For Immediate Release:

*EDIT: The reception date has been moved up one day, and the exhibit has been extended an additional 5 days. See below.

David Chatfield, Where Are They Now: Gig #2

Where Are They Now, Gig #02. Oil and Toner Transfers on 25 Wood Panels, 45″x60″ 2023. © 2024 David Chatfield

Crested Butte: For three weeks only, Denver-based artist David Chatfield will exhibit part of his mixed-media series Where Are They Now? A group of six works will be shown for the first time at the Kinder-Padon Gallery at the Center for the Arts from April 2 to April 18, 2024.

Inspired by comparisons between the Great Recession of 2008 and the Great Depression, Where Are They Now? asks where individuals seen in Depression-era imagery would be in today’s economy. David wondered why solutions used to contend with the Depression were not being used to address the subprime mortgage crisis, especially as the causes were similar. The work is also informed by his experience as a disposable and itinerant creative worker, most recently as an Adjunct art instructor. He held four jobs simultaneously for about five years after the ’08 crash, including teaching at two colleges, and continues to teach at multiple institutions.

As he mined images from the past, he quickly came upon Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, and a Walmart Jersey fit all too perfectly. But because many folks have more than one gig, he asked, how many jobs does the Migrant Mother have these days? And where are present-day employment and bread lines? And who are the hobos of the gig economy?

Using toner transfers and oil paint to represent the different eras, David places the viewer between each and asks if and where the connections (or differences) exist. Toner transfers allow David to get to know the original images through hands-on interaction as well as enlarge them for more impact. Oil paint adds color to contrast the black and white photos but also texture, so the artist and his labor are present in the work.

David harnesses the iconic status of Dorothea Lange’s images to heighten his modern updates. Her images elicited so much compassion they inspired people to help victims of the Dust Bowl. David wants to similarly inspire today’s audience to find ways to help the working poor.

David says of the work, “This series is ten-plus years in the making, the initial idea arising all the way back in 2009. But economic uncertainty persists, and there seems to be an economic crisis every ten years or so. I want to remind people that whether or not there is a crisis, folks are out there working hard while also somehow broke. I’m ecstatic to finally see my completed vision on the wall and share it with you.”

Center for the Arts Kinder-Padon Gallery,
606 Sixth St.
Crested Butte, CO 81224
Amanda Whiteford, Curator

April 2nd to April 18th, 2024.

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4th, 5-7 PM

*Usage: All images © by David Chatfield, 2024. Images are provided exclusively to the press and only for publicity purposes for the Where Are They Now? Exhibition. All published images must be accompanied by the credit line provided and with copyright information, as noted. Please contact the artist for permission and credit info.