CMYK (a small part of something larger)

Stephen Andrews

November 1 - November 24, 2001

Paul Petro Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of our new location and the exhibitions of new work by Toronto-based artist Stephen Andrews.

For the last year Andrews has been working on a project entitled a small part of something larger. It is a continuation of a series of crowd scenes called hoi polloi. That series of images was taken from a zoom shot of a fictitious surveillance video tape. It investigates the idea of an individual singled out by a camera and is interested in that moment when an individual disappears into the crowd. These works shift Andrews' concerns from the self to the social and from the body to the body politic.

Andrews uses the motif of film as a formal device. A facsimile of a film strip, using both drawing and photocopy transfers to achieve its effect, achieves a picture of time stopped so that a minute can be seen teased apart into hundreds of component pictures. And since films are never without their attendant promotional materials Andrews has produced a preview trailer for the "film" in the form of paintings based on images from the "film" which refer to posters or billboards.

C M Y K is an acronym for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These are the four process colours used in commercial printing. A full-colour image is separated into its four components and broken down into a halftone. Anyone who has looked closely at a billboard or magazine image will be familiar with the patterns of dots that are the building blocks of colour reproduction, a mechanical pointillism that brings to mind popular media representations.

The discourse around AIDS and its representations has been central to Andrews' work for some time now. The latest work looks for ways to depict this treatment cocktail moment. Now that some have been "resurrected", starting over is a complex set of negotiations. A small part of something larger is about imagining a future, a simple thing but something impossible for those affected to consider a couple of years ago.