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Paintings from the Archives of the Pleasantville Historical Society

Found portraits turn darkly humorous with explicit additions

by Greg Stefano in Culture on 15 March 2011

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In his latest show, frequent Cool Hunting contributor, emerging artist and medical doctor Jonah Samson delves even deeper into his sardonic figurative work. Known for his dark sensibility and cryptic sense of humor, Jonah's work ranges from constructed photographic dioramas to intimate Polaroids, all hinting at underlying explicit sexuality and violence.

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"Paintings from the Archives of the Pleasantville Historical Society" sees the the artist adding his own twist to vintage photographs found on eBay. A skilled painter as well as a photographer, Jonah infuses the classic portraits with fatalistic comic elements, creating completely new stories for characters who have long passed on with humorous subtitles for the works. For example, Samson's description for the painting below reads "Blake's renewed fondness for cocaine was to be the ruin of yet another Mahoney family portrait."

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Truly striking and at times hilarious, the work can be seen at the Gibson Gallery from now until 16 April 2010, or purchase a copy of the 8" x 10" softbound book featuring 41 images from the series ($38) by contacting the gallery.

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