Heather Gaudio Fine Art Presents Michael Dweck's First Painterly Body of Work

Exhibition Announcements

Inspired by the fading Americana of his native town, Michael Dweck creates pieces that capture its aesthetic. They include paintings replicating scratchings, dints, and dings on rally cars, a symbol of the Long Island racing subculture the artist observed from an early age.

To bring this fascinating segment of the past closer to viewers in his first solo exhibition at Heather Gaudio Fine Art gallery, Dweck created a impressive body of work titled Blunderbust, which gains universal significance by presenting visual vestiges of our failing civilization. However, instead of despair, a defiant image pushes through, one that appreciates what is left and makes the best of it for the future.


Primarily working in photography, Michael Dweck is best known for his memorable series focused on societal margins and their different identities, such as Mermaids, Habana Libre, and The End: Montauk. Over the years, his artistic practice evolved to include other media, such as sculpture, film, and, most recently, painting.  

"I am fascinated by endangered enclaves on society's periphery and envision an anthropological impulse at my practice's core: to depict beauty and intricacy of forms of life, while critically reflecting upon my means of doing so," he explained. 

Blunderburst features Dweck's first paintings from the eponymous multi-media series, including installations, photographs, sculptures, and a feature documentary. 

The Intricacy of Forms of Life 

Michael Dweck grew up observing the small-town, blue-collar culture of car raceways, intrigued by its aesthetic and the survival-of-the-fittest attitude. The racing rallies at Freeport Stadium were "somewhere between NASCAR and Mad Max, whose wild theater – jostling colors and stench of gas and burnt rubber, the cacophony of screeching tires and crashing metal," left a lasting impression on the artist. 

However, as many such places were destroyed over time, the same happened with Freeport Stadium, which was replaced by a strip mall in 1983. In 2007, Dweck started documenting the last surviving rally called Blunderbust at Riverhead Raceway in Long Island; over the next ten years, he got gradually more engrossed in its formal aspects, leading to the Blunderbust series. 

"In a broader social context, Riverhead became for me a paradigm of a fading Americana, one not of lament, however, but defiant celebration."

Michael Dweck at Heather Gaudio Fine Art

Michael Dweck's unique visual language in Blunderbust developed from a close observation of the surfaces of vehicles; he also uses aluminum as a canvas, on which forms sourced from extreme closeups, archival imagery, and collages enliven the intensity of unbridled speed from the tracks. Instead of replicating various vestiges of the car's history, Dweck brings the action from the speedway to the gallery walls in abstract visual signs that recall streaked and scored automobile bodies. 

The authenticity of the experience is underscored by Dweck's use of materials. These include car paint, aerosols, rubber filling, alloy detritus, and similar, which he liberally combines in search of the authentic beauty of this marginalized subject. 

The exhibition Michael Dweck: Blunderbust will be on view at Heather Gaudio Fine Art in Greenwich from April 11th until June 1st, 2024.

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