December 15, free, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm

One of our favorite shows of 2011 was Robert C. Jackson’s debut at Gallery Henoch in Chelsea, “From Ridiculous to Sublime.” The North Carolina–born, Pennsylvania-based painter is now back at Henoch with his second one-man presentation, simply titled “New Paintings,” which runs through December 15. A self-described “contemporary realist still life artist,” Jackson creates whimsical canvases filled with familiar edible items caught up in playful and sometimes dangerous situations. In “Crossing,” Oreo cookies are carefully making their way across a tightrope strung over a big bucket of milk. In “Might Need More Coffee,” a lone cup of java is surrounded by stacks and stacks of donuts. In “The Critic,” balloon dogs hover over sharp tree branches. Balloon dogs appear again in “High Stakes,” playing cards, smoking bubble pipes, and partaking in shrimp, clams, and cocktails. And in “Payload,” a rocket ship carrying a red apple is about to take off, lit by a green apple with a burning match. Other oil-on-linen works feature watermelons, oranges, and popcorn, most also including stacks of classic food and drink crates that symbolize an old-fashioned America that doesn’t really exist anymore. “By infusing inanimate objects with a personality,” Jackson explains in his artist statement, “I am able to explore the human narrative outside of personal biases.” He wants the viewer to take each painting, which reference such diverse artists as Paul Cézanne and Jeff Koons, and run with it, expanding the story being told and imagining what would happen next. But most of all he just wants people to have fun with the works, and we can attest that they are indeed a whole lot of fun.

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