Chris Finley Drool, Snatch #2, 2017, sign enamel on canvas over panel, 39 x 39 inches.

Photo: Ruben Diaz

Chris Finley "Drool, Snatch, Clean and Jerk"

June 3 - July 15, 2017

Opening Reception: Saturday June 3, 2017, 5 - 8 p.m

Chimento Contemporary is pleased to announce our second solo exhibition with new portrait paintings by Chris Finley. This work will feature twisted iterations of Olympic weightlifters caught in the moment of extreme strain while performing the snatch and the clean and jerk. 

Snatch (weightlifting)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The snatch is the first of two lifts contested in the sport of weightlifting (also known as Olympic weightlifting) followed by the clean and jerk. The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion. There are four main styles of snatch used: squat snatch (or full snatch), split snatch, power snatch, and muscle snatch. The squat snatch and split snatch are the most common styles used in competition while power snatch and muscle snatch are mostly used for training purposes. In the squat snatch, the lifter lifts the bar as high as possible and pulls themselves under it in a squat position, receiving the bar overhead with the arms straight, decreasing the necessary height of the bar, therefore increasing the amount of weight that the lifter may successfully lift. In the split snatch, the lifter lifts the bar as high as possible and pulls themselves under the bar similar to the squat snatch but in the split snatch the lifter "splits" his legs, placing one foot in front of them and one behind, allowing themselves to receive the bar lower as in the squat snatch. The split snatch has become much less common with the increased popularity of the squat snatch but is occasionally performed by some lifters. In the power snatch, the lifter lifts the barbell as high as possible and receives the bar overhead with only a slight bend in the knee and hip, increasing the height that the bar must be lifted and decreasing the amount of weight that may be successfully lifted. In the muscle snatch, the lifter lifts the bar all the way overhead with arms locked out and the hip and knee fully extended.

Clean and jerk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The clean and jerk is a composite of two weightlifting movements, most often performed with a barbell: the clean and the jerk. During the clean, the lifter moves the barbell from the floor to a racked position across the Deltoids, without resting fully on the Clavicles. During the jerk the lifter raises the barbell to a stationary position above the head, finishing with straight arms and legs, and the feet in the same plane as the torso and barbell.
Of the several variants of the lift, the most common is the Olympic clean and jerk, which, with the snatch, is contested in Olympic weightlifting events.

Chris Finley lives and works in Petaluma, California. His work has been included in national and international Museum exhibitions and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus,Ohio, and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, Wisconsin. Finley received the SECA award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1999, a Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation in 2003 and the Pollock/ Krasner Foundation Grant in 2010.

For additional information please contact


ArtScene: Chris Finley Review by Genie Davis. July/August 2017 Print.

The Curated Loo: The Dick Pic Show

Joanna Beray, Brad Bernhardt, Don Edler, Michael Genovese, Aimee Goguen, Patrick Hoelck, Shaun Johnson, Kysa Johnson, Casey Kaufmann, David Kirshoff, Alexander Kroll, Mike Kuchar, Alice Lang, Alexandra Leon & Beau Rice, Patrick Martinez, Candystore O. McCritter, Stephen Neidich, Tin Nguyen, Kenton Parker, Paul Pescador, Jalal Poehlman, Yuri Psinakis, Melanie Pullen, Kale Roberts, Brian Robertson, Kenny Scharf, Andrew Schoultz, Max Schwartz, Zak Smith, David Tamargo, Jamaal Tolbert,Uncannysfvalley, Sara Weber, Auystn Weiner, Julie Weitz, and Gray Wielebinski

Curated by Katie Bode and Kenton Parker
June 3 - July 22, 2017 | Opening: Saturday June 3rd,  5-8pm

I wanted to represent something I loved, I obviously loved representing a little penis.
-Louise Bourgeois
As an epithet of penis, a dick is more familiar, more personal. When referring to a ‘dick pic’ there is the colloquial tendency to shorten the word picture to the diminutive ‘pic’. Perhaps all this textual soft-pedaling hopes to smooth over what can be a brazen and aggressive act of digital exhibitionism. Of course, dick pics are inherently intimate as well, a vulnerable moment that is still loaded with symbolism and subtext. Phalluses have been springing up in visual culture for millennia, as odes to patriarchal power; erotic icons; thrusting towering symbols of masculinity. The artists in this exhibition each provide their own perspective of what a dick pic can represent. After all, although a penis is a symbol of gender, it is also an idea, open to interpretation and redefinition as many times and ways possible.
The earliest known symbolic representation of male genitalia is about 28,000 years old, a stone dildo speculated to be used as a sex aid because of its lifelike proportions. In Ancient Greece phallic art was the domain of Dionysus, god of wine but also of fertility; large phallic sculptures played an important role in festivities celebrating the deity. However, it was the Ancient Romans that really outdid themselves with penii representation, with many homes containing penis sculptures or even wind chimes, phallic graffiti scrawled prolifically in public spaces, and tiny dicks often worn as jewelry. These representations are tokens of fertility, but also symbolic of a culture far more accepting of sex – although only in the purview of upper-class males.  
In modern times there was Brancusi’s controversial Princess X (1916), a purported portrait of Marie Bonaparte (great grandniece of Napoleon) who also happened to have a mild obsession with vaginal orgasms. When the Salon des Indépendants removed the sculpture from display for what they called “obscene content,” Brancusi argued that the work was, in fact, a stylized bust of his subject, curving gracefully to gaze upon herself, her ample bosom comprising the shapely forms detractors insisted must be testicles. 
Then of course, there is the dick pic that broke the art world: Lynda Benglis’ art-as-advertisement in the November 1974 issue of Artforum. Part of a pissing contest between Benglis and the artist Robert Morris to see who could produce the most outrageous ad, Benglis’ image features the artist herself nude and glistening, thrusting an oversized dildo out of her vagina for all the art world to see. The publication of this image caused two Artforum editors–Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelsonto–to quit in protest. Interestingly, those same editors were unbothered by both Morris’ contribution the previous month, an ad featuring himself decked out as a full blown Nazi-Chic beefcake (photographed by none other than Rosalind Kraus herself!) as well as the far less confrontational image of a nude Benglis glancing coyly over her shoulder that was included in the review of the exhibition for which the above-mentioned advertisement was announcing. This single dick pic managed to call to reckoning both the critical and commercial ideals of the most important art publication in the world, but also the fraught, frigid nature of mainstream second wave feminism, distrustful of assertive sexuality and seriously lacking in supportive girl-power. 
By the 1980s, a reactionary culture around the representation of sexuality still ruled supreme with Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic exploration of homosexuality sparking one of the biggest dustups of the Reagan Era Culture Wars. Led by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican lawmakers used this ‘indecent’ art as an excuse to call for the defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts, forever altering the dynamics of non-profit arts funding in the United States. It’s informative to take a look at these works 30 years later, when a figure like Mapplethorpe is anything but controversial in today’s art world, and is even lauded at large-scale public-minded institutions such as LACMA. It’s tempting to declare these culture wars over, won by the good guys who bet on artistic freedom, with great gains not only in the cloistered art world but also the country at large. Of course the normalization of homosexuality and the constitutional right to same-sex marriage are balanced by a new wave of reactionary, exclusionary politics sweeping the West.
Nonetheless, current cultural attitudes towards sexuality and gender are broadening, however haltingly, and artists continue to provide new ways of seeing, thinking about and understanding these powerfully loaded concepts. Gender norms and the language that gives them contour continue to be questioned and redefined. The patriarchal ideal of the all powerful phallus is ripe to be reimagined, and the slippery digital space of 1s and 0s provides fertile incubation for new possibilities. The modern ubiquity of smartphones with built in cameras creates the possibility for visual intimacy in ways that were previously unimaginable while the double edged sword of anonymity provides cover for radical experimentation as well as a haven for the hate-filled vitriol of trolls. In this world of heady digital possibilities and still fraught political realities, what happens when a phallus is also a portrait? What occurs when the male gaze is turned upon itself? Or subverted? When is a dick more than just a pic?

Side Gallery: New Works by Tiffany Livingston

June 3 - July 22, 2017

Opening: Saturday June 3rd,  5-8pm