G Fine Art will open a group show on Saturday that features Jose Ruiz, Vesna Pavlovic, and one of my favorite artists and all-around great gal Lisa Marie Thalhammer. Her show called Welcome to Lizard County consists of a series of drawings based on her memories of working in her family’s truck stop when she was a teenager. Lisa Marie is smart and thoughtful – pretty important qualities for an artist to have.
In this new series of work, Thalhammer investigates the underbelly of America’s Highways. Inspired by her experiences in the family’s truck stop, she draws the semi-trucks that brave vast expanses of highways connecting goods and consumers. Alone and lonely, full of desire and intent, this macho trucker world both idealizes women and supports abuse of them. Lot Lizards, a trucker term the title is based on, are prostitutes, who wait in truck stop parking lots. Thalhammer collages images of women from men’s interest magazines as hood ornaments onto the drawings, examining the way feminine beauty is both reverenced and objectified. Appropriated gospel illuminations adorn the drawings, referencing the Bible belt, where the family truck stop was located.
Thalhammer was the recipient of the Young Artist Program Grant Award from the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities in 2007, and in 2006 the Small Project Programs Grant Award from the DC Commission of the Arts and humanities. She lives and works in Washington DC, and participated in the Exercises for Emerging Artists, which culminated in the show E:3 Painters at Transformer Gallery.
Robert Mellor’s new show called New Scenarios opens tonight at Irvine Contemporary. For the love of god, please go see this show. Mellor’s technical expertise blows me away and his understanding of color dynamics is nearly perfect. The precision and detail of his work made me wonder if he was some nerdy, anti-social dweeb who washes his hands all the time or never at all. Turns out he is an engaging and cool sophisticate who is at the same time unpretentious and kind – someone I’d want to hang out with.
From the Press Release:
Robert Mellor’s new series of paintings boldly expands his innovative fusion of hard-edge organic composition techniques and original color harmonies. The word “scenario” originally referred to the instructions on the back of painted theater scenery used as directions for actors entering a “scene.” Robert Mellor’s New Scenarios can be viewed as new propositions for visual enactment by the viewer, each work providing cues for engaging with the composition, layer by layer, edge by edge, line by line, color by color. While it can be said that any work of art comes alive as art by a viewer’s active engagement, Mellor foregrounds this relationship by composing works of arresting beauty that compel viewers to re-enact the process of composition with the artist.
In this new series of paintings, Mellor often combines references abstracted from landscape and organic forms, city scapes and architecture, Japanese woodblock prints, and cascading fabric from fashion design in totally new ways. His astonishing and original color harmonies command attention and continually reward viewers who take a contemplative pause and convert compositional space into time. Mellor is also the edge master, sculpting visual space with his hard-edge lines and interplay of forms, working at the edge of figuration and abstraction, building paintings from multiple layers that push the works into three dimensions as substantial objects in their own right. Mellor’s New Scenarios are a set of enticements and seductions for viewers that make a bold, affirmative statement for new directions in painting today.
Yay! The Guerilla Film Fest is back! If you haven’t seen this before, you’re missing out on one of DC’s best alternative amusements. It’s a popular event with limited seating so buy your tickets soon.
Checked out Jiha Moon‘s show fabulous fictions at the Moti Hasson gallery when I was in New York last weekend and couldn’t resist adding another work by this super talented artist to my collection. This painting is absolutely gorgeous. You can’t really grasp the intensity of the colors in this jpg, though, and you also can’t see the way Jiha has painted the sides of the canvas, which makes this landscape feel more lush and complete. I also like the way she uses spirited pinks in her palette. She says it’s her favorite color – plus I think she’s a little bit punk, too. If you’re in New York before June 16, stop by the gallery and take a look at the show.
Jiha’s show got a great review in the New York Sun last week. Here’s an excerpt:
In contrast to the enigma and quietude of Messrs. Cook and Ballard, Ms. Moon goes for the jugular in exhilaratingly complex, brightly hued fantasy evocations of waves and clouds. This is the debut solo exhibition of the young Korean-born artist who is based in Atlanta, Ga. Her paintings are staged collisions, both literally and culturally. A typical work is a bright cacophony, meticulously orchestrated to keep billowy forms and textures distinct. The associations are high and low, east and west, looking with equal and random enthusiasm to Pan-Asian animé effects, Old Master drawing techniques, and psychedelic pop abstraction. “Scholar’s Garden” (2007) describes a lovingly complex imaginary space in which credible perspective and ornamental flatness are fused and confused. There are deliciously jarring greens for distant and proximate verdure. Viscous, coagulating acrylic sits upon ethereal, subdued ink washes, evoking disparate senses of scale. The smaller works are better resolved, generally, than the larger ones, and in one or two instances the use of decals seems forced and predictable. But by and large this is a debut that trumpets technical accomplishment and formal ambition. It is hard to say what, if anything, these mad landscapes mean, but they are rich and fun, inviting exploration.
Back in March, I wrote about an article I’d read in the New Yorker on Jimmy Webb, the manager of Trash and Vaudeville, a well-known punk clothing store in the East Village. I won’t bore you with all the details of how reading about this man inspired and moved me and how I finally settled on the name of my arts organization – The Pink Line Project – because of him. (This was after months and months of torturing my clever friend Jonathan, with whom I’d tasked with thinking of a name – he’s very creative that way and he totally came through. Thanks, Jonathan!!) So when I was in New York this weekend, I made the pilgrimage to T&V to meet Jimmy and tell him so. Jimmy is the sweetest man! I think my story touched him and we both got misty-eyed and hugged each other a lot and Jimmy gave me his personal cell number and said I could call him anytime. Jimmy rocks!
These are the shoes I bought from him:
Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Sneak a peak at two new dance pieces, with choreography by company member Erin Mitchell and guest artist Paulina Guerrero, who thrilled audiences last summer in Taffety Punk’s “The Phoenix and Turtle” at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival.
Erin is very excited to bring the Taffety Punk aesthetic of more ooomph with less hoo-ha to the ongoing artistic lab that is Artomatic. These works-in-progress include a new solo, and a duet, scored by composer Ryan Nelson (of Soccer Team, Dischord Records).
May 19th. 8pm. Free.
All Ages Welcome!