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roswell artist-in-residence program
& the
 roswell museum and art center

present in the Marshall Gallery
June 3, - July 16, 2006

 Joey Fauerso 



Bitter Lake March, 2006, watercolor on paper, 8"x10.5"

Bitter Lake January, 2006, watercolor on paper, 8"x10.5"

Bitter Lake November (1), 2006, watercolor on paper, 41.5"x62"  

Bitter Lake November (2), 2006, watercolor on paper, 41.5"x62"

I Will Expire, 2005, oil and acrylic on paper, 8.5"x11"

If I'm Thinking I'm Probably Feeling, 2005-06, 454 oil and acrylic paintings on paper, video installation (this is of the piece with the other being the blue wallpaper)


They say that when your head is cut off,
clean as with a guillotine, you remain conscious
for ten seconds.
Ten.   That's a long time.
Enough to recite the alphabet at least twice.
Enough to say the names of all the people
who truly meant something to you.
Or apologize for all your misdeeds in an earnest
general way: I'm sorry to all the people
I  hurt. Long enough to remember some of the best times of your life,
those tiny moments that prick memory like ornament glass.
The time you drove a yellow convertible though fog so thick, you didn't realize you 
crossed the Golden Gate bridge until you reached the other side. The time  
you swam and made love at midnight in a river still and reflective as enamel to the 
waterlog of submerged city sounds.


But what about the physical?
If you're thinking, you're probably feeling.
If not pain, then place.
Would those sweet thoughts pass if your head
was tumbling in spongy red dirt?
The kind that clouds like sea foam.
It would be kindergarten, when you were rolled up into a plush
12 foot rug of infinite dustiness,
except now the ground would be the rug
and it would go on forever.
If you were sputtering grit, would you be able to remember the time you
and your best friend watched glowing Greenland in the tin syrup light of an airplane?


What would you do?
What would you want your head to fall in?
Velvet box?
Baby pool?
I'd beg to be dropped onto a catapult and launched in the air.
I'd play myself as a baby-faced blue blood,
my family's lawyer would plead for my last wish
across liquid oak and lamps sleeping in a forest canopy.  

I would get it. 
My head would drop into the catapult's mouth.
It would be lined with a simple cotton pillow.
Someone really on the ball would make sure it activated 
right when my head hit the cushion.

My head would fly through the empty air.
The sky would be so blue it would almost feel liquid. 
The expanse of the air and the insignificance of my tiny
head would be deeply fulfilling, I would feel assimilated 
like those sea creatures that are mostly water 
and are more a part of the ocean than anything else.
I would expire before my arc began to fall.
I would look directly into the sun. 
My hair blown back, would feel softer than the strands of a peach.
My hair would be happy. 
My hair would have more time to live and grow.

-Neil Fauerso 


 'Night Storm (2)' , 2006, watercolor on paper, 39"x61"





'Bitter Lake Nightfall', 2006, watercolor on paper, 8.5"x10"

Who really knows how long a person remains conscious when their head is cut off in a guillotine? Joey Fauerso's talented brother is a poet whose playful poem on such a head-rolling event inspires this installation. Neil Fauerso speculates on the possibility for multiple pleasures during a purported final ten seconds of consciousness. As he notes, "Ten. That's a long time."

Starting with a 35-second digital video of Neil's head, Joey Fauerso brings her considerable skill as a figurative painter to her metamorphosis of poem into paint. She uses her hands and eyes to thicken the experience of her brother's words to create an embodied gallery-sized presence. Precise yet painterly portraits are captured from electronic pixels; at least six portraits for every second of video. Just as 10 seconds is a long time to be a head without a body, Fauerso's 227 lusciously rendered and nuanced portraits invite us to meander through the complexity of human expressions. Face-to-face it is almost impossible not to make our own faces.

Joey Fauerso's pixilated gallery marks a sea change in contemporary artists' use of powerful imaging technology. For decades such corporate and government technologies have been associated with the sinister, the banal and, recently, biometric face recognition. Digital imaging is now readily available to compute-savvy tinkerers in the privacy of their own homes and studios. In Joey's hands it is literally turned on its head into a personal, intimate, life affirming, and welcoming project.

Fauerso is deft at introducing an enormous number of associations. Consider just one line of inquiry. Today's computers designate the horizontal as landscape format and the vertical as portrait. This is a legacy from hundreds of years of painting. Yet, Fauerso renders Neil's heads in the horizontal format of television screens, still-lifes and landscapes. We also subliminally read into them the mass media sequencing of comic strips and graphic novels. In their frothy strokes, the echoing grid of 227 sky-blue paintings amplifies our cultural reading of them as changing weather on land, sky and sea. Both the head grid and the sky grid choreograph fluidity that is micro and macro, at once specific step-by-step expressions of face or weather and vaulting catapults into limitless combinations of human emotion and the possibilities of the wild blue yonder.

This elegant installation invites us to spin our own interpretations, to ask our own questions. What are the implications of Fauerso's incomplete grids? Her stretching of time into space? Her flexibility and adaptability? The obsessive nature of her endeavor? The haunting poignancy of Neil's awareness? The resonance of repetition and variation?
Fauerso doesn't just lend her hands and eyes to Neil's detached head, she has constructed a means of inviting us all to see simultaneously in ways that are personal, historic, dramatic, everyday, political, and thoughtful.

MaLin Wilson-Powell
May, 2006
MaLin Wilson-Powell is a writer and curator living in Santa Fe, New Mexic


#9 'Isolated Shower #2', 2006, watercolor on paper, 8.5"x10"






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