Opening Reception: Friday, October 1 from 6pm to 9pm
Where do you summer? is a response to the wealth disparity and homelessness crisis in Washington DC. As the son of a former Catholic priest, born in Logan Circle and later raised in the Palisades, Guinan investigates housing displacement, religious and cognitive dissonance, and the class divide in the nation’s capital.
Guinan combines materials found in tent encampments with textiles signifying wealth: sleeping bags, bungee cords, ratchet straps, tarp, waxed cotton, gaberdine and pima oxford cotton. These items trigger memories relative to one’s experiences with them – leisure, joy, survival, uncertainty and/or trauma. By symbolically reformatting these objects, the artist shifts one’s attention to a reflective space recognizing our varying degrees of complicity.
Guinan fills the silence between class divisions with Catholic iconography and its traditions of charity and community. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes charity as “the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” These objects center viewers around the gap between our value systems and actions. Self-preservation, safety and comfort come not from isolation and dissociation, but rather exchange and community.
10% of all sales from this exhibition will go to So Others Might Eat (SOME), an organization providing a comprehensive set of services that meet a full spectrum of needs for those experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty in the District of Columbia. SOME is located across the street from Guinan’s studio.
John Brendan Guinan’s art practice includes mixed-media collages, assemblages, textiles, and ready-made sculptures. His work explores the relationships between materiality, identity, culture and class by reframing found objects as materials for a conceptual practice.
Guinan is an interdisciplinary artist based in Washington DC. He was born at home in Logan Circle above the homeless shelter and soup kitchen; founded and run by his parents. He later moved to the Palisades, in Upper Northwest. His father, a former Catholic Priest and well known activist and author, J. Edward Guinan (Dec. 2015) was a stalwart in the social justice movement and founder of Community for Creative Non-Violence. Guinan honored his father in his show, The Art of Mourning, at Artery Gallery. Guinan has participated in both solo shows and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Richmond, and Miami. He appeared in Why I Paint, a documentary produced by Fine Films Company in 2018.
Homme is located at 2000 L St. NW.