John Charnota + Alison Wong
It’s Like Shit and Flowers, December 2014-January 2015
Grizzly Grizzly is excited to announce “It’s Like Shit and Flowers”, an evolving two-month exhibition of Detroit-based artists Alison Wong and John Charnota. The show will feature a first-time collaboration by the artist-couple, who explore contrasting concepts like love and loss, the scatological and the sweet. The installation, like the relationships it explores, will change over the run of the show. As stated by the artists “from shit come flowers that over time return to shit and back again.”
Through painstakingly detailed drawings and paintings, Alison Wong’s body of work primarily focuses on romantic love stories that are filled with both beauty and suffering. John Charnota’s mixed media practice starts with material investigations, which often possesses a temporary or fleeting quality.
“It’s Like Shit and Flowers” is part of an exchange with Butter Projects (Royal Oak, MI), where Grizzly Grizzly’s exhibition ‘Writing Lessons’ premiered this past October. Butter Projects, also founded in 2009, is a storefront exhibition space whose mission is to engage with the Metro-Detroit community by providing a place to make, discuss, and exhibit contemporary artwork.
Alison Wong developed her obsessive behavior at an early age. Her compulsion to detail and perfection continued in her education at the Maryland Institute College of Art and then Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her professional experience as a curator and arts administrator includes positions at Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Anton Art Center, Cranbrook Academy of An.
John Charnota was born and raised in Detroit where he shared a bed with his older brother, Michael. At the time, Michael liked to wear leopard print bikini briefs; however John prefers solid color boxer briefs. Charnota studied at Western Michigan University and the University of Nottingham. For the past two years, Charnota has be co-running Butter Projects, an artist run space in Royal Oak, Michigan with Wong. Just 2 miles down the road, is the shitty dive bar where Charnota and Wong met over 10 years ago