Painted with his signature airbrushed haze, Brad Spence’s new show, titled “(figs.),” grows on you, so be sure to spend some time in the gallery. The subjects are deceptively simple: the sun shining through a bit of chain-link fence or an empty stairwell; subjects that are, as the press release suggests, “reminiscent of a cinematic dream sequence.” It’s easy to linger in front of one, perhaps because of the necessary time it takes to attempt to focus and then let the eye resolve the fuzzy image. But then, tellingly, the ambient sounds of the passing cars, the wailing sirens, and the far away ravens cawing, become the soundtrack of the painting. These images operate not so much as movie stills as fragments from one’s own memory - it’s as if Spence has accessed a collective memory - like the ones implanted in the replicants in Bladerunner (Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Bergamot Station).
- Jeannie R. Lee