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Every artwork on this page is copyright 2008 by the originating
artist. No reproduction or approximation of these works
may be created in any medium for any commercial or nonprofit use without specific written permission from the artist.
X 08 Open & Kettle's Spring Cleaning
The West Wall in The Pit - Photographs Painstakingly
In columns left to right: Don Shotts - untitled, acrylic, 2008 - $3500 and Louise Benavidez III - Fuck Money, oil and dollars on masonite, 2008 - $2000; Juan Race - Amplified Poverty, acrylic on canvas, 2008, $1200 and Jerry E Smith - Fixin' to Have a Breakdown, acrylic on panel with objects and original William T Wiley Drawing, 2007, $3200; Jingshik, Hong - Ship Wreck, oil on canvas, 2007, $1400 and Loran Thrasher - Alison, oil on panel, 2008, $450;
The Pit has long been considered the best location at 500X' annual Open Show to have your work placed. If it's hung there, you know somebody important at Dallas' oldest art co-op appreciates your work — a lot — and wanted it shown to its best advantage. I've enhanced these photographs piece by piece to show the work despite care-less lighting. I don't remember it ever being a problem before — and I've been attending and/or participating in 500X Open Shows for decades.
I was alarmed by the lack of care in lighting this show. It's like after 30 years of these things, they didn't realize they were going to have 300 guest artists. The worst placement used to be up the back stairs, but I haven't seen anything hung there in years. 300 seems a lot, but there used to be many more.
Kerin Arn - Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer
than they Appear
Prismacolor pencil on paper, 2008 - $500 and Brian Ryden -
Revolve Bible, mixed media on canvas, 2008 - $1000
I added these last two on the right of the West Wall Sunday afternoon, for completeness' sake. A big pink dick on this wall — and another on the back wall — elicited titters and some shock. Both were hung high — out of the sight of small children, only slightly less than half of whom have one?
The North Wall in The Pit
In columns left to right: Josh Fletcher - untitled, acrylic on canvas, 2007, $1050 and Juston L Williams - Confidence Man, oil on masonite, 2007, $1000 [name illegible in photo] - untitled, Anielina pigments and gesso on paper, 2006, $490 and Danielle Strange - Self-portrait, oil on canvas, 2008 - $550 and Juston L Williams - Everyone Nose - oil on masonite, found object, optimum museum acrylic glass, 2007 - $700 Penelope Bisbee - Pattern, Disruption, Urban, oil on canvas, 2007 - $850 and William Rosshirt - Growth and Decay, oil, 2008 - NFS
I doctored these photographs from opening night, so the work looks as if it were caringly lighted. I had to go back Sunday to get all the I.Ds because I never thought I'd use these, and the daylight lighting was much improved, but I liked having people in the pictures, too — for scale and community. Even if some of them are in the way of the art. Makes the place look lived in.
We've seen and admired Josh Fletcher's work before, and I'm surprised he doesn't have regular gallery representation — if he doesn't. Very nice work, certainly of a different and startling style, with its own grace and expression.
Penelope Bisbee - Pattern, Disruption, Urban
The other of this wall that I spent time with was Penelope Bisbee's Pattern, Disruption, Urban oil. Interesting mix of graphic art enlarged ben day dot pattern interrupted by a foreshortened person being jettisoned into another dimension.
The East Wall in The Pit
Left to Right in Columns: Kapil Dixit - Pensive, mixed media, 2006 - $1,000 and Ryan Gowland - Chinese New Year - mixed media, 20008 - $1500 Brian A Crawford - Panda - Faith, 2007 - NFS and Darrell Railey - Little Stewart's Home Rodeo, polyurethane and acrylic, 2008 - $185 and Jeremy Curlee - The Shoes We Must Fill, oil on canvas, 2004 - $7000
Across the top right: R Mateo Diago - Hours Triptych, oil on canvas, 2006 - $3000; across the middle right: Merritt Chilton - The Creeps/Yorke, acrylic, 2008 - $50 and Eric Maybury - Suspect Device, oil on canvas, 2008 - $800 and across the bottom right: Nathan Porterfield - Throne, India ink on paper, 2008 - $3500
Another annoyance is that the I.Ds between works were printed with a cheap printer or one running out of ink, making them very low contrast and difficult to read. The X charges $25 per piece to show, then lights them poorly and identifies them illegibly. Guess they don't really like showing new artists, huh?
Of this bunch I like Kapil Dixit's piece top left (although it actually looks better than rendered here, Darrell Railey's Little Stewart's Home Rodeo detailed below and Merritt Chilton's The Creeps/Yorke distorted portrait. Nice to see Photoshop spurring paintings. That red painting to its right — Eric Maybury's Suspect Device has a creepy malevolence I appreciate, also. Though I'm not sure what it is.
Nathan Porterfield - Throne, 2008 - India ink on paper $3500 (photographed at an angle)
Nathan Porterfield's Throne series bottom right of that wall are drawn well and intriguing for their textures as well as the persons in masks floating in all that white space. I shot this more or less accidental detail, so I'd have the i.d in the right place in this story, and at a peculiar angle, but it's illustrative of the tones and quality.
Ramona Alvarado - Expectations - oil on wood - $1500
While I watched this work on the back wall of the main floor I kept thinking of spaghetti, pizza and fries. I'd been trying to come up with something about food for the MAC Membership show next month, and here is something the likes of which I've never seen. Done well. And beyond the food notions, I dug it for its new way of presenting, contrasting colors and delicious thick paint textures. It's not really darker at the bottom, that's those funky lights again.
Darrell Railey - Little Stewart's Home Rodeo, polyurethane and acrylic, 2008 - $185
Talk about funky. Maybe because of the non rectilinear shape, this is the most attractive object on that wall. Smarmy, ugly and delightful, it sucked out attention despite its goofiness.
Kathryn Malpass - Rat Rod, 2008 - oil and acrylic on metal hood - $1500
Upstairs around left at the top of the front stairway, more impasto scribbles of thick paint. Monochromatic brown and contrasting strokes — the paint more exciting than the subject. Talk about impasto you could dance to. Incongruent subject. Nice placement in the frame. Should have been in The Pit.
J R Phillips - Koi-Koi, 2007 - metallic color print
I did best I could with this image, but on my Sunday return discovered it's nowhere as bright or vivid as this reconstructed image shows. Exhibited in a dark shadow with a bright reflections across the middle, I am disappointed not to present it in its original condition, but I don't think I could duplicate the low-con muddiness.
Rachel Facter (illegible in photo) - title illegible, too, - paper, 2006 - NFS
Best thing about this drawing is the subject. Second is the contrast of almost elegant and slightly bizarre. Dreadful lighting I'd hoped would mellow out in Sunday afternoon's light (above), but it's still mauled by that direct spot and resulting shadows. Too bad. Third thing I really liked about this is its simple presentation, hung on spring-clips.
Kettle's Spring Cleaning
Tyson Summers - Space Odyssey, 2007
mixed media - $600
Compared with the X' Open Show, Kettle's Spring Cleaning 2008 was a clean, well-lighted space with an even level of quality throughout, although push pin numbers create their own confusions, there was a take-home price listing of all 93 pieces. Overall, pleasant respite. Even the prices were sane, though only in a narrow swath of white around the large room, the work was more high density. Of course this was curated and the X was open. We hadn't planned on visiting the Kettle, but piling past it looking for somewhere to eat, we were happy to explore.
Cathey Miller - Art Club - $300
Something the X used to have that's not much in evidence anymore is humor, which was abundant at Kettle. Of course, Cathey Miller's work has tended into that murky direction for years. Looking at this now — and its price — I think I should have bought this. Not sure it would fit right in, but it would be noticeable.
Courtney Gould - Split Personalities - $500
Sorry about the reflections. Not much I can do about them. Usually I just don't present images with those prominent, but for this, I had to. Did not like this first I encountered it. Did Not Like. But something about it drew me back. Colors are simple, BYMC — black, yellow, magenta, cyan the Subtractive Primaries. Intense but not a happy sight. Spooky smooth. Photo on the left. Painting and applied media on the right. Blended. That word again, Fierce.
Cabe Booth - Adolf Gallond - $1200
More intensity, plus draftsmanship and a detailed awareness of texture and composition.
Cabe Booth - Levitate Natter - $150
21st Century techno drawing meets shredder ripsaw.
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