Night Gallery is pleased to present The Earth Dies Screaming, a solo exhibition by Jake Kean Mayman. The exhibition will be his first with the gallery, and will be on view from March 18 through April 29, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 18.
Kean Mayman’s tightly-rendered oil paintings center on representations of culturally-held fears and anxieties. Lush color, localized to the hazy sunsets of Los Angeles, and meticulous composition belie an often sinister historical narrative that is the focus of each densely layered painting. Images of figures, events and relationships serve as underpinnings that attach a linear logic of history to the nebulous role of fear in the American psyche.
His process stems from research in which he follows the visual life of a public figure or event, compiling images that have been cycled through mass media. For Kean Mayman, researching these subjects in order to paint them is a way of understanding the past so that parallels may be drawn to the present, a striving to more accurately predict how current events will unfold. Motivated, in part, by a distrust of media channels, the research and the paintings become a mechanism for filtering through manipulated or withheld information.
The Earth Dies Screaming is the title of a 1964 sci-fi horror film, in which the characters face a multiplicitous apocalypse driven by popular fears of the time; it is also the title of a song released by the British group UB40 in 1980, in response to pro-Cold War actions taken by their country. The cyclical resurgence of the same shared fears over multiple decades and the subsequent reactions to those fears in pop culture bind the broad scope of Kean Mayman’s paintings, presenting a complex visual study of the capacity of images to seduce and manipulate.
Jake Kean Mayman (b. 1980, Los Angeles, CA) has exhibited at The Pit, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, and The Santa Monica Museum of Art, among other venues. He received his B.F.A. from New York University in 2003. Kean Mayman lives and works in Los Angeles.