Roller Derby Art in Washington, DC
"WASHINGTON, DC – Cory Oberndorfer is selling out. Not that he had far to go. Opening Friday, January 9th at the Gallery at Flashpoint, Flavor of the Month is the latest in his series of roller derby and candy-inspired paintings. The work draws upon the aesthetics and iconography of popular graphic design and advertising techniques to reveal Oberndorfer’s devotion to the roller derby subculture.
Oberndorfer transforms roller derby skaters into icons to convey both idolization and a sense of product identity. In a palette of bright colors, the artist draws inspiration from three of his favorite things, “sweets, pop culture and bad-ass women, although not necessarily in that order.” This combination brings a playful sense of innocence to athletes who play an aggressive, full-contact sport. Acknowledging the nostalgic return of the all-female sport, Oberndorfer utilizes visuals that remain timeless, like old-fashioned candies, or those that have been re-contextualized by a new generation, such as half-tone values, sunburst patterns seen in propaganda posters and retro color palettes.
While Oberndorfer plays up the stylization of marketing clichés designed for mass production, his canvas works are by contrast meticulously hand-painted and his prints are released in small editions. The Flashpoint exhibition will include paintings and prints as well as a mural on the gallery wall, inspired by the narrow shape of the gallery. The artist’s work intentionally defies size restrictions. He admits that, “Sometimes it just needs to be bigger. An indoor billboard is hard to ignore.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Cory Oberndorfer was born in Kansas City and raised with a nomadic lifestyle travelling across the United States. As a professional student, he studied graphic design, filmmaking and theatrical design before graduating with a BFA in studio art from Weber State University in Ogden, UT. American University brought him to Washington, DC where he completed his MFA in studio art and received a Mellon grant for his research of the roller derby subculture. Cory has exhibited throughout the DC area with inclusion in the WPA’s Options Biennial in 2007; juried exhibits at McLean Projects for the Arts; Novelty, a 2700-square-foot two-story mural installation at the Katzen Arts Center and most recently Just a Taste, a solo exhibition at G Fine Art. Cory can often be found at regional roller derby bouts and ice cream parlors. For more information visit: www.coryoberndorfer.com."
Exhibition: January 9 – February 13, 2009
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12-6 pm or by appointment
For more information: Call 202.315.1310 or visit flashpointdc.org
Gallery at Flashpoint • 916 G Street, NW • Washington, DC 20001
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