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The Best of Life | Opening
September 24, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
LOCATION: BAF Studio
DATES: September 24th to October 31th, 2015
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, September 24th at 7:00pm
Is nostalgia our own worst enemy? That’s the question Vancouver artist Jay Senetchko poses in his upcoming exhibition at the Burrard Arts Foundation titled The Best of Life, which seeks to examine the parallels between 1950’s and ‘60s North America and contemporary Western life, and how our memories distort our perceptions of both. The opening reception on September 24 from 7pm to 11pm continues Senetchko’s reputation for creating thought-provoking spectacle through a thematic combination of photo collage, paintings, installation, live performance, food and drink.
With The Best of Life, Senetchko invites the viewer to wade through confusing and sometimes contradictory information in an attempt to make sense of what they see. The images prompt them to come to terms with their relationship with the past and its affect on their present day decisions. Was the past really as rosy as we had remembered? Or are we facing the same challenges we always have? Politicians lying, nations at war, drugs, racial tension, family life… has anything really changed?
“We all have relationships to the past,” says Senetchko. “but whether these memories are positive, negative or neutral, they are all inaccurate. We distort events mentally as soon as they happen, and the further they recede into our private histories, the more distorted they become.”
Recurring themes of nuclear family, violence, racial tension, labour and leisure, the dreamlike aspirations of a 1950-60’s North America are presented, but never reached. Rather, they parallel many of the social tensions and obstacles we face today, but in unsettling, and at times nightmarish iterations. The images presented in The Best of Life are at once unbalanced, uncomfortable, familiar and unfamiliar as they embody the pathological nature of the North American dream.
About the Artist
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Jay Senetchko now lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a University of Alberta graduate (1997 – Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction) and spent several years as a professional soccer player in Edmonton and Montreal before pursuing entrepreneurial interests in Canada and the United States. In 2000 he moved to Vancouver and received a Diploma of Classical Animation from the Vancouver Film School in 2001. Primarily self-taught, his painting has been strongly influenced by apprenticeships with both Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. His work has exhibited since 2002 and shown in North and Central America and Europe.
Recent awards and events of interest include an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, shortlist for the BP Portrait Competition (2011, 2012, 2015), shortlist for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow publication (2013), shortlist for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2015), inclusion in the recently published The Nerdrum School (a collection of paintings by those who have apprenticed with the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum – 2013), and 1st place in the juried 2012 Painting on the Edge competition sponsored by the Canadian Federation of Artists.
He has been teaching life-drawing, perspective, composition, colour theory and art history at Vancouver Film School since 2002, and teaching painting privately since 2003. He recently finished creating and filming an online instructional video for Craftsy (www.craftsy.com) entitled Paint and Palette Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Oil Painting. He currently holds independent lectures on the arts in alternating locations throughout Vancouver.
Senetchko is also a founding member (2010) of the Vancouver-based figurative collective Phantoms in the Front Yard.