Everybody's Fool / April 1-May 8

Bannerette is totally thrilled to present Everybody’s Fool, a series of works from Clare Torina and Ash Ferlito that feed a shared urge to charm, speak, spook, woo and be wooed.

The Fool is completely innocent, like a baby or the rose she carries. She is newly physical. She is hungry. Her impulses are pure and she burns to create things. She is crossing a river, walking on her hands, safe from the crocodile. A little dog gently protects her as she steps off a cliff into the material world. The Fool’s only possession is a small bundle containing truths carried over her shoulder or tethered to her ankle. The contents of the bag are unknown to her, but it is all she requires.

Torina’s recent paintings and objects refer to one another in sequence, symbolism, and mimicry. She pulls from a personal set of fascinations – her dog (Lolita), secret societies, basketball, patriarchal painting history, ancient art – and subjugates their representations to her touch and whimsy, riffing on the subjects’ innate mysteries.

Ferlito’s paintings synthesize thought and feeling with imagery as a way to slow the spinning of the wheels, to locate the razor’s edge and reflect on the weird of everyday life. With incisive clarity, she stains canvas from the reverse revealing a goon sniffing a rose or an enchained, floating blue ghost foot; each image seems to transmit humor and pathos in equal parts. Meanwhile, Body Mask: Weirdo in the Corner looks on, apart, like a silent and looming stand-in trapped behind a cartoonish, cardboard guise.

The guile of The Fool grants permission to speak freely. In this spirit, Torina and Ferlito make use of the vulnerability to be had with spectacle, wit and good-natured trickery to garner tolerance for themes that cut close to the bone– a sensitive touch to address personal and societal concerns.

Everybody can be The Fool. 

Clare Torina (b. 1985 Oregon) and Ash Ferlito (b. 1979 California) live and work in New York. They met in the summer of 2012 at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.