New Art @ The Arts Upstairs 1/21/06

Arts Upstairs has "Mo". Momentum or more better art, the choice is yours.

Either way, the art is well hung with inspired sensitivity to bring out cross connections, twining themes, and lateral linkages between the works and to the spaces they activate. Works made from natural wood, sticks and rocks is a motif of several artists showing at TAU. Likewise, we are seeing more neon and welded metal sculptures.

Kudos to the members for putting on an exceptional show, refreshingly fresh and bursting with wet paint and artistic juice.


A numerologicaly mysterious artist known as Five-One-Five has gone beyond the I-Ching theme of recent works in this shamanic selection, "Time manifesting 515". The spine is a spine, the copper ring, like a watch mechanism, almost ticks seconds (as do the black pips.)
Bob Rit's collage, "Assemblage", pokes holes in American media with apocalyptic humor, suggestive titilating teasers and sacred cow political icons. Someone please explain the bulls-eye before and after his name..

Bronson Eden is back with one of the most sophisticated works in the show, "Pink Spirit Door", a Stella example of handsome stick art. He reaches into the East Village archives of his mind, and goes out on a limb with Mondrian rhythms.

 

Dave Channon (AKA myself) also engages the tree spirit in "We Tree", a tree-hugging romantic love story with cosmic overtones. The deep crimson falling leaves, like drops of blood, echo the sparkling dash of a shooting star.

 

Chance Fraser dares you to step across the line into his reality in this amazing self portrait, "Five Fingers". Ask to see his hands and you will agree, they really look like the way he drew them. Among the swirling demons and goblins, I noticed a spunky likeness of yours truly, although he said it's only me if I want it to be. Teenagers!

 

Donald Bruschi dazzles the photons with "Light Drawing Setup". Just standing in this room energizes your pineal gland. Time exposure photos of him waving the neon magic wand tempt the visitor to pick it up and do the Luke Skywalker thing, but don't try it. There's about 50,000 volts in there.

 

Eeo Stubblefield breaks my heart with "Anna Halperin- Old Woman Series". The crown of thorns and crusty caked-mud skin, the aching knees kneeling on cold bare rock, the prayer of mourning... give us an insight into the pain Eeo exorcises in so many of her performances and events.

 

Whew! Just when Eeo had my soul in torment, Jordana Hysell comes to the rescue with "Seaside Sailor", a light hearted, daffy diorama of two young tars on leave. The tangled web snares momentos of nautical nostalgia. It reminds me of a good bar in Key West.

 

When Jose Acosta is not out building Hotels, he is kind enough to engineer some compelling art. In "An Artist Life" he dangles himself topsy turvy amid saints and devils, and offers what might be prayer beads or mardi-gras soulveniers. His signature crimson shall be henceforth known as Acosta Red.

 

Jud Eden's "Squiggles #1" glows from the Arts Upstairs balcony windows like a lighthouse torch to any lonely passer-by on Main Street in the dark of winter night. His neo-neon noodles stand on sturdy pylons that defy the fragility of glass. Notice the yellow squiggle in Lynn Fliegel's painting, another cross connection of deliberate curatorial serendipity.

 

Ken Lovelett makes musical machines that beg you to bang and tinlke on them. But please touch only with your eyes. "The Busker" comes with an audio soundtrack of the artist-percussionist playing it better than I could anyway.

"George" is a shovel head. No, not someone who snorts shovels, but a cubist welded effigy with overtones of Klee and Picasso. Kevin Green takes mundane metal chunks and charges them with humor and a bit of pathos. Imagine Abe Lincoln trying to do his homework on one of these?

 

Michelle Spark takes "Rocks and Mud" and elevates them to a lofty level. Anyone who knows her knows how much she loves the streams of nature, which to many of us is just a mess of wet rocks and mud.
"The 9th Muse" is a nebula with dreams of galactic dust and mysterious faces dissolving through light years of interstellar radiation. Rich Morris captures the vastness of outer space and the intimacy of inner vision at the same time.
This is the first time Ron English has shown at this gallery and we hope not the last. Do I have to say the title? Ron is a masterful portratist and captures likenesses and expressions with direct, unhesitating brushstrokes. The superimpositions and chromatic cleavages bring out ironic contrasts and obvious connections. Although some collectors at the opening speculated that the price of $25,000 is a little high for "Rocky and Bullwinkle", others are speculating by buying his paintings.

Alas, Troy Gangle's "The Long Swing With Closed Eyelids" is the last beast on this particular art safari. Is it wishful thinking to imagine a golfer at the tee, with eyes shut, pondering the hole in one? Erect yet weatherbeaten, massive and sinuous, a wiggly and wonderful rippling wooden totem.


 


I may not know golf, but I know what I like.

Well... Have I sliced or double bogied in my review of the New Art Show at Arts Upstairs? You can respond to:

dave@esopuscreek.com