You may not be familiar with the completely insane, off-the-wall self-portraits of New York artist David Henry Nobody Jr., but you should be. Nothing comes even close to his work, which — by combining photography and mixed media — practically redefines what a self-portrait can be.
And those who find themselves in NYC between Jan. 31 and Feb. 15 will be able to experience the art of David Henry Nobody Jr. as the city’s Contra Galleries will be opening his latest exhibition, titled “Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos.” In addition to his photography, the exhibit will also include video and an interactive performance.
Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos will show the artist transformed into bizarre characters using masks and wearable sculptures comprised of food and consumerist detritus. The artist calls this practice “Resemblage,” a term he coined to describe his unique conceptualizations, humorously and disturbingly exploring the dark side of American pop culture and politics. His “Resemblage” pieces question humanity, the modern day, and aims to incite the imagination, exploring notions of “the self” in the narcissistic world around us.
With a sense of urgency, Nobody Jr creates and performs surreal, distorted self-portraits appropriated from memories of dreams, considering the resulting images “subconscious, animalistic rejection of our increasingly computerized and corporatized reality.”
The artist finds inspiration in subjects such as body dysmorphia and its relationship to our obsession with the online world. Exploring surveillance, tracking, and information-grabbing, Nobody Jr alludes to the current political zeitgeist and how these mediums affect our perception of reality. Fake Smears and Facial Food Fiascos uses comedy, the hideous, and the spiritual to map the complexities of the human soul.
Based in NYC, David Henry Nobody Jr. has been showing his work internationally since the early 1990s. In the year 2000 he made headlines for impersonating the real-life son of Diane Von Furstenberg, Alex Von Furstenberg, and crashing parties with his fake identity. Photos taken during that “project” constituted his very first solo show.
Before that, in 1999, David Henry Nobody Jr. created a series called “Stalking Trump” in which he attempted to cozy up to Donald Trump as much as he could in a one-year period. The artist even created “Trump for President” signs as part of the series.