Nicholas Di Genova’s obsessive grid drawings and genetically-modified mutations appeared in Hi-Fructose vol.10 and it’s been awhile since he’s presented a new solo show for us to gawk over. See his newest work for yourself at New York’s Fredericks and Freiser Gallery to better view the immense detail and check out a special preview and mini-interview with the artist here.
Hi Nicholas, can you tell us a little about the show you’re exhibiting?
This show is more important, to me on a personal level anyway, than any show I’ve done in the past. I was very intimidated to try to do a second solo show in NYC. My first (back in 2006) went pretty well, and I felt like there was a lot of pressure to make the second show better, but also quite different, than the first. Because of this I made the decision to change a lot of elements from the first show. Instead of having tons of pieces (the previous NYC show had 50), I decided to pare it down a bit and spend more time on each (there are 14 pieces in this show, one of them took over a year of full time work to finish). Also, the first show was very colorful. I did it right at the height of when I was going crazy for bright colors and going nuts over a lot of what was coming out of Japan (particularly Takashi Murakami). This time around, I wanted to simplify my materials, to focus on just trying to make the strongest drawings possible; I wanted to do complex drawings with simple materials… That’s why the whole show is done in black ink on white paper… I feel this gives the show a bit more of a traditional look. The show is also much more organic, I don’t think there is a single element in any of the pieces that is not biological, where in the past I was really interested in drawing machinery and objects.
Are there any relevant themes that have emerged from this new body of work?
I’m not sure if there are new themes present in this show, but I do think that the tone is very different, and I think that this work is a little truer to my personality than some of my earlier stuff…
On the flower grid piece, where did you find a few hundred different flowers to draw?
The flower piece (all of the grid pieces actually), was drawn from photo references. The smaller grids were a bit easier, but the large butterfly piece (20 009 butterflies) was more difficult. It was hard to gather the willpower to work on it everyday, and difficult to find that much source material… When I was working on it my studio was filled with stacks and stacks of butterfly references.
Nicholas Di Genova
Thursday Feb 4th, 6-8pm
Fredericks and Freiser Gallery
536 W 24th Street