Wrong's What I Do Best
Thursday, April 24 - Saturday, July 26, 2014
Walter and McBean Galleries
Opening Reception » Saturday, April 26 | 7–10 pm
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
Curated by Hesse McGraw and Aaron Spangler
The exhibition Wrong's What I Do Best takes its title from what was originally a George Jones anthem, and later a catchall for a generation of Hard Country performers. Jones and his outlaw brothers—Johnny Paycheck, David Allan Coe, Hank Williams—were known equally for their crafted stage personas and unhinged private lives. These sincerely deluded, tragicomic figures inhabited characters of their own making, to personal peril and kindling for public legend.
Wrong's What I Do Best gathers the self-searing impulses of artists and musicians playing the role of one’s self as someone else. Working against both correctness and failure, Wrong's What I Do Best revels in repeated derailments to present the work of artists who prod the edges of our world. Some unearth scorched histories or upset "natural" order, while others fling themselves headlong into the coming apocalypse. Collectively, their low-irony tilt toward social, political, and personal fault lines might be characterized by illicit unrestraint, yet their lack of critical judgment occludes the artists' true selves. In the torrid gap between the artist-person and the artist-persona we are reminded that one shouldn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Barry van Boekel
David Allan Coe, 2010
Ink and pencil on paper
5 x 6 inches
Courtesy of the artist