Saturday, August 15, 2015

Painting's Not Dead

Exhibit A: Circling by Nogah Engler, Oil on canvas, 59 x 79 in

Go ahead. Click on the image.

Spend some time with it.

I'd suggest going to see it in person, but I think today was your last chance. It was on view at the Pizzuti Collection as part of their This Just In exhibition (July 1-August 15).

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nordecke Misogynists F**k Off!

You know what's worse than watching the Crew SC blow a 3-0 lead to Toronto FC in the 89th minute?

Watching them blow that lead while goons in the Nordecke chant:

You're all a bunch of cunts!
You're all a bunch of cunts!
Fuck You Toronto!
You're all a bunch of cunts!

Seriously. People chanted this. In public. With enthusiasm.

This, right here:

You're all a bunch of cunts!
You're all a bunch of cunts!
Fuck You Toronto!
You're all a bunch of cunts!

And lest you think this was just an isolated case of gender specific insults conjured up by a toxic mixture of dollar beer night and fan frustration, I can assure you it's not. Gendered insults pop up in the Nordecke in a way that's as alarming as it is regular.

If an opposing player gets hurt or goes down, you can expect to hear this chanted ad nauseum:

She fell over!
She fell over!
She fell over!
She fell over!

Get it? Because girls can't take it. They're weak and stuff.

If that player stays down for too long, you'll be treated to this gem:

You're a pussy!
You're a pussy!
You're a pussy!
You're a pussy!

Get it? Because being like a girl is like the worst thing you can say about someone, amirite?

And who can forget this brilliant bit of commentary that was trotted out when Sacha Kljestan and the New York Red Bulls were in town:

Sacha is a girl's name!
Sacha is a girl's name!
Sacha is a girl's name!
Sacha is a girl's name!

Ignore for a second the fact that the steakheads chanting this didn't recognize what is a fairly well known unisex name (Sacha Baron Cohen anyone?), the intent was as above: female = worthy of ridicule.

What's ironic about this kind of choreographed misogyny is that at each and every match fans are treated to a highly polished video urging us "Don't Cross the Line". It's the MLS campaign designed to foster unity, inclusion, and respect. Per their site, "Major League Soccer is committed to supporting the communities where we live and play our games, and to providing an environment in which our staff, clubs, players, partners and supporters are treated with dignity and respect. We will not tolerate discrimination, bias, prejudice or harassment of any kind."

That's just great. Props to all of us for not busting out some snappy f**got chant when Robbie Rogers and the LA Galaxy come to town. Let's pat ourselves on the back because we don't call African players monkeys or n**gers.

But BITCH? PUSSY? CUNT? "Hey, that's just good fun..."


No, it's not.

It's abusive and it's wrong. It creates an environment that's hostile and unwelcoming.

It crosses the line.

It needs to stop.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

While in Zanesville...

Make sure you check out the Zanesville Museum of Art.

I visited recently to see their 71st Annual Ohio Exhibition. As the title suggests, this show is a juried event that features work by artists who presently live in (or have previously lived in) the state of Ohio. Taken in tandem with the State Fair's Fine Arts Exhibition the Zanesville exhibit offers a great opportunity to see some of the best work by Ohio artists.

Like previous shows, this one was another winner. Thanks to either a liberal photography policy or the fact that no one noticed me, I snapped a few pics of some of things that caught my eye.

Here are my highlights:

Moon Rabbit
Anita Dawson

I'm not sure if I'm sold on the collage elements, but the rabbit and the sky and the palette and the whole almost creepy storybook vibe just knocked me out. I looked at this one for a while, never entirely sure if I should pet the rabbit or run away from it.

If this intrigues you the way it does me, know that Anita will have a solo show at Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus in August. To see more of Anita's work, make with the clicky here:

Barbara McGonagle 

I know, right? I review one show on fiber art, and now I think I'm some sort of expert. Seriously though, this bit of embroidery struck three of my nerves; the one that watched mom and grandma do needlework the entire time I was growing up, the one that appreciates graphic data visualization, and the one that lights up any time it sees something that even hints at the obsessive. Cherry. Cherry. Cherry.

Barb is from Oxford Ohio. If she has a web presence I couldn't find it. And really, good for her. The lack of an online footprint serves to reinforce the resolutely analog nature of her work. 

The Collection
Fred Fochtman

Fred Fochtman remains a favorite painter of mine. This still life/interior is a bit of a departure in that he's probably best known for his landscapes. Also, he's stretching the palette a bit with some colors you won't see in many of his other paintings. Not surprisingly, Fred won an award for this one. On the one hand, he deserves every award he gets, on the other, maybe he'd like to take a break and give some other painters a chance.

Fred is represented in Columbus by the Sharon Weiss Gallery: His personal web site remains comically incomplete:

Si-Yun Chang 

Re: Fiber Art (see above). This is just a fantastic piece and a good example of fiber art shining in a way that other mediums don't. Yes it's a (mostly) flat wall hanging that's more or less an exploration in two-dimensional design. The fact is though, you can't pull this off with anything else. Oil can't offer the subtle variances. Ink can't capture the texture. Watercolor can't define the flow. Hang this in my home and I'd probably take up meditation. Srsly.

Si-Yun has no discernible web presence. Artists!

Barn Under Blue Moon
Alice Carpenter 

GWTP (Great Work, Terrible Picture). You have to take my word on this one. It's lovely and rich and intimate. It's like a tiny Whistler nocturne, but instead of boats and bridges it has barns and weeds. real web site to direct folks to. Sorry. 

Sophie Knee

I love Sophie's monoprints. They're gestural, economical, and always capture the essence of the subject. A testament to their power is the fact that they can turn someone like me (who's not really an animal person), into an animal person!

Sophie's another Sharon Weiss artist:  

If the Ohio Exhibition weren't enough of an enticement the Zanesville Museum of Art also offers a lovely collection of American art pottery, American painting, and a current exhibiton of botanical prints. If you're looking for a day trip from Columbus, take 70 east and enjoy a visit.