Cherry Log Road: Danica Lundy Candid Look at Growing Up @ Super Dakota, Brussels
"You hit 16 and bam, ou do whatever you can to get your hands on a puttering hunk of hand-me-down metal to just get you outta there!" exhales Danica Lundy, speaking about the frequent appearance of cars in her work featured in our Winter 2021 Quarterly. "And suddenly the world opens up. It’s a room you can speed around in, where you can collect private conversations. Sneaky sex. It’s safe until it’s not. You can stuff so much in a car. And with all that, it’s such a kind of perfect metaphorical and compositional armature for a picture." Lundy continues this rousing motif in her first solo exhibitionn, Cherry Log Road, with Super Dakota in Brussels, Belgium, currently on view through February 20, 2021. With ten new paintings, and a title inspired by James L. Dickey’s poem, offers an expansive, candid vision of the world, especially the intimate and confusing world of pre-adolescence.
Rhythmic repetition thrums through Lundy's visuals, adding drama to stories that become more intense when taken in as an entire series. Along with two figures in Oil Stain, for example, we experience a mysterious confrontation, as well as the magical qualities of a car, including its wires, bolts and pipes held mid-dair by an invisible chassis. Sweaty skin, pebbly gravel, the shine of a tin can and scars on the tire rubber grab attention until we notice the parked Toyota pickup and the empty soccer field in the background, each an enticing optical clue that singes the senses and piques the cognitive web. Lundy builds tension as each element vies for viewer engagement.
David Lynchian scenes mesh reality and symbolism collide, portraying the confusion of adolescence, through her askew use of focus and angle. The discovery of new pleasures, the carelessness about latent dangers, the uncomfortable growing pains and struggles, and burgeoning desires, reinforced by experience and popular culture, are universally relatable. As Lundy's stills-only feature switches from wide-angle backseat shot to brown paper bag closeup. We peer over the coach's clipboard, revisit the parked truck in hyper, widescreen format, teleport to a late-night club scene, and finally, come full circle, as doors-unlock, to (or from) home.
With disparate points of view, abruptly changing perspective and shifting focus, the Canadian-born artist places us in the front seat of a sensory rollercoaster of unexpected loops through time and space. Whether it's the excitement of discovering such details as the mud stain on a shoe sole or recurring hairpin, Lundy is unrelenting, offering her subjects and we viewers a wild ride. —Sasha Bogojev