| Reviews |

Daniel Funkhouser Presents "Family Photos" and "Homelands" at Eye Lounge

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Daniel Funkhouser's latest pair of exhibitions at Eye Lounge is the best sensory overload we've had since the neon comeback of 2012.

The local artist's Family Photos is a series of metallic digital prints that question the absurdity of social norms and play with tropes of childhood and adolescence, and he describes his series called Homelands as "a starscape installation influenced by an undying love for Science Fiction."

Together the two exhibitions constitute Funkhouser's third and final showing in downtown Phoenix's collective gallery, Eye Lounge. Incorporating self-portraits and portraits of a few close friends, Funkhouser expands upon some of the themes he has explored in previous works, but this time, he says he's taking his persistent questioning of social paradigms to the next level.

See Also: - Creatives 2012 -- 72: Daniel Funkhouser - Matthew Salenger on Urban Sprawl and the Individualocracy Project - Jason Griffiths on Community Identity, Public Art, and His Chair Installations in Tempe

Though Family Photos and Homeworlds are comprised primarily of photographs, Funkhouser has an academic background in painting. This training is particularly evident in Family Photos: the positioning of the figures often appears to mimic classical portraiture.

But there's nothing classical about Funkhouser's use of LED lighting to create the saturated colors that really make his pieces jump off the wall. The frames, which Funkhouser hand-painted himself, multiply this effect.

Funkhouser says he hopes Family Photos invokes both "playful fantasy and familiar nostalgia." The artist harkens to the weirdly staged portrait photographs of his youth, and takes this historically stunted form to new ends (see Funkhouser's version of a prom photo aptly titled "Celebrating Another Successful Dating Ritual, Hallelujah").

In fact, what makes Family Photos particularly notable is Funkhouser's ability to poke fun at things without losing the art. The pieces are lighthearted, but not at the expense of their meaning.

With the small, space-inspired installation, Homeworlds serves as a complement to the main attraction, and Funkhouser shows us a different side of his work less focused on narrative. (Not to mention this is one of the best uses of Eye Lounge's project room we have ever seen).

Funkhouser built the light boxes that showcase his "planets" scattered around the room and interspersed with glow-in-the-dark stars. The installation reminds us of going to the planetarium as a kid, which thematically serves as a nice complement to pieces in the front room.

The exhibitions will be on view at Eye Lounge through January 15. Stop by the gallery on January 4 for the First Friday Reception. Check out the eye lounge website for additional information.

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.