The substance of Joey Brock’s work is oriented around self-acceptance and self-love, something that had eluded the artist for many years while coming of age as gay in a small Texas town. Seeking to offer a voice to Americans who are not often heard, Brock utilizes multiple applications including photography, sculpture, collage based photos, light box installations, video and sound to portray his ideas. His subjects’ personal stories and accounts become the spirit of the work as Brock explores various identities in the hope of inspiring deeper empathy. In America invites viewers to confront societal norms and challenge perceptions and perspective biases.
“The exhibition ‘In America’ was first conceived in 2018 when I was searching for a more fulfilling and meaningful art practice. During my participation in the M. David & Co. artist residency in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I created a self-portrait. Growing up the grandson of a Baptist Minister in small town Texas, I wanted to express how being gay affected my psychological and emotional development. The actualization of authenticity, self-acceptance and self-love had eluded me for fifty years — stemming from my feelings of isolation, lifelong confrontation with prejudice and not assimilating with what society deemed as acceptable.
“The thing about our pasts — they will follow us around until we address them and let them go. The genesis of my self-portrait was instrumental in finding my voice and in turn, starting a social practice called the One Portrait Project. All are invited to participate, and to date I have engaged with almost 60 people, from all walks of life, age 24 – 86. The conversation involves asking each person the same questions about their experiences with discrimination, actively giving voice to, and creating a narrative for Americans not often heard. A photo is taken to document the process. I’ve utilized the medium of photography as a vehicle to realize this artistic endeavor to capture real faces and their personal stories.
“‘In America’ is a multi-media installation of photography, audio, video, sculpture and photo collage. The title is a direct reference to Robert Frank’s iconoclastic and revolutionary book of photographs ‘The Americans’, which seems more relevant now than ever. The interviews, along with each portrait have been compiled to share now with a broader audience, with the hope of finding greater empathy from exploring identity & challenging our perceptions.”
Joey Brock: In America
Exhibition Dates: September 26 through October 31, 2020
Opening: September 26, 2020 with ticket (see website for information)
1501 S. Ervay St.
Dallas, TX 75215