Jeffrey Vallance

The Medium is the Message

July 25 – September 5, 2015
Artist Reception: Saturday, July 25, 2015, 3 – 6 p.m.

For his exhibition in the main gallery at CB1 Gallery, Jeffrey Vallance will exhibit a series of “Spirit Photos” relating to each dead artist channeled during a series of séances. Historically spirit photography came in vogue around the end of the 19th century when photography was in its infancy. The early photographers use of double exposure and trick photography now looks quaint to 21st century eyes. In this new series, Vallance has endeavored to capture the essence of the of the spirit artists he encountered using digital technology. Each “Spirit Photo” represents what Vallance saw in his mind’s eye during the séances, including specific imagery and details described by the spirits.

In gallery 2 Vallance presents his series of “Spirit Objects” or relics that Vallance felt he was directed to make by the spirits. For example, one relic relates to the Spirit of Marcel Duchamp’s concern for his lost cuff links. For another relic, Vallance follows the Spirit of Jackson Pollock’s advice to “draw sea creatures.” Also shown in gallery 2 is the feature length video of the London séance.

Since the late 1970s, Jeffrey Vallance has been interested in paranormal phenomenon. When Jeffrey was growing up, tales of his two family members that were professional psychics surrounded him. In 1994 after the death of President Nixon, Vallance became interested in the story of the haunting of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California. For his first séance, Vallance worked with a psychic to channel the ghost of Nixon. At a more recent séance performance in London, Vallance had five psychic mediums channel five famous dead artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Marcel Duchamp, Frida Kahlo, Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollock. The spirit artists were asked a series of questions concerning art in the afterlife and the current art market. By the end of the performance, the spirit artists were arguing and nearly brawling with each other.

Although Jeffrey Vallance has been on the forefront of paranormal art for over three decades, he is Fortean who neither believes nor disbelieves, but like an anthropologist he reports on numerous phenomenon.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Jeffrey Vallance will do a new performance with legendary psychic Joseph Ross who will channel dead art critics to hopefully review the show. The performance will be at the gallery on August 8 at 8 p.m.

Jeffrey Vallance’s work blurs the lines between object making, installation, performance, painting, writing and curating. Critics have described his work as an indefinable cross-pollination of many disciplines. Often his intervention/infiltration projects are site-specific including burying a frozen chicken at a pet cemetery; traveling to Polynesia to research the myth of Tiki; having audiences with the king of Tonga, the queen and president of Palau and the presidents of Iceland; creating a Richard Nixon Museum; traveling to the Vatican to study Christian relics; installing an exhibit aboard a tugboat and at a Christian Dinosaur museum in Sweden. In Las Vegas Vallance curated shows in the fabulous Vegas Strip museums, such as the Liberace, Cranberry, Magic and Clown Museum. In Lapland Vallance constructed a shamanic “magic drum,” In Orange County, Mr. Vallance curated the only art-world exhibition of the Painter of Light™ entitled “Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth.” In 1983, he was host of MTV’s The Cutting Edge and appeared on NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman. In 2004, Vallance received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation award.

In addition to exhibiting his artwork, Mr. Vallance has written for such publications and journals as Art issues, Artforum, L.A. Weekly, Juxtapoz, Frieze and Fortean Times. He has published over 10 books including: Blinky the Friendly Hen, The World of Jeffrey Vallance: Collected Writings 1978-1994, Christian Dinosaur, Art on the Rocks, Preserving America’s Cultural Heritage, Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth, My Life with Dick, Relics and Reliquaries, and The Vallance Bible.

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