Michael Dayton Hermann
Michael Dayton Hermann
Baxter St at CCNY presents REconstituted, a solo exhibition of works by Michael Dayton Hermann. The artist’s new body of photographic work addresses the relationship between tradition and invention as potentially harmonious forces, even in today’s highly polarized social and political climate. The presentation, part of the Baxter St. Mid-career, Lens-based Artists Initiative, will be on view from March 5 – May 8, 2024 at the Baxter Street Project Space at 128 Baxter St, New York City.
This new body of work consists of color photographs that are digitally collaged, printed, drawn over,
re-photographed, digitally re-collaged, re-printed, and then painted. Borrowing visual language from traditional trompe l’oeil paintings and creating scenes defined by their unexpected turns, Hermann makes poignant queries into the “post-truth” world defined by a fundamental distrust of information.
Hermann’s decades-long practice has eschewed categorization and often embraces the inherent dichotomies of contemporary life. For Hermann, two seemingly disparate things can be true; the forces that bring us together can be the same forces that also hold us back, and the things that are familiar can always hold the potential for rediscovery. In his works, discarded trash is rendered sentimental, collective monuments turn personal, seemingly decorative objects become transformative, and missteps are embraced alongside victories. One of the presentation’s central works, ‘If You Break Me, I’m Yours’, begins with the funeral flag used for the artist’s deceased great uncle, a bombarder killed in action in WWII. This nationally significant symbol, imbued with intimate meaning, challenges the viewer to reflect on the funeral flag’s symbolic power on a personal level. The flag is thus positioned as both a symbol of inventive potential as well as a reminder of the power of tradition to overwhelm us. With REconstituted, Hermann reminds viewers that both building upon success and learning from failure are essential for growth and advancement in society, art, and technology.
New York based multidisciplinary artist Michael Dayton Hermann creates work that draws upon the inescapable bombardment of digital imagery to confront the familiar and examine the subconscious from unexpected perspectives. Hermann has exhibited consistently for the past 20 years following receipt of his MFA from Hunter College in NYC where he studied art theory with conceptual artist Robert Morris and executed his thesis under the advisement of Nari Ward. His polymath approach to life rejects easy categorization. He is as adept in his studio as he is in business, philanthropy, and public speaking aways centering the vital role visual art plays in society. He is the author of two books: Warhol on Basquiat and Andy Warhol: Love, Sex, and Desire and is a member of the board at Children’s Museum of Art. In his role at the Warhol Foundation, Hermann conceived Andy Warhol: Machine Made, a ground-breaking online auction of five unique NFTs presented by Christie’s, in addition to developing numerous high-profile Warhol projects including The Andy Warhol Diaries docuseries on Netflix and collaborations with Comme des Garçons, Dior, Tiffany, Absolut and many others, generating nearly $100M in revenue to support the philanthropic work of The Andy Warhol Foundation. More information: www.michaeldaytonhermann.com