Untitled (Checking Out The Fridge) (2022)
Spencer Sweeney is known for his psychologically rich figurative paintings as well as collaborations with various musicians, performers, and artists in the downtown New York art scene throughout a career spanning over two decades. His creative work oscillates between performance, music, painting, and immersive installation; more recently, it has also included the studio salon HEADZ, a communal art and improvisational jazz performance space. Sweeney’s paintings combine pop-cultural elements with heterogenous art historical influences. While inspirations ranging from Impressionism to Bad Painting can be discerned, the transgressive variety of his selfportraits thwarts any attempt at stylistic categorization. For TEXTE ZUR KUNST, the artist has returned to a motif from the early days of an ongoing self-portrait series that began in 2009 and has remained a constant element of his practice ever since. Sweeney’s critical encounter with his own body via painting is at the same time always a reflection on the artistic process itself, its erratic nature marked by recurring phases of despair and uncertainty. But for Sweeney, the most distressing works are those that are especially effective in conveying the precarity of a moment and its inherent tension. Against this backdrop, the present work seems to represent a trip to the refrigerator as an emblematic case of procrastination, at times leading – despite all the assumed unproductivity of such an act – to thoroughly fruitful impulses.