Begin Transmission is a two-person exhibition featuring individual and collaborative artworks from Tim Okamura and Chris Marshall that investigates the power and importance of visual, linguistic, and spiritual communication between male and female assertions; between people of diverse ethnic backgrounds in a time of strife and social injustice; between tangibly physical and ethereal entities, and, of course, between the artists themselves.
“Begin Transmission” is the conceptual basis from which these two artists have begun their synergistic endeavors. Although working in different media as well as contrasting approaches that embrace both representational and symbolic content, a common ground has been discovered in the process – each piece a call and answer of sorts – and a conversation between sculpture and painting has arisen.
The looming, distorted, sculptural forms which will be on view are the work of Brooklyn-based artist Chris Marshall. Utilizing a wide range of media, including found objects both man-made and from nature, his work wrestles with the themes of masculinity and domestic normalcy, with a historical undercurrent both personal and societal. Marshall’s sculptural work is contrasted with the paintings of Tim Okamura, whose realist, portrait-oriented oils are an examination of identity and cultural juxtaposition in the contemporary urban environment.
Each artists’ individual work will occupy opposing space in the gallery, and meet in the center of the venue with site-specific collaborative works by Marshall and Okamura combined. Embodied in these pieces will be an exchange of ideas resulting in a great deal of experimentation, and a creative detour from their usual mode of operation. The collaborative pieces have allowed a reactionary relationship to form between the artists, with the other to inform and expound upon the initial impulse of whoever instigated the work. Though there was a working dialogue between Marshall and Okamura, the approach is similar to the tradition of the ‘Cadavre Exquis’ or ‘exquisite corpse” – pointing towards the complexities and nuances of the communication theme at the core of the exhibition.
Begin Transmission is proud to support NYC based anti-trafficking non-profit Beauty for Freedom(BFF). Okamura and Prinkshop are partnering on a limited-edition bag featuring Okamura’s artwork and 30% of the proceeds will be donated to BFF’s mission to end sex-trafficking and modern-day slavery.
Tim Okamura investigates identity, the urban environment, metaphor, and cultural iconography through a unique method of painting – one that combines an essentially ‘realist’ approach to the figure with collage, spray paint and mixed media. The juxtaposition of the rawness and urgency of street art and academic ideals has created a visual language that acknowledges a traditional form of story-telling through portraiture, while infusing the work with resonant contemporary motifs.
Born in Edmonton, Canada, painter Tim Okamura earned a B.F.A. with Distinction at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada before moving to New York City to attend the School of Visual Arts in 1991. After graduating with an M.F.A. in Illustration as Visual Journalism, Okamura moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he continues to live and work.
Okamura – a recipient of the 2004 Fellowship in Painting from the New York Foundation for the Arts – has exhibited extensively in galleries throughout the world, including the U.S., Canada, Italy, Japan, and Turkey, and has been selected nine times to appear in the prestigious BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.
Tim Okamura’s art is on display in the permanent collections of the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Toronto Congress Center, the Hotel Arts in Calgary, Canada, and Standard Chartered Bank in London, England. Celebrity collectors include Uma Thurman, musicians John Mellencamp, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (The Roots), director Ben Younger, as well as actors Bryan Greenberg, Vanessa Marcil, Annabella Sciorra, Hill Harper, and Ethan Hawke.
Chris Marshall – after having spent the bulk of his creative career in the two dimensional realm – has embraced a recent evolution into assemblage and sculpture that has been a defining phase of production for the artist.
Deconstructing notions of masculinity and domesticity, Marshall’s current work incorporates objects both man-made and naturally occurring – simultaneously aged, warped, and often dilapidated. Personal and familial history are intertwined into the spiraling dialogue that comprises the bulk of his creative efforts. Employing selective obsession with texture and materials as well as a jaded romanticism, Marshall creates a dark, subversive commentary on normative gender iconography as well as sedentary comfort.
Born in Spokane, Washington, Chris Marshall pursued careers in both art and athletics through college. After studying art in Italy as well as Scandinavia, he moved to New York in 2007, receiving his Masters in Painting from the New York Academy of Art in 2009. Marshall has been awarded artist residencies in Italy, Iceland, and Leipzig, Germany (in conjunction with the studio of artist Neo Rauch). He continues to live and work in Brooklyn, NY.
Marshall has had solo and group exhibitions in both New York and Los Angeles, and has shown internationally in Italy and Germany.