Fresh Paint
Thursday, April 14, 2005
SAIC BFA Show, 2nd floor, Part 2
Here's the tail end of the SAIC BFA show, 2nd floor edition:

Loren Erdrich -- oil on vellum a light box. Big sepia faces with makeup applied lightly to face and cheeks, light shining through. Eerie. Years ago I saw drawings done in the palest of pale ink washes, like washed out negatives (didn't record the student's name, darn, but they've stayed with me). These reminded me of them a bit.

Andrea Lambert -- all lithos and collage. What a hoot! Manipulated Victorian images of scenes of love, betrayal, escape, etc. "The Letter", woman reading letter, perhaps of rejection, with gun at side. "The Trade" -- Sailor and wife embracing after long sea journey with mermaid rising from sea and embracing him from behind. "The Garden" -- coy images of nymphs, Cupid with gold ring as a halo, etc. Clever, maybe a little obvious, but well done.

Mario Trejo -- I loved this piece. Sharpie, pen, gesso on canvas. Huge. Tangle of squiggles, very dense and overlapping, a little Pollocky. Layers upon layers. Like he kept telling himself, "There's still more room. I can still put more stuff on here." But the gestural lines seemed to have a sense of humor about them, tho completely non-objective.

Scott Austin Nash -- "20 Guys I'd Like to Fuck", and so would I. Color photos, each maybe 20 by 16 inches of attractive nude guys, some penises fully erect, some not, all cheerful and casual as they face the camera. Reminded me somewhat of the Timothy Greenfield-Sanders photos of porn stars being direct and relaxed from the April Art in America, but only because I just saw them. None of them are suggestive or leering. Good photo values too.

First thing I thought, however, was that I wished a young woman had done this. 20, 30 years ago one would have, and probably did. Gay men and their art doesn't shock at all. The Mapplethorpe controversies are old and laughable. Gay Republicans have taken over the Log Cabin. Young women's imagery has retreated into subtlety and coyness (see Lambert, Vinarsky). End of sermon. Ladies, let's go out there and screw! Fuck abstinence! Make Love Not War! I fear I am showing my age.

Sandra Abbas -- bathroom paintings in the mirror. Tweezing mustache hairs, etc. Very good. Acrylic on birch plywood, but lush, oil-looking. Somewhat reminiscent of my recent hair paintings (ha ha).

Lisa Pantoja -- blue sculpture of woman's torso, like a breastplate of armor, laced up neatly in the back with red ribbon, and perhaps it is. On the floor in ranks and marching outward are small (maybe 6 ro 8 inch high) female "consumebots", dozens of them, all nicely painted and detailed. Liked this a lot. Had edge plus quality.

The second floor has now concluded.

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