The inaugural exhibition of Phantoms in the Front Yard brought together the work of Vancouver artists Chad Krowchuk, Jay Senetchko, Jeremy Birnbaum, Jordan Bent, Marcus Macleod and Morgan Jeske.
Uniform addresses the everyday socially constructed masks or uniforms donned to maintain societal norms and a collective order/unity. Within their vastly different styles and media (impressionism, hyper realism, illustration, drawing, and abstraction) each artist chose a “uniform” with which they most identify. The narrative running through each piece conveys the rope or umbilicus binding us as a civilization to reality and to each other, in the midst of constant power structures at work to maintain and destroy them.
The concept of group cohesion through the adoption of a uniform was a fitting first exhibition for the group. As anyone who has ever worked or played in a collective dynamic would readily confess, the process of individuals figuring out how to cooperate in a group setting is not always a straightforward one. It can be, and often is, frustrating, argumentative, tense, and even combative. Things are no different in this respect in the arts than other sectors of society. In order to realize the positive aspects of collaboration, each Phantom was forced to overcome metaphorical uniforms in the guise of personal biases, ideologies and idiosyncrasies.
The successful conclusion of this process gave rise to the format that continues as the foundation for all Phantoms exhibitions. It is responsible for the strong, supportive and challenging dynamic of the group and the work which it inspires.