Little Big Man Gallery is pleased to announce Doug Rickard’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles and debut the artist’s latest body of work titled N.A. Rickard’s new photography and video work continues to explore the darker side of urban America and highlights issues of economic disparity, ever-present surveillance and tendencies toward publicity via social media. On view September 19 – October 31, 2015, the show will also mark the gallery’s grand opening in its new, larger exhibition space located at 1427 E. 4th Street, Unit 2, Los Angeles CA, 90033.
N.A. follows Rickard’s critically acclaimed A New American Picture, which depicted street scenes that were found using Google Street View to virtually access forgotten and economically devastated locales of America. For N.A., Rickard looked to YouTube as a resource to extract a chorus of American voices, ‘cultural music’ in a way that is detailed and revelatory but often fragmented. Over a three-year period he culled through countless amateur videos found at first by using American city names as keywords, he later shifted into more specific terms, opening up silos of visual data from which to explore the American cultural landscape. As Rickard became immersed in the platform and sparked by the sometimes predatory and often vicious nature of social media, his exploration turned darker. Moving on to keywords such as “Hood Fight”, “Crackheads Gone Wild”, “Passed Out White Girl”, “Gangstalking”, “Sideshow”, “Racial Profiling”, “Illegal Search” or “Police Brutality” yielded tens of thousands of videos that painted a picture of American violence, anger, frustration and rage, targeted at economic isolation that is pervasive.
Rickard exclusively sought out amateur video footage on YouTube that conveyed a glimpse into the subject’s experiences versus a complete story, the end result of Rickard’s work functions in the same way many YouTube clips do, offering a quick impression into the subject’s perspective with little to no context. To create the photographs and snippets of the urban landscapes appropriated straight from the hand-held devices of Americans, he equips himself with a mouse, large flat panel displays and a camera mounted on a tripod, a method the artist established during A New American Picture. Rickard paused the lo-res grainy, amateur YouTube videos, watching the composition unfold and looking for specific fragments in time that would become his pictures. His compositions aim to break down the idea of an explicit narrative that is often expected in traditional photography and instead leave a story in place that is more suggestive.
N.A. was originally published as a photo book by Verlag Kettler/D.A.P. in December 2014 and will be available at Little Big Man Gallery.
“N.A.”, the title of the work is short for “National Anthem.” Intentionally abbreviated to also be read as “Not Applicable,” a common statistical check box on government forms in the US, or it could be interpreted simply as “North America.” The ambiguous nature of the title plays off the idea of an implied narrative, which is a consistent theme throughout Rickard’s work.
Doug Rickard is the founder of American Suburb X and These Americans, aggregating websites on contemporary photography and American historical and cultural photographic archives. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions including City Limit. The Journal, Brooklyn, NY (2015); When We Share More Than Ever, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Triennale of Photography Hamburg 2015, Germany; Web on the Wall, Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2014); Tim Hetherington and Doug Rickard, Stills Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2013); After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2013); The Club, La Bourse du Travail, Les Recontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2013); A New American Picture, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2012); Aperture Remix, Aperture Foundation Gallery, New York, NY (2012); and A New American Picture, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2011). Recent monographs and publications include All Eyes On Me, Nazraeli Press; N.A., DAP/Kettler (2014); Dealer’s in Death, Killin’ Time, Harper’s Books (2014); TOM, Little Big Man (2013); A New American Picture, Aperture / Koenig (2012). His work is included in public collections across the United States including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT among others.
Rickard was born in San Jose, California, in 1968, and studied History and Sociology at UC San Diego, receiving his BA in 1994. The artist currently lives and works in Northern California.
Little Big Man Gallery is committed to exhibiting works by both established and emerging photographers, with a dedication to showing challenging photography that
goes beyond the classification of often conventional Art or Documentary style photographs. The gallery is a natural extension to publishing at Little Big Man Books breathing the same vigor that has been established with their books out onto the gallery walls.
www.littlebigmangallery.com Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturday 12-6pm