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Johannes DeYoung, Ego Loser, 2012

Johannes DeYoung: Ego Loser
Steffani Jemison: Such is Your Luck
Phil Lique and Laura Marsh: Half Off
Opening Reception Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 6-8 PM

Hartford, Connecticut - Real Art Ways opens three exhibitions Thursday, April 19, 2012 during Creative Cocktail Hour.

Ego Loser, by Johannes DeYoung, explores shifting identities in a series of short videos.
Such is Your Luck, by Steffani Jemison, investigates how luck, faith and accidents impact moments that matter and make up a person's life.
Half Off, an exhibition curated by John O'Donnell of work by Phil Lique and Laura Marsh. Half Off examines experiences and products of American consumer culture through sculpture, works on paper, video and documented performance.

Johannes DeYoung's videos are essentially portraits. The characters in his videos occupy dream spaces that reflect, distort and magnify reality. Ego Loser features composite animations of talking heads that spout affirmations, esoteric advice, spam, and legalese from online sources. Humor is an entry point in the work: absurd narratives expand to confront failure and mortality.  The final results are images and sounds that teeter between humorous and grotesque.    

Steffani Jemison's
Such is Your Luck is concerned with the ways that we make sense of the matter of our lives—the values and the raw materials; the episodes, the contingencies, and the accidents.

Several pieces in Such is Your Luck are part of a larger body of work that uses an inspirational text, "If I Could," as the starting point for interventions. This body of work began, in 2009, when Jemison read an article in the Chicago Sun Times about the brutal beating and murder of Derrion Albert. The family struggled to understand how their honor roll student's life could have ended in such violence. His grandfather said Derrion spent most of his evenings studying. He had copied a poem called Affirmations for Living and posted it where he could view it while doing homework. Each phrase begins, If I could…, and the final line triumphantly concludes, If I could…and I can…so I WILL! The Chicago Sun Times reported that he was a victim of random violence; he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Laura Marsh and Phil Lique share a similar focus: to critique misguided American inclinations. Half Off treads the line between patriotic nostalgia and dissonance. The artists overtly employ icons such as sneakers, twenty-dollar bills, the American flag and decorative patterns to reference consumer illusions and product promises. A blind celebration of the American way informs their work as notions of discounts and deals are positioned in relation to ideals and identity.

"When looking at Laura and Phil's work I was immediately struck by the perfect balance of profundity and superficiality. Subtlety is not the aim; dissonance is rarely subtle." – John O'Donnell, Visual Art Manager at Real Art Ways

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 6-8 PM as part of Creative Cocktail Hour, Real Art Ways' monthly third Thursday gathering. Creative Cocktail Hour is from 6-10 PM; admission is $10/$5 Real Art Ways members.

Ego Loser, by Johannes DeYoung and Such is Your Luck, by Steffani Jemison, will be on view through Sunday, June 17, 2012. Half Off, by Phil Lique and Laura Marsh will be on view through Sunday, July 8, 2012.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday, Sunday: 2-10pm
Friday-Saturday: 2-11pm
Closed Mondays

Gallery Admission:
$3 Suggested Donation
Free for Members and Cinema Ticketholders


Johannes DeYoung received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Working primarily in video, his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Detroit, MI; and Melbourne, VIC Australia. His work has been featured in publications including The New York Times, The New York Post, Artnet Magazine, NYArts Magazine, and Artworld Digest. DeYoung has been a participant at Flux Factory in LIC Queens, NY and a recipient of the Ora Lerman Trust Artists Residency. He is currently a lecturer at the Yale School of Art.

Steffani is the 2011-2012 Ann Plato Fellow at Trinity College, in Hartford, where she teaches in the Studio Art Program.

Steffani Jemison received a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2011, her collaborative exhibition, Steffani Jemison and Jamal Cyrus: Alpha’s Bet Is Not Over Yet, was presented at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Other recent and forthcoming exhibitions include the Studio Museum in Harlem (2012) and the Bronx Museum of Art (2013). Steffani has participated in artist residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Project Row Houses, and the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; she is currently a Van Lier Fellow at the International Studio and Curatorial Program.

Steffani is the editor of Future Plan and Program, a publishing project featuring literary works by visual artists. With Future Plan and Program, she has published four books, edited two collaborative publications, and presented readings at ThreeWalls, Southern Exposure, Project Row Houses, the African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture.

Phil Lique is a New Haven, CT based mixed media artist and professor. His work reflects on consumer interests, politics, the Internet and restaurant culture. Lique received his M.F.A. from Western Connecticut State University (Danbury Ct) and his B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Paier College of Art (Hamden CT).

Laura Marsh is a New Haven, CT based mixed media artist and professor. Her works explore the constraints of female beauty, mass media, and political identities. Marsh works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, sculpture, and video. Marsh received her M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art in 2009, her B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2006, and is currently a professor-in-residence at the University of New Haven.


Press Contact:
Sarah Brozna

860.232.1006 x114

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor Street
Hartford CT 06106

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, 2-10 PM;
Friday and Saturday 2 PM-11 PM. Closed Mondays.

Cinema open daily.


Real Art Ways is one of the leading contemporary arts organizations in the United States, with a record of linking artists, innovation and community. Programs include visual arts, with exhibitions, public art projects, and artist presentations; cinema, with independent and international films 7 nights a week; music; performance; literary events; community and educational programming.