The exhibition marks a continuing interest in Szobody’s work at Norte Maar having first presented his drawings at the apartment gallery in Bushwick in 2013 and several additional group exhibitions thereafter. Szobody’s recent work contrasts and combines the qualities of mass-produced objects and imagery with the qualities of the personal and the handmade.
“Cloud Copies” features drawings rendered from scenic images of clouds from photo-calendars. Using rudimentary elements: pencil on paper and gird for scale and proportion, Szobody methodically transfers an image from one surface to another, but also echoes digital editing software. The grid is left in place, acting not only as a nod to the timelessness of drawing as a practice, but as a sort of minimalist device that emphasizes the literal aspects of the paper, and speaks both of the artist’s and viewer’s limitations.
The source imagery Szobody uses can be called kitsch—kitsch invokes desire. Szobody is interested in the essential difference between a handmade image and a photographic one trying to locate this difference through the pragmatism and simplicity of making copies; the drawings are not meant as aesthetic interpretations, but as reasonably accurate (or otherwise meaningfully failed) hand-reproductions. Any aesthetic dimension in the work is not unwelcome, but considered a valuable result of the process. In the final presentation of the drawings, the source images cut from print calendars is juxtaposed with the drawing, but only partially. The obfuscation of these images leads the viewer to rely on the copy as a primary way of looking at the image, thereby making more apparent the personal barriers that are always part of a viewing experience.