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Artist uses record of his life to create 3-D Facebook page in DiverseWorks inaugural exhibit

Artist uses record of his life to create 3-D Facebook page in DiverseWorks inaugural exhibit

5, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Artist Franklin Evans spent a week installing the intricate paper pieces of his new show at DiverseWorks. Photo by Tyler Rudick
1, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Evans has fused new and old work to create a highly-personal record of his own artistic development. Photo by Tyler Rudick
7, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
The artist said he hopes to push that "dissolution of mystery and privacy" to the surface of his art, using his own life as a example. Photo by Tyler Rudick
3, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Panorama view Photo by Tyler Rudick
2, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Photo by Tyler Rudick
4, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Photo by Tyler Rudick
6, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
Photo by Tyler Rudick
5, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
1, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
7, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
3, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
2, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
4, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012
6, Tyler, Franklin Evans at DiverseWorks, November 2012

For the inaugural exhibition at DiverseWorks' new midtown space, Franklin Evans has taken full advantage of the organization's freshly revamped storefront with houstontohouston — a wall-to-wall installation constructed of paper ephemera the artist collects from his lower Manhattan studio on Houston Street (hence the exhibition title).

Employing everything from gallery fliers and museum press releases to baby pictures and computer printouts of his early paintings, Evans forges a cluttered record of his conscious and unconscious inspirations as well as a catalog of his own artistic development.

"Thanks to so many types of new media and technology, we can frame ourselves so much more completely than we have in the past," Evans said. 

"In making art, I make a great effort to use all the resources we have to tell our story," he explained during a recent interview with CultureMap.

"Thanks to so many types of new media and technology, we can frame ourselves so much more completely than we have in the past . . . especially in the way we can print and reproduce images so easily."

A grid of photocopied book covers is taped to the floor, along with images from some of the Evans' 2010 installation work at the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 outpost in Queens. Brightly colored strips of paper and masking tape stretch from the concrete floor to the ceiling, helping to highlight older material from exhibits at the Sue Scott Gallery that he has repurposed for his solo Houston show.

With an undergraduate degree in math and an MFA in painting, the artist has organized the installation with the rigidity of an archivist and the freewheeling methods of an artistically-inclined hoarder.

With an undergraduate degree in math and an MFA in painting, the artist has organized the installation with the rigidity of an archivist and the freewheeling methods of an artistically-inclined hoarder. 

In the end, Evans unleashes an explosion of self-reference that's become so common in the early 21st century. The installation feels as if the viewer has wandered into a three-dimensional Facebook profile page, complete with photos of friends and subtle references to the artist's childhood in Reno, Nevada

"I think my work really captures the spirit of now," he explained. "It's that desire to share really banal personal information on social media along with all the other more important moments in our lives." Evans said he hopes to push that "dissolution of mystery and privacy" to the surface of his art, using his own life as a example.

"In using all these personal references, a certain temporal component emerges. Not only are there elements of what I've produced in the past and what I'm doing now, but I'm sure there are hints to what I'll be doing in the future."

Evans' houstontohouston show will be on view through Jan. 5, 2013 at the new DiverseWorks space (entrance on Cleburne between Fannin and Main).