The Iridian Gallery at Diversity Richmond is pleased to announce the opening of Omnium-Gatherum, a solo exhibit from painter Melissa Wilkinson. This show will run concurrently with Goodbar, a solo exhibit from New York artist Dan Halm on March 10 with a reception from 7-9 pm. Join us for this event to meet the artists and our gallery team. Light refreshments will be served with a cash bar. The shows will be open to the public March 10-April 22.


In Melissa Wilkinson’s paintings, she appropriates from existing images of Hollywood’s golden era, late 70’s/ early 80’s tomboys and heartthrobs, disco, and private Tumblr accounts. These personas have informed her identity and personal sense of self. By creating a type of reassembled painting, these queered images challenge gender and propose the absurdity of traditional presentations as both limited and binary. Her images become coveted objects, holding hours of considerate and loving application through a painterly meditation. Wilkinson explores micro-expressions, gender play, and her coming of age as a queer person. Influenced heavily by collage and digital intervention, these meticulous watercolor and ink wash paintings investigate what it means to labor on an object in the 21st century. Water media on paper creates a vulnerable object through the tender presence of her touch.


Dan Halm’s Goodbar series tackles the anonymous fictions created online by men looking for love, sex and/or companionship. The men featured in the series, a nod to the 1977 Judith Rossner’s novel Looking for Mr. Goodbar, as well as his hunt for the perfect mate were all downloaded from profile photos off the dating app Scruff. With the advent of digital apps replacing bars and clubs as viable options of meeting other men, the nuances of cruising and the art of the flirt seem secondary or non-existent. These grids of digital men, a never-ending candy store of options (bears, queers, muscle boys, twinks, daddies, jocks, etc.), encourage the user to scroll, engage or ignore; and often reduce the men on the other side of the phone to their perceived avatars.