Tampa Visual Art Guide 8/30 – 9/05

Alright, I’m sorry.  I haven’t been doing the best job of keeping you apprised of art happenings in Tampa.  Not to worry, though: I’m getting my head back in the game and you back up to date.  Here’s the best going on in Tampa right now.

The Elephant in the Room

CL Space – The Elephant in the Room

There’s only one thing I don’t like about the CL Space and I understand it’s unavoidable: exhibits don’t hang around for very long there.  Generally if you missed the opening reception to a show, such as the current The Elephant in the Room, you missed the show entirely.  Not so today!  The art deities have considered you’re plight and shown you favor – you’ve given a closing reception!  Seriously, with its brick walls and floating dry wall, the CL Space is a beautiful art venue.  The Elephant in the Room is a politically charged juried exhibit.  You’ve likely seen several of these types of shows recently as a result of the RNC.  This show is especially worthy of your attendance because of its more subtle but well thought-out work, and its interactive Silverfish Revolution.  Read more about that here.  – The closing reception is Friday 8/31, 7pm-9pm at CL Space.

Taking Place: Drawings by Josette Urso

Josette Urso

Gallery 221 at HCC is now presenting work from New York based (and Tampa native) artist Josette Urso.  Urso produces intricate ink drawings that are at once claustrophobic like the cityscapes they depict but also playful in a way.  A number of these drawings are currently being exhibited.  However, Urso’s enormous (7.5 x 20 feet) site specific installation, a vinyl rendering of a drawing, and a six-minute video work titled Taking Place really make the show worth a visit.  She plays effectively with ideas of place and information, giving the viewer a bit to untangle mentally and visually.  – Gallery 221@HCC will be hosting an artist talk and presentation Wed 9/05, 3pm and an opening reception the following evening at 5pm-7pm.

The Importance of Being Photographed

It was a cross-medium mash-up waiting to happen: Andy Warhol and Oscar Wilde.  The playwright and the pop artist expressed some eerily contemporary and similar concerns in their work such as celebrity, sexuality, beauty, and wealth.  The exhibit doesn’t actually feature the work of either artist, but rather takes its cue from the Polaroids in the exhibit down the hall, The Andy Warhol Legacy Project.  This is a photography show about being photographed.  Many of the subjects are entirely aware they are standing in front of a camera.  It’s this self-awareness that’s really fascinating and give many of the pieces a voyeuristic feel.  I would love to know what Oscar Wilde would think about this show.  The exhibit includes artists Tina Barney, Dawoud Bey, Katy Grannan, Jason Lazarus, Malerie Marder, Ryan McGinley, Catherine Opie, and Alec Soth.  – The Importance of Being Photographed is open at the USF Contemporary Art Museum through 12/15/13.

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