HereIn Journal: On J Noland

John P. Murphy on J Noland:

Noland’s work is playful and provocative, cerebral and scatological, and
generally licenses intoxication in one form or another. We are roughly
the same age and both hail from the Midwest, so I recognize the raw
material of his work: the bowling alleys, beer cans, bb guns, and
tailgates that comprised the requisite rites-of-passage for a white
midwestern male born in the 1980s. Noland does not mock these objects
and rituals so much as discover in them forms of misplaced yearning and
sublimated spirituality: Elmer Gantry on peyote hunting for sin and
salvation in the post-industrial Rust Belt. The folksy fun and games are
also totems of addiction, insecurity, toxicity, and despair. It is a
sort of via negativa—accessing the sacred through the crass
castoffs of middle Americana: a trash-littered path walked side-by-side
with intoxicated friends.

The rest of the essay here.

© John P. Murphy
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