Mike Goodlett

Mike Goodlett, Toilers of the Sea, 2011, ballpoint pen and thread on paper, 22.75 x17 inches

Mike Goodlett: Dress Socks and Other Diversions
September 29 - November 26, 2011

The early Portugese colonists who landed on the coast of West Africa described the native’s wooden figures as feitiço, or fetishes. Having observed their use in local religious ceremonies, these European explorers assumed the sculptures bore supernatural powers, and the term “fetish” was translated and written into the Western imagination as an inanimate object bearing religious or mystical qualities. In 1887, Alfred Binet introduced the psychological concept of “sexual fetishism,” defined as the sexual admiration of an inanimate object, isolated body part, or other object of unconventional sexual desire. Today, the Internet allows individuals to anonymously explore any number of interests, fetishes, or fantasies from the comfort of their computer screens.

In his most recent body of work, Goodlett has taken a magnifying glass to the human body, isolating individual views from the larger whole and creating mixed media drawings that function as modern fetishes. These forms are rendered in ballpoint pen, then meticulously and rhythmically pierced with needle and thread, creating a secondary covering or skin. Goodlett’s ambiguous objects distill sexual fetishism into its simplest form by replacing the typical imagery of desire with line, color, form and texture.

Mike Goodlett, Dress Socks, 2011, ballpoint pen and thread on paper, 19 x 15.5 inches

Mike Goodlett, Red Tufted Swallow, 2011, ballpoint pen and thread on paper, 13.5 x 16 inches

Mike Goodlett, White Breasted Nut Hatch, 2011, ballpoint pen and thread on paper, 13.5 x 15.75 inches

Mike Goodlett, Marlboro, 2011, graphite on paper, 16 x 13.75 inches

Mike Goodlett, Marlboro Light I, 2011, graphite on paper, 16 x 13.75 inches

Mike Goodlett, Marlboro Light II, 2011, graphite on paper, 16 x 13.75 inches

About the artist:

Goodlett received his BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1982. In 1998, he was awarded the Kentucky Arts Council's Individual Artist Grant. He won the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship in 2006. He lives in Wilmore, KY.

Press:

Mike Goodlett's Biomorphic World by Ben Durham, North of Center, November 9, 2011

193 Exhibit Signals New Direction for Artist Mike Goodlett by Celeste Lewis, Business Lexington, November 8, 2011