Jesse Amado: 30 Day Rx
Ruiz-Healy Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new works by Jesse Amado. 30 Day Rx opens Thursday, April 30th with an artist reception from 6—8 pm. Amado will also be in attendance for an Artist Talk moderated by independent curator, Patty Ortiz, Saturday, May 9th at 1:00pm.
Jesse Amado works in the space between life and art. His artwork is conceptual and formal. He explores the aesthetic essence and significant existence of tangible objects, intangible notions and individual experience. A reader and student of English literature, he has used the elements of written language in his work, letters as sculpture and words as design. He has investigated each letter, word or phrase as if it carried a spirit, always reflecting its past and inherent character. He has the ability to cut through the ordinary context of common objects (including words) and reveal their innate physical beauty. He catches us off guard by exaggerating small things, shrinking the big, glorifying the ordinary, and disrupting the precious, reminding us that the aesthetic experience happens only when our senses are popped open and our preoccupations with life disappear.
The works in 30 Day Rx are informed by Amado’s recent personal experience with illness and prescription drugs. Focusing on the gamut of ways that pharmaceuticals inflect our daily lives, Amado reveals the beauty, power, and consequences of living in bodies consisting of, and charged with, chemicals. Faced with boredom or death, there’s always a doctor on hand to write a script for relief. Take a dose.
Amado recently spoke about pills, and their capacity for maintaining and managing the complex array of physical, chemical, and psychic mechanisms that makes up our bodies. He recognizes the tremendous benefits of medication in treating disease, relieving pain, curing infection, and simply getting us back on our feet. But he also sees the flip side of chemical manipulation. As easy as drugs can put life back together, they can quickly tear it apart.
Amado’s Tablet series consists of an orderly succession of similar, but distinct, pill shapes. The seemingly identical pattern is a 1960s Minimalist ploy that encourages the eye of the viewer in its natural tendency to automatically discern barely perceptible variations in form. The rigorously controlled presentation without compositional hierarchy both evokes the works of Donald Judd and echoes the assembly line of pharmaceutical mass production. The routine structure captures the medical prescription procedure of counting out size and frequency of dose. The insistent repetition also invokes the obsessive desire to have “just one more.”