“Mr. Nobody At All,” an exhibition of work from the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Class of 2014, will be on view February 8 – March 2 at the SVA Gallery, 209 East 23rd Street, New York City. Based on the short story “Mr. Nobody At All” by Ann Beattie, the work was created for the department’s Book Seminar course.
“This time, our short story was not a linear piece of storytelling but a sizable collection of obituaries (34 to be precise) from the funeral of Geoffrey Chestnut, an accomplished painter who (unbeknownst to most) reinvented himself into an underground cartoonist on the West coast after being sick of dealing with critics, family members, fellow artists and charity cases,” said exhibition curator and MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department faculty member Viktor Koen. “His new subject matter was raunchy and he associated with graffiti kids and characters of a very different pedigree than the ones in New York. By listening to people who knew him (or thought they did), we peel his life layer by layer to try to compose a puzzle of pieces that don’t fit, as people’s last words to him and about him, in memorial services on both coasts, speak more about themselves instead of Geoffrey and progressively confuse instead of enlighten us about him. The mismatching pieces become excuses for equally puzzling images trying to tell a story and piece together the profile of a mysterious man as an artistic paradox.”
For more information about “Mr. Nobody At All” and images from the exhibition, click here.
Image: Jordan Lysenko.