Fidalis Buehler: Secret Camp - Are we there yet?

19 March - 7 May 2021 Modern West

“Image making becomes an act of playful conjuring – reassembling personal histories that embody fear, anxiety, mythology, dreams, revelations, magic, mysticism, and ritual. The images are essentially a self-portrait seen through various forms of expanded and contracted narratives giving place for the viewer to exam the stirrings of my mind.”

Modern West is pleased to present Secret Camp - Are we there yet?, a solo exhibition featuring the works of Fidalis Buehler. The show will be on display March 19 through May 7, 2021. An artist reception to celebrate the exhibition will be held March 19, from 6-8 pm. All are invited to attend.

 

Buehler’s artistic practice focuses on exploring manifestations of identity seen through the complexity of American culture and South Pacific traditions - calling attention to confrontations and conflicting realities. The narrative of his paintings straddle the line between levity and earnest devotion. Buehler explains, “Image making becomes an act of playful conjuring – reassembling personal histories that embody fear, anxiety, mythology, dreams, revelations, magic, mysticism, and ritual. The images are essentially a self-portrait seen through various forms of expanded and contracted narratives giving place for the viewer to exam the stirrings of my mind.”

 

Secret Camp-  Are we there yet? centers around the dynamic changes in social interactions as a result of predominant life forces. Responding to the coronavirus pandemic, Buehler’s awareness of the familial pod extrapolates to the variety of social groupings, intensified from the pandemic and into his artistic practice. Neatly divided human clusters all sheltering from an ongoing storm, the ensuing frenetic reactions multiply. 

 

In his latest body of work, Buehler employs his distinctive myth-making to create multilayered narratives. The exhibition highlights an eight by thirteen feet work on canvas titled The Big Hurt. The piece features a large bomber plane sporting war paint. A double entendre playing off the nickname of baseball player Frank Thomas, the subject oscillates between being the punisher and the punished. The Big Hurt becomes a moniker, teamed with the war paint, personifying the flying object. The plane flies, limping through the sky, forever suspended midair somewhere between victory and defeat. Exploring painterly magical realism, the narratives bounce, code switching though questions of what is of our reality and what is not. 

 

Based in Utah, Fidalis Buehler’s life story is a blending of two cultures - one being of Euro-American descent and the other of Pacific Island heritage. He exhibits in regional, national, and international exhibitions. Notable experiences include his participation in Urban Mythologies, Auckland’s NorthArt Center, New Mystics at the CUAC, Rose Colored Glass at the Katherine E Nash gallery at the University of Minnesota, Gallery Protocol in Gainesville, Florida and a publication with New American Paintings.