Mike Rea: Scenes of Sights and Sights of Scenes
Mike Rea has conflated the notions of working hard and playing hard for over a decade with his bombastic wooden sculptures. Replicated and reinvented moments of cinematic horror, science fiction, comedy and drama intermingle with memory to form bizarre personal narratives. Over the years, each uncanny conglomeration of familiar objects and themes has both thrilled and confounded audiences. The delight in the experience of Mike Rea’s vision is the balance between a feeling of understanding that is quickly replaced by new, surprising discoveries. Whether as conventional sculptures standing alone, or as props in interactive installations and performances, these often-massive objects reflect a culture of humor, violence, vulgarity, and sensitivity. This exhibition features several new works by Mike Rea, set across the gallery like individual scenes or movie sets, which run the gamut of his imagination and experience.
Mike Rea, originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, received an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work has been shown at the Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, TX); Threewalls (Chicago, IL); EbersMoore Gallery (Chicago, IL); Devening Projects (Chicago, IL); Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL); Guerrero Gallery (San Francisco, CA); Scion Gallery (Culver City, CA); Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), Forest Art (Darmstadt, Germany); The Victoria Albert Museum (London, UK); and the Kunstmuseum (Thurgau, Switzerland). Rea is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at Northern Illinois University’s School of Art. He lives and works in Chicago.