Garner Narrative contributes two provocative exhibits for Photo Biennial

“Hung” by Kevin Warth

As more and more shows open this month as part of the Louisville Photo Biennial, NuLu’s Garner Narrative Contemporary Fine Art Gallery will contribute two provocative exhibits to the mix of more than 60 throughout the city. The exhibits open Friday during the Republic Bank First Friday Hop.

The art is meant to spark discussion rather than quiet contemplation.

First up is Kevin Warth’s “Home Sweet Home,” which includes 10 photos and two installations that challenge the stereotypes of a typical American home. The self-identified queer artist offers up scenes from homes that may not fit into cookie-cutter images.

“Mid-Century Modern Decor” by Kevin Warth

“I ask viewers to question the way they see the American household and the values attached to it,” said Warth in his artist’s statement. “Domesticity exists in many forms. My photographs offer a glimpse into my own sense of home.”

Gallery director Angie Reed Garner tells Insider this is Warth’s first time exhibiting at the gallery, and his pieces were inspired from his time working in home decor retail for several years.

“That’s a lot of time on your feet to note the cultural legacies, trends and realities of homemaking, to notice who gets included and who and what is imagined right out of the picture,” she says. “I think about how queer youth and adults are too often treated by their families, how home may be, at best, a highly conditional place of refuge. Perhaps with these photos, he invites some people home just as they are — where they always should have been.”

Next up is photographer Derek Goodwin, who is introducing “Louisville Defiance: A Book of Photomontage” during the show. Goodwin documented hundreds of graffiti and street art in Louisville for the book, and much of it has been painted over and removed since it has was published.

A montage of Louisville graffiti by Derek Goodwin

“I am a Louisville resident, a citizen of possibility … the art of the street is the definition of possibility,” he said in his artist’s statement. “Opportunity and possibility go hand-in-hand.”

Reed Garner says she feels like she knows her city better after seeing Goodwin’s work.

“I also somehow understand a little better what graffiti art means, though don’t ask me yet,” she explains. “It’s a feeling for the spirit that is so obvious in the genre, whether people like it or they don’t. What drives these artists to paint as they do? What drives Goodwin to document and celebrate their work?”

For the project Goodwin reached out to people on both sides of the issue — from graffiti artists and professional muralists to those fighting against vandalism. It’s an interesting approach to a very heated topic, says Reed Garner.

Both “Home Sweet Home” and “Louisville Defiance” open Friday, Oct. 6, from 6-9 p.m. The shows continue through Oct. 27. Garner Narrative is located at 642 E. Market St.