“The cannibalistic process for my canvases feeds off a hectic and borderline violent studio where I prime raw canvases by throwing them into expanses of studio detritus and let them develop patinas over the course of months.”
Paul Weiner has appropriated various icons of American culture as tools in examining the social mores in a country heavily divided by political, economic, race and religious ideologies.
Throughout his career, he has often started new bodies of work as a result of an unsettling event. Weiner’s latest series focuses particularly on Americana, notions of entitlement and subversive separatist attitudes stemming from the 2016 Presidential election, have spurned a desire to search for further definitions of what it means to be an American.
Ol’ Glory, Ol’ Apologies
The works featured in the exhibition Ol’ Glory, Ol’ Apologies delves into American ideas of self-awareness, global identity and altered histories behind the repeat offenses of American stereotypes.
His current works relate to the American psyche during the rise of a menacing regime that threatens international violence as well as policy proposals that are projected to cause deaths within the United States itself. Weiner repurposes traditional symbols of American exceptionalism, such as the flag, money, sports, folk history, and legal system to express danger, shame, and frustration with the erosion of government institutions.
By crafting paintings out of American flags and iterations thereof, Weiner has tapped into a slue of social anxieties expressed by various groups of American peoples. This series distills down the most basic elements of the flags and works to free them of all preconceived notions of patriotism and American identity. This allows for visitors to form their own definitions and patriotism and American Nationalism.
Weiner’s works have been included in exhibitions at TWFINEART, Brisbane, Australia; Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL; Chabah Yelmani Gallery, Brussels, Belgium; YIA Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium; ARTBandini Fair, Los Angeles, California; and CTRL+SHFT, Oakland, CA.
Weiner was an artist in residence at Miscellaneous Press in 2016. Upcoming exhibitions include a group exhibition at Durden and Ray Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; a two person exhibition with Kristin Bauer at Carthage College’s HF Johnson Gallery; and a two person exhibition with Chad Hasegawa at Gallery 44309 in Dortmund, Germany.
“My artistic practice extends further into video and sculpture. I create video montages where I sample and layer videos from social media, youtube, and legal evidence to build illustrations of American life. My sculptures reposition American symbols in the gallery as found objects that are usually edited in one way in order to provoke a critique or contextual shift. These works, like my flags and paintings, ask the viewer to reconsider the meaning behind the embedded American symbols we are taught to revere.” - Paul Weiner