Works by Dwayne Carter
On View August 4 - 19th, 2023
The title of this exhibition, Damaged Goods, has several meanings for me.
When you think of the term "Damaged Goods," you might think of items damaged in shipping and sold at a salvage shop for a discount. For me, that would include the refrigerator we had when I was a kid. It had a big dent on the side, but otherwise worked fine for a long number of years. The term “Damaged Goods” became more personal to me after my 2008 heart attack (I’m fine now). It became a running joke, a dark joke, to describe my health while on the road to recovery. I had become "damaged goods," but I’m still here to tell the story, now 15 years later.
"Damaged Goods" is also used to refer to a leader or politician who has made a serious error in judgment and is no longer electable or respected as a leader. The 1937 exploitation movie “Damaged Goods,” and the 1901 play it was based on, point to moral lapses in judgment. The movie looks at the double standard in male and female roles of the times. Men could fool around, but women must be chaste when wed. The movie showed this is clearly a path to disaster.
The artworks in this exhibition depict fictional narratives that reflect my interest in the damage caused by the irrational decisions we make collectively and individually. The resulting damage is a theme I have explored through several of the Madness Zines photo novellas that I have been creating since 2008. All of the imagery on display comes from these Madness Zines. By irrational decisions, I don’t mean just flawed decisions, but those based on peer pressure, emotional desire, faith, greed and other non-rational means.
In my zine production, I mostly work with friends as subjects. Many of whom are artists, dancers and performers. I often use their real names but portray them as though they are living in a false post-apocalyptic universe parallel to this one. Themes have included Extreme Madness, Disputed Ideals, Collective Madness, Irrational City, Living in a False Universe and, most recently, Greed.
Some of the large scale digital prints and banners also show frayed edges and damage from being shown in an array of places including an outdoor interactive installation at Figment Dallas in 2018. Some works have been shown at the Kessler Theater in Dallas and the Heights in Houston on both the inside and outside walls. I see the damage as part of the character of the work as if being salvaged from an alternative history. I hope they also evoke recollection of the old worn circus sideshow banners that suggested alternatives to what we perceived as true.
My process makes use of photo collage and painting along with digital drawing using a Wacom tablet in Photoshop. All the works on display are digital prints.
Dwayne Carter has been exhibiting his art in the Dallas art scene since the early 1980’s. Carter has explored narrative figurative art through a variety of mediums including zines, paintings, interactive works, animations, videos and most recently small scale wood and clay relief carvings. Solo exhibitions have included Greed at Plush Gallery, Week of Kindness at the Ida Greene Gallery in Sherman, Ball of Confusion at the Kessler Theater in Dallas and Heights Theater in Houston, Texas, Solo Exhibition at the Theater Gallery and Midway to Madness at the Richland College Brazos Gallery. Carter’s animations have been included in the Aurora New Media Exhibition and in 2011 his interactive animated work The Dark Bible was included in the Dallas Video Festival. Group Exhibitions include Memory, curated by Jeff Kelley, at the CRCA Gallery at UTA, along with numerous exhibitions at 500X, Plush, RO2, MFA, and Mark Lombardi Galleries, as well as the Hecho in Dallas Exhibitions at the Latino Cultural Center. His solo and collaborative curatorial projects have included: irrational.city at the Bath House Cultural Center, 2015; 2016 Freefall Festival with Plush Gallery director Randall Garrett; 1984 Left Right: The Political Show at 500X, which is documented in the Dallas Sites online catalogue at the Dallas Museum of Art With his Madness Zines, he has participated in numerous regional Zine Fairs in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Denton.