All in the Family: An Exploration of Familial Creativity

This year is off to an exciting start, in Sarasota, with an exhibition bringing together some of the most highly influential individuals within the Sarasota art community – both as artists and educators. All in the Family is exhibited in the newly established Ice House, located right down the street from the primary colored building that was once John Chamberlain’s Studio. The Ice House was established in 2013 by Alfstad& Productions, with an aim to explore new ways to engage with the art community by reimagining art, exhibition spaces, and the art market. [Disclosure: Alfstad& is a sponsor of ART AT BAY]

Tim Jaeger, who’s mission has been to foster and maintain the local arts community along with his own studio practice (so far he’s been doing an exceptional job), curated All in the Family with artistic familial relationships in mind.  All in the Family consists of Ringling College of Art & Design faculty, as well as, their sons and daughters whom are all accomplished artists – featuring installations, paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype
Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Master printmaker Patrick Lindhardt and his son Matthew Lindhardt, whom works with photography, address landscape as subject matter, however they each approach land space in broadly differing ways. Patrick’s monochromatic Monotypes convey dramatic landscapes that poetically suggest the beginning or aftermath of environmental disturbances.  Matthew’s photographs are digitally manipulated into industrialized landscape spheres – bringing to mind the fragility and sheer power of our surroundings.

Steven Strenk and his daughter Bianca Rylee’s mixed media works exude a playful approach with colorful and energetic color pallets, inspired by the Floridian landscape. For me, Strenk’s most compelling pieces simultaneously appear to be modern kinetic sculptures and Children’s toys. Each piece looks as though they may come to life upon turning the hand crank, and similarly aesthetically pleasing as static objects. Bianca Rylee presents the viewer with a variety of artistic media including lovely embossed Monoprints with suggestive text, such as “THE ECSTASY OF INFLUENCE”.

Kevin Dean, his daughter Molly Dean, and his son Ian Dean each have a more disparate approach to art making, and yet they are equally arresting in their chosen medium. Kevin Dean’s multimedia assemblages and installations are laden with iconography and symbology – you could literally intellectually deconstruct these works for hours and you’re still left with plenty of questions. Molly’s masterfully executed paintings and illustrations inspire admiration for her highly skilled technical abilities and acute eye for design. Ian Dean’s photographs depict delightfully cluttered, colorful spaces as a clever way to describe the individual that inhabits each space, and in doing so, depicts aspects of the individual’s surroundings on a grander scale.

Mark Anderson, his son Jarrod Anderson, and his daughter Sörine Anderson are really good at creating psychologically probing pieces through their use of space, form, and material. Mark Anderson’s sculptures assert their power by the tension that is created from the details within each piece, as well as the negative space between one form and another. Jarrod Anderson creates beautifully intricate graphite drawings — fragments of his experiences and surroundings — to create visual narratives. In order to create each drawing, Jarrod coats paper with latex paint and carves into the paint with great care to reveal the underlying surface.

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they'll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards
Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they’ll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

With the use of metaphor, and historical and modern mythologies as a catalyst for creation, Sörine Anderson creates intriguing sculptures that look as though they could be an ancient artifact. In this exhibition Sörine’s pieces include a melted candle made of glass, a human jaw with lead teeth, and 18K gold cast finger nail clippings.

What a pleasure to experience a show that celebrates such important figures within the Sarasota art community and the gifts that have been passed down to their children, and shared to enrich the community as a whole. Furthermore, I am delighted by the fact that the Ice House makes available a beautiful  large space that proves to give artists’ the opportunity to utilize it to its full potential, as well as give artists the ability to get quite ambitious with their medium of choice – or offer enough space for quiet contemplation.  I’m looking forward to observing Ice House’s development and impact on the arts. Welcome to the neighborhood!

All in the Family runs through Sunday, January 19th from 12 pm – 6 pm. There will be a presentation by Kevin Dean entitled “The History of Artist Relationships”, January 15th, 7-8:30 pm and a panel discussion and Q&A session with the artists on January 16th, 7-8:30 pm (both not to be missed!). Curator Tim Jaeger will be the moderator.

The Ice House is located two blocks east of Tamiami Trail, 1314 10th Street, Sarasota, FL. For more information about All in the Family and upcoming exhibitions you can visit:

All in the Family: An Exploration of Familial Creativity

‘Our Table’ Visualizes the Repulsiveness of Abductions in our Local Community


Melanie Graham’s ‘ Our Table’, an installation inspired by the awareness of violence involving women and girls, creates a subtle but powerful message.

Graham’s installation seemed at bit unorganized at first, but once examined, I noticed that her concepts, especially the parallels she creates between food decay and abductions, are quite interesting and ingenious – not to mention quite impactful.

The Project is based on personal research and meetings with the families of missing women and girls. Her discoveries culminated in a planned feast especially dedicated to the six missing/ abducted women and girls featured in the show. With the exhibition, she hopes to draw attention to this growing issue of social injustice in our culture.

‘Our Table’ is comprised of five tables, each accompanied by personal photos provided by the families, favorite foods, and personal objects. The show is tied in quite nicely with Graham’s poetry; brilliant and powerful words that addressed the issues at hand quite strongly.

“I had a thought one day, that if anything terrible ever happened to her, I’d never be able to drink another Dr. Pepper (Graham said), which led me to pondering the emotional connections we have with food and people we love, which in turn made me think about the families of missing people.”

If there’s once thing that still lingers in my mind about this particular installation is the rotting food. I guess I forgot to mention that the food placed on these tables have been there since the day of the opening (Nov. 12th, 2013). As you can imagine, fresh foods go bad pretty quickly if not refrigerated. Except for the McDonald’s burger and fries found in one of the girl’s tables, much of the food left behind, has been filled with black and green mold. The decay is quite repulsive, and I think that this is what Graham was looking for.

Although the smell wasn’t an issue ( all of the fresh foods were covered with a glass lid), it was impossible to not imagine the smell of the rooting foods. Both the look and the smell (even if imagined) lingered throughout my visit, and well after it too.

Graham’s ‘offerings’ were not just a gesture of respect and memorial, but they were also a literal translation of the sickening behavior of the abductors-the only cause of the missing girls and women.

Graham is currently in a Master’s of Fine Arts program and has a PhD in Creative Writing. Her goals are to complete her MFA and publish her first book about America’s cultural obsession with violence.

The exhibition is up in display until November 26th,2013 at the Centre Gallery at USF.




‘Our Table’ Visualizes the Repulsiveness of Abductions in our Local Community

A Better Time Signature: Stacy Rosende at Gallery 221

In a way, I was glad I had missed the opening reception.  Instead, I walked the gallery for an hour alone on a Monday afternoon.  Stacy Rosende‘s solo exhibit subSURFACE speaks slowly and would likely rather wait patiently than shout over the din of a crowded art party.  This reveals something about the work itself – there is a peculiar sort of temporality running through it.

Initially, some of Rosende’s new work is reminiscent of the paintings of Todd Chilton.  However, the two artists tackle very different concerns.  Unlike Chilton’s opaque painterly style, Rosende creates a sort of abstract foreground and background.  Geometric patterns of color cover the panels.  Underneath, an arrangement of decorative flourishes can be dimly seen at times and disappear completely elsewhere.  This was inspired by a recent stay in Venice, Italy as the texture, patterns and layers of the city’s walls clearly influenced much of the work in subSURFACE.  The play between foreground and background does add a sense of depth to Rosende’s paintings.  However, a clear and strong sense of rhythm still dominates Rosende’s work.  The paintings may have come from an interest in surface, but seem to be very much about rhythm.

Vertical lines of color, irregularly sized and multi-colored without a discernible pattern, suggest a complex beat and a certain musicality.  Rosende doesn’t offer the eye a place to rest, instead forcing it to play through the composition, dancing over the colors left to right and back again.  In her statement, Rosende draws comparisons between tones in music and color, waves of sound and light, and arrangements both musical and visual.  Perhaps all of these comparisons are most easily discerned in Fertile.

At the center of the space, the sculpture occupies a significant amount of the gallery floor.  Twenty-nine differently sized stone-like objects (they’re actually plaster mixed with natural materials) are arranged in a ‘V’ formation from largest to smallest.  One side of each object is smooth and painted, the largest orange and gradually darkening with each piece down to the smallest painted black.

Fertile contrasts severely against the paintings and prints in the exhibit while offering a sort of respite.  Unlike the paintings which produce a sort of visual syncopation, the size, color and arrangement in Fertile all work in accord to produce a specific rhythm, a particular movement.  The piece draws your eyes front to back to front.  The movement is almost sexual.  The work’s title coupled with the movement suggest the womb, birth, or even the ascension and descent explored in the Cremaster Cyle of Matthew Barney.

Though I may be swayed by my particular gallery visit, what may be most valuable about this show is its slower pace.  Conceptual one-liners, needlessly showy and large work, parties badly disguised as art exhibits: each often coddle and cater to a critical laziness.  Rosende’s solo exhibit doesn’t do this.  Instead, the show makes apparent that it’ll take time.  If you are to honestly like or dislike the work, it’ll be after spending some time with it.  Ultimately, it may be this sort of “time signature” that is key to taking art seriously again.

A Better Time Signature: Stacy Rosende at Gallery 221

Through the Code and Back Again: Santiago Echeverry’s Self E-Portraits

The proliferation of digital and New Media Art is not entirely surprising.  Arguably, art makers have had a collective fascination with developing technology for the larger part of the twentieth century.  Insofar as computer-based work, Andy Warhol hopped on an Amiga as early as 1985.  At the risk of calling it prematurely (along with the whole of the New Aestheticians) there is something different with recent developments.  Portions of Santiago Echeverry’s new solo exhibit Modern Saints effectively illustrate them.

Santiago Echeverry, Self E-Portrait Series 2, Processing/Webcam, 6000x3375px, RGB

His Self E-Portraits in particular nearly work as a metaphor for this idea.  There is a subtle but important difference in the way Warhol and artists such as Echeverry (and by extension us) use a computer.  Echeverry’s Self E-Portraits are a series of self-portraits.  Upon initial inspection they seem to be taken in a dark room or at night, and are built up of many small three-dimensional shapes.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAEcheverry didn’t create the Self E-Portraits as much as create the conditions for their rendering.  Perhaps initially artists sought digitized versions of IRL counterparts in creating art using a computer.  Remember the spray paint, paint brush, paint bucket, and pencil of MS Paint?  This is rarely the case with current relevant digital art, and certainly not in the case of Echeverry’s work.

Instead, the art is in the underlying lingual structure of the series.  Echeverry wrote code using the programming language known as Processing.  The images of himself pouring in through the webcam were manipulated by the Processing code – some images were saved, and a few were printed.

It is tempting to think of the images on the walls of HCC’s gallery as art objects.  However, they may perhaps be more accurately thought of as documentation, visual evidence of the unseen code.  Echeverry nearly alludes to this in his statement saying that he had intentionally left “room for randomness in a mathematically constructed scenario.”

Santiago Echeverry, Self E-Portrait Series 2, Processing/Webcam, 6000x3375px, RGB

Of course, this “mathematically constructed scenario” was constructed by Echeverry.  Still, it’s in this way that he created the work – not with a computer, but through one.  In a very literal way, Echeverry is looking though computer code and back at himself.  It doesn’t take much to see how this may extrapolate from art making to a general way of living.  As Michael Betancourt mentions, in this new mode “the machine does not augment but supplant”.

Admittedly, I hate the sci-fi sound of this.  However, there is hardly a way around it.  Echeverry is careful to mention  “no Photoshop or digital retouching was done to any of these prints”.  That is to say, the prints are not the result of a steady and expressive hand – the process is much closer to supplanting the hand and eye than augmenting it.  Maybe on some level that’s the point.

This may be tangential, but the name of a series seems to be a pun – Self E-Portraits or Selfie Portraits.  Even the way we depict ourselves (and perhaps view ourselves) is fundamentally different than it once was.  High five to anyone who brings up Santiago Echeverry’s Self E-Portraits during the 10/17 #TwitterCrit.

Santiago Echeverry: Modern Saints is on view through 10/29 at HCC’s Performing Arts Building Gallery.  There will be a reception and gallery talk on 10/17 beginning at 5pm.

Through the Code and Back Again: Santiago Echeverry’s Self E-Portraits

Kelly Boehmer Threads the Needle

Kelly Boehmer’s Heart Out at Centre Gallery
Kelly Boehmer, Flamingo Harpy and the Alligator’s Heart, Mixed Media, 2013

I find myself continually distracted when watching a Hallmark movie, distracted by sentimentality.  Rather than viewing it like any other film, I can’t stop giving attention to the narrative’s mechanisms of emotional manipulation and trying not to get suckered by the emotional cheap shots.  Similarly with visual art, you’ll often find yourself experiencing the piece from without and the art bare of impact.  However, given all of the definite sounding statements above, steering clear of sentimentality while not also emptying a piece of emotional authenticity is still a challenging needle to thread.  It is a challenge artist Kelly Boehmer seems to be meeting with skill.

The last time I had seen Boehmer’s work had been over a year ago at the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Contain It! show – an exhibit of PODS installations.  Had I known the challenges of storage unit installations that I do now, I likely wouldn’t have been so hard on the show.  That said, her work at the Contain It! exhibit had a certain near syrupy nostalgia that was difficult to see beyond.  This syrupy nostalgia, however, is not to be found in Heart Out, her current solo exhibit at USF’s Centre Gallery.

Kelly Boehmer, Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue), Mixed Media, 2013

The gallery space is installed with three sculptural works.  Flamingo Harpy and the Alligator’s Heart dominates the space as the show’s largest piece.  As with the bulk of her work, the piece is composed many contrasting textiles.  Knotty tangles of fabric pile up to create recognizable forms.  A flamingo appears to be pulling the heart out of an alligator, the reptile’s innards caught in the bird’s foot.  The harpy takes its classically mythological form of a bird’s body topped with a woman’s head.  Despite the classical allusion, the scene is clearly that of a lover’s quarrel, albeit a bizarrely Floridian interspecies one.

Kelly Boehmer, detail of Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue), Mixed Media, 2013

Near the rear of the gallery is Unicorn Pegasus (Emotional Rescue).  The form of a unicorn type figure is depicted, but not in its typically idyllic way.  Rather, the figure is limp on the cold floor as if it were a carcass that had been heaved across the gallery and dumped.  The feeling of death in the piece is underscored by the animals teeth.  They are not fabric as the rest of the body.  Instead the teeth are real and from the head of an alligator buried in the “mouth” of the unicorn.  As the alligator and flamingo respectively had human-like hair and face, the unicorn possesses exposed human-like breasts.  An atmosphere of animalistic violence further continues into this piece.

On the wall hung the aptly titled Gaudy Gold Frame.  While the piece is a shiny gold, this too is constructed from irregularly stitched fabric.  I found this piece to be the most subtly interesting of the show.  In a way, its quietly meta quality made it the introvert of the bunch: easy to pass over in favor of its louder companions but also concurrently more contemplative.  Interestingly, Boehmer’s “frame” isn’t framing anything at all.  Rather the apparatus for setting an art object’s context, becomes the art object itself.  The piece is pleasantly confusing as it draws attention to an object frequently created with the intention of not drawing attention.

Kelly Boehmer, Gaudy Gold Frame, Mixed Media, 2013

It may also be this last piece that illustrates Boehmer’s skillfully precise use of bathos in this exhibit.  Heart Out threatens to venture into cheesy sappiness with each step.  However, it never quite does so.  Indeed she says in her artist statement, “Fears of death and heartbreak are reduced to silly scenarios with taxidermy and soft sculpture animals.”  Don’t let this fool you – she doesn’t stop taking her artwork seriously in Heart Out.  As Susan Sontag once pointed out the difference between kitsch and camp is a set of quotation marks.  Navigating this tenuous distinction is a challenging course for artists and a troubling one for viewers.  It is difficult to discern when Kelly Boehmer is holding up air quotes, when she is operating with a certain self-awareness and when we’re being had.  But it is a welcome difficulty that too often many local artists don’t trust their audience with.

There will be a closing reception for the show Fri 9/27 7pm-9pm

Kelly Boehmer Threads the Needle

Fragile, Thin Lines, Substantial Life Metaphors: Labauvie’s Most Recent Exhibition

Let’s face it, Labauvie’s WIRE.PAPER.STEEL is not for everyone; if you are one of those that take offense in modern art, then Dominique’s modern references and influences may come to a complete turn-off to you. Romanticism and lyricism are the heroes of this exhibition – without them on your side, Labauvie’s work will have little to no effect on you.

Gallery221@HCC is incredibly small – however, the monumentality of these works make you forget that you are in front of a group of students on library study desks reviewing for their exams. It is a space to get lost in and ponder about life and art, humanity and its condition.

Sounds terribly pretentious, doesn’t it? Well, I could say yes, but the truth is that the very particular choices, of material and placing, that Labauvie makes in these works are intriguing and thought provoking – they do indeed bring these kinds of questions and thoughts to mind.

DSC_0280Labauvie’s Flying Buttress (2012) on the up-front center, and charcoal drawings, Magnetic Fields (2013), on the left-hand side. Photo credit: Victoria Casal-Data

The protagonist of the exhibition is ‘Flying Buttress’. The Carnegie steel sculpture is hard to miss since it stands before you as you open the clear doors to the exhibition room.  The Giacommeti-esque ‘legs’- about eight of them – hold the upper part of the sculpture – a long oval-shaped figure with tiny holes of the contouring line. Its thinness and fragile, trembling outlines are strange – and may evoke variations of this question: how can steel be so fragile and thin, when it is synonymous with strong and indestructible qualities?  The paradox is eminent in most of Labauvie’s work.

Flatness is up next.

This is what becomes a point of curiosity in most of his work in this exhibition. Why does ‘Flying Buttress’, a three-dimensional sculpture, appear to be ‘flat’?

primarystructuresInstallation view of the exhibition “Primary Structures” at the Jewish Museum in NYC, 1966: works by Donald Judd (left side) and Robert Morris (right side)

When we speak of sculpture vs. paintings – we often reference back to the radical 60’s when artists like Frank Stella and others were on the verge of modernism and something else by creating paintings that had the ‘look’ of a sculpture (given that they looked three-dimensional). For instance, lets take the work of Donald Judd, the minimalist. His famous cubes, and geometric wall installations are sculptural in essence, but can we truly say that the viewing experience is different as we walk around it?  Can we still think of this type of work as a two-dimensional piece of art work?

stellanuncaFrank Stella: Nunca, Para Nada, 1967 (metallic powder in polymer emulsion on canvas, 9’2 x 18’4)

“To see letters in their correct form of reading, and then looking at them in their reverse, they are illegible, but they are still the same letter”, Labauvie says in the show’s brochure.

“To make a sculpture that we can walk around is relatively boring to me […] it’s about frontality”. He then says, “ contemporary society works with two-dimensional imagery-most of our information is shared through screens of some kind.”

DSC_0268Labauvie’s Wire Sculptures (1986-2013). Photo credit: Victoria Casal-Data

This is exactly his intention.

Found behind the detached walls behind ‘Flying Buttress’, his smaller sculptures, a series of 44 minis called ‘Wire Sculptures’, work more-or-less the same. They appear to be three-dimensional but in turn are fully frontal as the display choices doesn’t completely allow for the spectator to view the tiny sculptures from several different angles. The material – the wire surrounding a champagne’s cork, is an interesting choice, as this reveal the weight of the work in an interesting way. Labauvie refers to these works as ‘doodles’ – insignificant drawings – a pastime. These turned out to be a great addition to the exhibition as it further shows Labauvie’s interest in turning the three-dimensional into the two-dimensional ‘images’ that are a staple of drawings.

Repetition comes as an important characteristic of the series, as it creates a sort of lyricism, a musical staff with its many components with a beginning and an end. Its fragile lines, and quasi-readable forms keep the viewers guessing as to what they are looking at – and what it all means. A wonderful metaphor of life indeed.

The two charcoal drawing sets, ‘Magnetic Fields’ and ‘Notes de Silence’, are evocative of abstract expressionistic works – perhaps Gottlieb’s, or even Motherwell’s black and white circle paintings. The black and white drawings were done in-situ with charcoal and white pastels. The white rectangles and trapezoids are connected by the black diamonds that float, descend, or ascend depending on how you look at them. Like AbEx’s works, these drawings work on scale.They take out a pretty good chunk of the wall, a bit overwhelming as you stand before them. Thin and fragile lines, and a balancing act are once again the main components.

So what about all of this frailness, thinness, flatness, and repetitiveness? What about the referential quality of his work (references to Gothic architecture, to Giacometti, and the modern masters)?

How can something so substantial in history still be so superficial in matter?

This is up to you to decipher.

Dominique Labauvie’s exhibition will be on view until September 26th, 2013 at the Gallery221@HCC on the HCC Dale Mabry Campus.

lat_squares081813_11300913_8colNotes de Silence (2013). Photo Credit: Edward Linsmear

Fragile, Thin Lines, Substantial Life Metaphors: Labauvie’s Most Recent Exhibition

Sweets and Bombs – Kirk Ke Wang’s Newest Installation

Kirk Ke Wang Sugar Bomb5Though not a strict fit for the ‘-ism’, Kirk Ke Wang has the endearing optimism of a Conceptual artist. A project’s plausibility is irrelevant; the idea is everything.

Wang related the idea for his current installation to me a few months ago in his Seminole Heights studio.  However, it was clear to me at the time that, lest it be hung simply as a written description on an index card, the project would almost certainly require some revisions and compromises.  Meanwhile, its less plausible aspects illustrated exactly how comprehensive his concept is – little in the installation Sugar Bomb is incidental.

To that end, while Wang’s installations are perhaps becoming more ambitious in size, it is these little and seemingly incidental details that may be the most effective components.  A “bomb” papered with tobacco leaves are as much a wave to Cuba as they are a nod to Ybor city, where the gallery can be found.  They hint at the laborers that harvested them and the immigrants who rolled them.  It’s likely the tobacco leaf would only operate with such potency in Ybor City.  Still, it’s a rare object that at once wields subtlety and power while navigating away from cliché.  The bombs scattered through the installation are literally filled with such symbolism – bomb casings contain toy soldiers, Skittles, sugar.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe playfully colored bombs and their pleasant payload imply that they are not weapons of firepower but weapons of desire and information.  It is unclear who the bombs are intended to target or who dispatched them.  In some way, perhaps, the bombs are from and for everyone.

However, Wang’s foremost talent isn’t with these symbols.  Really, the metaphor would be a bit heavy-handed if it weren’t so carefully and complexly layered.  Rather, Wang shines in his ability to present conversations ready to be had.  He continues in his statement, “I hope the paradox and irony of “bombs” made of “sweets” would instigate a debate about our mental state of fear in today’s seemingly dangerous world.  What about things that appear lethal yet taste good?  What about real threats disguised under the sweetness?”

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHis installations avoid dogmatizing, instead revealing an issue’s complexity and asking for its careful consideration.  In Sugar Bomb, Wang presents global politics as seen by a Chinese man moving through America, and an American man moving through Cuba.  It’s difficult, if not impossible, to discern what is right (morally) or even right (correct) in any viewpoint.

Wang isn’t being reckless here with his installation’s concept: complexity shouldn’t be mistaken for ambiguity.  When the works asks “Should we fear?”, it isn’t looking for “I don’t know.”  Its looking for the beginning of a discussion that leads out of the gallery doors and on to Ybor’s brick streets.  With that objective, Sugar Bomb definitely hits its target.

Sugar Bomb will be on view through September 30.  A reception an artists talk is scheduled for Thursday September 12 5pm-8pm.  All events take place at the HCC Performing Arts building gallery.

Sweets and Bombs – Kirk Ke Wang’s Newest Installation

Couch Cushion Fort Frieze

As long as my wife’s patience allows, the couch cushion fort in the living room will keep its structural integrity and we’ll refer to it as the Frieze Art Fair.  I write for no less than two national magazines.  Yet, I still lack the means to abandon my day job or even pull out of muggy artless Tampa and into New York City for any amount of time.  Thus, I’m typing this from (as my wife insists on surrounding with air quotes) the “art fair” currently in my living room.

A single word to describe my initial impression of this year’s fair: shabby.  The grounds resemble a bourgeois hobo-camp.  This may be due to Frieze New York’s relative youth as an art fair or even the recent labor debacle.  To be fair, however, the fair’s shoddy presentation is likely my fault: the booths mostly consist of ink-jet printouts Scotch taped to my love seat cushions.

Despite the appearance, Frieze New York does not lack its highlights.  Bjarne Melgaard’s colorful paintings of face-like abstractions stand out in his purple-walled installation…or so I’m told.  Though the walls here are tan microfiber suede, the paintings still retain a certain charm on 100% recycled eight and a half by eleven.

Also, a verbal description of Paul McCarthy’s 80 foot tall balloon dog lies on the floor at the entrance of the living room.  While it lacks the larger-than-life character of its New York counterpart, the couch cushion McCarthy is at least less derivative of Jeff Koons.

However, the collecting fervor of past years has noticeably cooled off.  In fact, purchases have ground to a complete halt.  My wife is persistent in refusing to consider the work found in the fort “art”.  As one of the only visitors to Couch Cushion Frieze, this undoubtedly portends poor sales.  Naturally, my dog has expressed an interest in the FOOD Frieze Project, but a nonexistent budget merely makes him a nuisance.

Despite some presentation weaknesses and slowing sales, this year’s fair has been a pleasure to attend – clearly a stronger showing than the concurrent NADA Backyard.

Couch Cushion Fort Frieze

Art@Bay on Sarasota Visual Art: Seeing Things at Roger Chamieh’s Apophenia

Roger Chamieh, Broken

These are not grand existential statements. As people may have once been anxious over soul and salvation, today are likewise of car accidents, peanut allergies, smile lines and crow’s feet – a helpless body. Fittingly, the sculptures of Roger Chamieh’s current solo exhibit nearly appear to sag and be pinched, to wheeze and groan.

Read the rest of the article here at Sarasota Visual Art

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Art@Bay on Sarasota Visual Art: Seeing Things at Roger Chamieh’s Apophenia

Art@Bay at Sarasota Visual Art: You Have One New Message

Allen Leper Hampton, Big Black Diamond, 2012, Big black diamond

It’s a curious road from graffiti to street art.  A blank wall sans ownership or permission may be a common canvas to both.  Street Art, though, brings more than just irreverence for private property and leaves more than only trite scribble.  The Morean Arts Center’s current survey of Floridian Urban Art is aptly titled Leave a Message: Urban Art in Florida.  The exhibit featured twenty Florida-based artists from various points on the street art continuum.

Read the rest of the article here

Art@Bay at Sarasota Visual Art: You Have One New Message