I met Adam years ago as a co-worker, and I was thrilled when I first saw his art. At the time he was working on a series of photo-realistic paintings of mice. I loved the way that several of the paintings were meticulously rendered, but in a way that maintained the snapshot aesthetic of the original photo he used source material. In 2007 I went to the opening of his show Use Only As Directed, and was blown away by the work, in particular the painting “Drink” which showed a young woman in a swimming pool drinking from a bottle of cough syrup.
This past summer Stennett spent a month living in seclusion in a small shack he constructed on a derelict- racetrack-turned-private-golf-course in Long Island. Part performance, part studio lock-in, part endurance challenge, Stennett’s tenure in the Artist Survival Shack produced an incredible group of paintings, screen prints, ready-made objects, two working potato guns, and a variety of other ephemera. For the culminating exhibition Survival, Evasion and Escape (The Artist's Studio), at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Stennett relocated the shack to the gallery to serve as an installation for display alongside the work produced while in residence.
“Based in the artist's struggle to carve out time and space to make artwork in an economically challenging environment, the Artist Survival Shack and the works produced within are a study in what is really necessary for an artist to live and thrive. At once both serious and absurd, the Artist Survival Shack calls attention to the outsider/outlaw role artists have traditionally been accorded by society. The project draws an implicit and uncomfortable parallel between the activities of the solitary artist pursuing his vision and those of the lone madman plotting havoc. It raises varied themes- ranging from environmentalism, green design, sustainable agriculture, visionary states, and utopia, to paranoia, separatism, surveillance, security, economic collapse, and apocalypse- and holds them all in an uneasy tension.” –via adamstennett.comBelow are a few pictures of the shack and some of the paintings he made while in residence.
You can see more images and read about his experiences while in the shack on the project journal site. There are also some great interviews and articles HERE and HERE.
I also recommend you check out his website adamstennett.com to see much more of his work.
(Images of work and the shack in action are courtesy of adamstennett.com)