Saturday, April 04, 2009

First Friday Meanderings

Invisible Dan and His Castles - Emma Overman
used with permission

AV Framing Gallery

1139 Shelby St

Emma Overman
"Picture Show: Imaginary Moments from the Silver Screen"
through April 25

I'll admit I was drawn to Emma Overman's show because of the title "Picture Show: Imaginary Moments from the Silver Screen". As a fan of old movies and a devote of Turner Classic Movies I was curious to find out what she would be interpreting. My first reaction upon entering was one of delight. The whimsical paintings in blacks and grays promised little individual adventures within the found and refinished period frames. For what appears to be grayscale paintings there is a surprisingly large amount of color. Even the grays are tinged in shades of yellows, greens, and browns. Overman remarked that she is still working to establish good grays and that a "splash of color adds zing."

The characters Overman creates to inhabit the slightly eerie landscapes balance the nightmarish with cuteness. A pink pig and black and red butterfly merrily traipse along in dark foreboding woods that might be home to an evil witch. Her wide oval headed people could be a cross between old Nickelodeon cartoons and modern anime. It's easy to imagine Overman paintings hanging on the walls of the Addam's Family mansion or in a Tim Burton movie.

It's easy to see why Overman has had success with illustrating several books already. Each of her paintings is a story.

1125 Brookside Ave. C7

Wug Laku

I've known Wug too long to write a review of his show, but because he hosts and works so hard for other artists I wanted to at least mention that a visit to his studio is always worthwhile.

As Wug wrote, "Most of these images are somewhat raw, or unfinished, in nature, representing the equivalent of a sketch or a diary page. (You’ll notice that many of them show a bit of wear and tear, just like the pages of a well-thumbed diary or journal.)...Shown collectively, these images reveal some of the progressions I’ve gone through to get to where I am artistically."

There is quote penciled on his wall that I like and asked if I could use it on my site:
"The purpose of art is to bring the heart to the fire to permit the marriage of heart and soul to ignite the fear of the possible."

Rushman Gallery
948 N. Alabama St.

Arthur Liou
"Improbable Waves"
through April 25

Suggestion: Upon entering the gallery immediately turn left and enter the darkened room to watch the videos before touring the prints of still frames. Arthur Liou's engineered videos using artwork to create sloooooooow motion waves of beautiful colors. For anyone wanting to use their widescreen high definition televisions for displaying fine art this is a good example of how to do it. Instead of some generic screensaver or simply turned off, Liou's videos offer an excellent alternative for a home theatre.

As with the archival prints, the videos on discs are sold as a limited edition of just eight.

Harrison Center for the Arts
1505 N. Delaware St.

Susan Hodgin

Without already knowing that this long pursued series is symbolic of piles of rock it would be easy to interpret Susan Hodgin's paintings as being more organic and even floral. The bright palette she uses with oils and charcoal has a light, joyful feel that mirrors the drifting and overlapping circles and ovals. It's hard to believe her inspiration comes from rocks. It's to her credit that Hodgin can elevate the piles, the cairns, to the emotional context that motivated various peoples to stack them to begin with. While Hodgin's paintings are certainly decorative, she does evoke positive feelings. One can't help but feel elevated while surrounded by these floating stones.

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