The Drawers - Jefferson Little  Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Jefferson Little animates nostalgia. He borrows images from the past and refreshes them, repeats them, twists the context and takes the mind away from the original object just enough so as to preserve the identity of the image and yet offer back an isolated interpretation that renders the object somewhat strange. That there is a reference to childhood, either through the vintage of the object, the actual use of toys as subject or in the faded formats of the hand colored prints: reinforces the nostalgia. From the past, he reasserts the object into a composition that results in a peculiar quaintness or queerness as it resides in isolation or suspension or repetition.

The psychology of objective reality - what is real, what do we change between the confrontation and the translation? - is brought into play and the ordinary becomes surreal. The darts, hovering in space are motionless yet charged with the potential to move and seemingly not as a trajectory towards a single point but in a formation like a military commando unit. This animates them. The composition gives them an unusual potential for a future. Jefferson Little turns the switch between the stillness of the frozen moment and the next thing about to happen. The rubber stamps are an example. The image is a stamp, held in pace by a rubber outline and then placed in position and colored. This gives individuality to the module as it is treated with extra care. With a minimum of suggestion as to the context, (the open plain of the darts, the haloed peephole of the hobby horses, the misty atmosphere where the blinking-eye-houses are suspended), Little breathes new life into the old familiarities. In doing so, the vitality in the animation ensues and that which was once trustworthy and held in its place awakens to new possibilities. There is a slight discomfort present as if these depictions might act out in a manner that is unusual and surprise with a voice of their own. It is the moment when the toys under the Christmas tree begin to dance.

Copyright 2006,  Headbones Gallery, The Drawers