Chaz John | Rez Dogs II
From the beginning of his 2018 artist’s residency with Ellsworth Gallery until now, Chaz John’s work has consistently toyed with the upending of established hierarchies -- whether animal or material -- to arrive at a place in which the rez dog reigns supreme, placed on a marble pedestal.
Rez Dogs II is Ellsworth’s second front-of-house exhibition for artist Chaz John -- and, like any sequel, it presents a rich and dynamic development in plot and theme. In addition to shifts in tonality and technique, John has increased the wide array of traditional media and approaches he employs. John’s work co-opts tropes of Western culture, often seen as empty symbols of class consumption, repurposing them in order to honor the rez dog. From the chiaroscuro and dynamism of his palette to the addition of gilded Rococo frames and ceramic figurines, John’s inspirations from the Western canon range from Caravaggio and through the Baroque, to the interior decoration of the landed gentry of British aristocracy.