Spencer Sloan also has color on his mind in his hyperkinetic photo-based collages, which suggest the innards of television screens exploding into a pixelated cloud of data. Sloan sources his original images from paparazzi photos of the rich and famous — Charlize Theron, Britney Spears, endless Kardashians — going about their ordinary business — if ordinary means having a flock of shutterbugs recording your daytime trip to the grocery store.
“Britney Spears — heading to the beach in Malibu 04.05.15” by Spencer Sloan, who’s part of the group show “On the Edge” at Spalding Nix Fine Art. Sloan’s big game is the glamorous life, though his conceptual hook is how he denies us the payoff.
Like Nordeman, Sloan’s big game is the glamorous life, though his conceptual hook is how he denies us the payoff and thrill of our 21st-century drug of choice: celebrity. Sloan’s arch titles — “Kylie Jenner — Shopping at Sephora in Calabasas 1/18/2015, II” and “Gwen Stefani — Leaving Paquito Mas restaurant in Sherman Oaks 4/17/2015”— tease us with a tantalizing brush with fame he never actually delivers. Sloan manipulates those original photographs and explodes them into a miasma of color and pattern. It’s as if he’s offering up the visual thrill of that original celebrity photo in abstracted form, turning fame into pure spectacle, in the process offering a poke in the eye to our obsession with celebrity culture.
“Studio Blackboard” by Lisa Tuttle is featured in the group show “On the Edge” at Spalding Nix Fine Art.
Another Atlanta artist, Lisa Tuttle, has long excavated family photographs in examinations of Southern history and race. A few of those images linger in “On the Edge.” But it is Tuttle’s more recent works that show some affinity with Sloan’s and Nordeman’s photographs. Tuttle’s abstract photographs take a single concept and turn it into a kaleidoscopic whir of visual information. In “Studio Blackboard,” meaning is scrambled, as phrases scribbled on a blackboard are mashed up into a collage of highlighted words like “regret” and “fulfillment.” In “Intersection,” a roadway is transformed into a repeated quadrant of inescapable madness. As in Sloan’s work, we struggle for the original context in this concrete maze. What Atlantan couldn’t relate?
“On the Edge”
Through April 15. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Spalding Nix Fine Art, the Galleries of Peachtree Hills, 425 Peachtree Hills Ave. N.E., Building 5, Suite 30-A, 404-841-7777, www.spaldingnixfineart.com.
Bottom line: Visual thrills abound in a group show focused on celebrity and the crazy whir of modern life.