Vincent Dermody

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Artist Statement

I want to make vernacular work in a way that isn’t ironic and I’m not embarrassed when my kitsch shows. In the past I worked primarily in painting, photography, and performance, but I’ve been obsessively developing the volatile, sculptural collage technique of the “memory jug” since 2014. The endless layering has been a consistent feature of my work over the last decade, but in the sculptures the process of burying found and collected objects in concrete has given the palimpsest a material anchor. The memory jugs are a scrapbook of my failures, anxieties, and dreams. They are grave markers dedicated to mental illness and alcoholism, but they are more about healing than grieving, and they owe much of their power to magical thinking.

“Magical thinking is not itself a mental illness,”[1] it’s an animator, a meaning-machine, an interpreter of signs.” Magical thinking assigns cause where none can be shown, associates events and objects through sympathy and contagion, and welcomes miracles, divinations, and reliquaries for the reverent. It slips between the cracks and illuminates the places where we need to heal.

In a 2003 performance and installation, I symbolically buried myself so that I could come back and go about the everyday living on as an artist. I knew that shedding my skin and the death of my parents at 27 was ludicrous, but it has taken much longer to recognize that my work isn’t about the dead, it’s about the living. The fragments aren’t shattered, isolated pieces, they are part of a longer narrative: The beer bottles I drank alone in the middle of the night and subsequently transformed into art are part of the work I’ve been imagining since I was 12. They are mystical artifacts linking distant places and times, organizing the traumatic and poetic fragments of a bipolar mania.

CV

 

EDUCATION
2008
MFA, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
1996
BFA, The School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL

SOLO SHOWS
2011
Unretouched: Proof, The Storefront, Chicago, IL
2010
Dick Dermody’s Invincible, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
2003
You’re Still Under 30, Suitable Gallery, Chicago, IL
2001
33 Jobs, T.B.A. Exhibition Space, Chicago, IL

TWO-PERSON SHOWS
2016
Time and Material: Joseph Dolinsky and Vincent Dermody, Shrine Gallery, New York, NY

SELECT GROUP SHOWS
2016
Twelfth Show: Abstraction, EDDY’S ROOM, Brooklyn, NY
2015
I Amaze Myself, Common People, Brooklyn, NY
Robert Davis feat. Law Office Presents, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico
2014
CEMETARIUM, Regina Rex Gallery at Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL
2012
The Physical Impossibility of a Hangover in the Mind of Someone Drinking, Hills Esthetic Center
2011
Eraser, curated by Rachel Furnari, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
Brief Histories, curated by Fawz Kabra and Isak Berbic, University of Sharjah, UAE
Heads on Poles, curated by Scott Wolniak and Paul Nudd, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL
2008
MFA Thesis Exhibitions, Gallery 400, Chicago, IL
Various Photographs, curated by Tim Barber, New York Photo Festival, NY
Fun Gun, curated by Brad Troemel, Satan Satin Gallery, Chicago, IL
2006
The World Is Flat, Galerie Lifebomb, Berlin, Germany
Tiny Vices, curated by Tim Barber, Studio Bee, Tokyo, Japan
2005
New American Talent 18, curated by Dominic Molon, Arthouse at the Jones Center for Contemporary Art, Austin, TX
2004
Drunk Vs. Stoned, General Store at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York, NY
2003
Pretend TV, curated by Kirsten Stoltmann, La Panadería, Mexico City, Mexico
1999
Art 1999 Chicago, Galleri Andreas Brändström, Stockholm, Sweden
A&E, Chicago Project Room, Chicago, IL
2001
Hot Sauce, curated by Law Office, T.B.A. Exhibition Space, Chicago, IL, Diverse Works, Houston, TX

SELECT CURATED SHOWS
2015
Bitches Brew: Bastard: Son of Hot Sauce: Gracie Devito, Hannah Lees, and Dawn Kasper, Law Office, Newd Art Show, Brooklyn, NY
2003
Fountain of Youth, Law Office, Locust Projects, Miami, FL
2002
Gentle On My Mind, Law Office, Chicago, IL
Bastard: Son of Hot Sauce, Law Office, Chicago, IL
1999
Ten White Male Painters Paint the Same Painting, Rainbo Club, Chicago, IL

SELECT PERFORMANCES
1999
Lucky Pierre, Swiss Institute, Rome, Italy
1998
I (re) Married Wyatt Earp, Lucky Pierre, Chicago, IL
1996
No No I Was Sleeping You Know, Lucky Pierre, Chicago, IL

RESIDENCIES
2008
Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL; (Artist-in-Residence, July-August)

PRESS
2008
Furnari, Rachel. “Profile of the Artist: Vincent Dermody” New City. 7-3-08, p.15
2004
Moreno, Gene. ”Fountain of Youth (Law Office Interview)” The Breeder Magazine. Athens, Greece
2003
Yood, James. ”You’re Still Under 30.”Artforum, October. p.176
Cotter, Holland. “Presents for the viewer, not all of them kindly.” The New York Times, 2-7-03
Ocana, Damarays. “Law & Disorder.” Miami Herald, 1-26-2003.  Arts p.2
2000
Erickson, Karl. “A&E.” Flash Art. May-June 2000. p.74