Seeing spots - Page 2

HAIRY EYEBALL: Bill Jenkins' tiny space transformation with "Lids and Dots," and Seth Koen's narwhal tribute wood sculptures

A nightmare to clean: Bill Jenkins' installation at Jancar Jones Gallery

With its two dowel-like appendages poking from what resembles the joined back and seat of a chair turned upside-down, Tusk sketches a walrus with but the simplest lines. So, too, does Selkie, with its upturned spire, evoke the titular shape-shifting seal of Celtic lore, as well as the horned creature from which the exhibit takes its name and creates a strange new adjective: "Narwhellian."

It is a fanciful variation on "Orwellian," as well as a repudiation of that word's sinister connotations of control and manipulation. Koen's sculptures, whose simple shapes are at once unspecific and particularly evocative, welcome a freedom of interpretation. Almost toy-like, they invite play.


If you don't get your candy fix this Halloween weekend, be sure to browse the rainbow-colored confections at Scott Richards Contemporary Art when the group show "Sweet Tooth" opens Nov. 4.

Your eyes will probably hurt as much as your teeth after taking in so many glossy, photo-realistic depictions of sugar, as well as its cheaper, government subsidized imitations. There are paintings of candy drops, a cocktail umbrella-topped mountain of sorbet, a truly dubious Jell-O mold, and a package of colorfully iced cookies (Daniel Douke's Invasion) that resembles an edible version of one of Warhol's Flowers silkscreens. The effect is one of brightly hued and cutely packaged obscenity.

There's even some old fashioned, Easy-Bake sexism courtesy of pop pin-up artist Mel Ramos, whose Reese's Rose features a busty brunette emerging from a Reese's candy bar wrapper, à la Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. Katy Perry should hit him up for her next album cover.

Wayne Thiebaud's 1970 gouache painting Study for Gumball Machine is remarkable for its vivid two-dimensionality, reducing the spherical nature of its subject to colors and mostly straight lines. Dimension is drawn in, but Thiebaud's line and color combinations create an aura around the gumball machine rather than convey its seeming tactile immediacy.

Thiebaud's study lacks the glossy shellac that drips across the other works in "Sweet Tooth." It is a useful reminder that we can't always get what we want. 


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