Artist Ben Durham’s review of “Dress Socks and Other Diversions,” Mike Goodlett’s exhibition at Institute 193, has been published in Lexington’s North of Center newspaper. The read the full article, click here. Excerpt to follow:
“In his current exhibition “Dress Socks and Other Diversions” at Institute 193, Mike Goodlett presents three striking new bodies of work that address issues of representation, figuration, and desire. In Goodlett’s work art functions as a distorted mirror image of our social selves; our social interactions, frustrations, and desires are reflected back as dream-like manifestations. His mimetic representation is not illustrative of physical likeness or real-world phenomena, but is instead a representation of social and emotional behavior and desire itself.
Immediately one is struck by the unique and nuanced qualities of Goodlett’s draftsmanship and use of material. With both ink and graphite he achieves a balance between Rembrandt’s refined sfumato and a doodler’s phone-side drawing pad. He references the deconstructed comic book imagery notable in the work of Raymond Pettibon, Philip Guston, and Tom of Finland while maintaining an outsider’s sense of distinctly individual style. Graphite depictions of ethereal and surprisingly sensual cigarette smoke, drawings of morphed bodily forms in red Bic pen, and sewn elements referencing fetishized dress socks (or stockings if you prefer) demand a level of careful scrutiny and invested examination that allows the viewer to enter the complex visual world created by Goodlett. Far more than most contemporary artists, he presents an almost awkwardly sincere perspective of the world that renders him vulnerable and very much on view. Although his works do not function as self-portraiture, they are clearly projections of self.”