February 15, 2013
The Phatory is pleased to announce Security Blanket exhibition of works by Joe Lewis which runs from February 2nd to March 9th, 2013 with an opening reception on Saturday, February 2nd, from 6-8:00.
For his first solo show at The Phatory, Joe Lewis explores through a series of textile works the ways in which our citizenry is beheld and expunged in the name of security. Ignited by the discovery of a political cartoon by Herb Block entitled “National Security Blanket,” depicting Richard Nixon wrapped in the American flag. Lewis began to explore the ways in which various incarnations of the flag have been galvanized by significant moments in US history. Concurrently he began researching official government documents only to find that many were redacted to such an extent that they appeared more artistic patchworks than sources of textual information. Stepping back to take a broader view, Lewis noted that the buildings in which these documents are housed - alleged bastions of intelligence and security - are similarly anonymous and opaque, emanating an indirect gaze with the ultimate power to observe and negate. Through the transformation of these found documents and images into art objects, Lewis challenges the viewer to appreciate the skill that it takes to render such topics into convincing catch phrases and illusions, and to ask how securely can one sleep under these blanketed statements.