Tuesday, May 27, 2008

JJ Pakola selects...

Kit Rosenberg, Anchor, 2008, umbrella frame, emergency blanket, industrial fan, wood and monofilament

Vera Kachouh, Untitled #3, 2008, video projection, bench

The explorations of natural phenomena and ephemera by Kit Rosenberg's "Anchor" and Vera Kachouh's "Untitled #3" summon memories of the observer's individual memory, and question their connection to a collective conscience. Kachouh's video installation brings to mind the questions of "What am I watching?" or more specifically "Is it snow, falling ash, or actually nothing but a computer animation of shapes in motion?" and Rosenberg's "Anchor" can remind one of a trivial occurrence such as trying to use an umbrella on a windy day. While the immediacy of these thoughts can be important as an entry into the work, with a little more time viewing they seem insignificant. After leaving the realm of nostalgia, these pieces remind me of the importance of the experience of looking at or into art and become the sensuous embodiment of something more profound that is at once silly, elegant, and poetic. - JJ Pakola

Monday, May 12, 2008

Carl Baratta selects...

JJ Pakola, Is it hot in here or am I just sweating? (Overconfidence), 2008, gouache and watercolor on paper

Dan Schank, Heads Up, 2008, watercolor, gouache, conte crayon, cut paper collage on board

Both JJ Pakola and Dan Schank use personal and art historical moments as tools for divining the future: a future heaped with twisting chaos and magical turmoil. Using a mix of humor and sincere concern for humankind, these artists set their worlds spinning and reeling before us. If you stare through their elemental swarms, you glimpse something no one thought could happen. It's cold outside. Their fires offer no warmth, none at all. They burn. - Carl Baratta.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Isak Applin selects...

Carl Baratta, The Faithful Protector (After Nick Englebert), 2008, egg tempera on board

Jeremy Somer, Bacchanale Scene III, animation

I cannot think of any other artists whose work is so intensely curious, fantastic and free of reservation. While fantasy is often employed by artists to represent an exotic, otherworldly universe, Carl Baratta and Jeremy Somer's work manages to retain a tenuous, vital, even mythic link with our own experiences and world. Logically, such a cacophony of monstrosities, Venutian foliage, electric reptiles and Pleistocene insects should be content to reside in a habitat far from the concerns of 21st century. However, in the hands of Somer and Baratta the creatures and environments are somehow analogies, allegories or even explanations for what resides beneath mundane existence. - Isak Applin