Saturday, March 28, 2009

Leslie Rice is best known for his nocturne paintings on velvet and his dark and dramatic frames than he is for his frescoes. Nevertheless the subject matter in his frescoes has a signiature Rice feel. At MOP Projects you will find the above painting and another like it. The frescoes are stencilled paint art on plaster. It is a time saving technique for these beautifully constructed stereoptic image. But make sure you take your own glasses with you, the artist has not supplied the gallery with any.

Stereoptic images are of particular interest to REAL PERSPECTIVE as they utilize a greater higher order of spatial information for the fore, mid and background recession. A concept that Da Vinci was aware of but hadn't figured out how to execute.

The composition used in this work is effective as the locations of objects are spatially convincing as the disparity of the visual scene increases from fore to back-ground. It seems that the artist has got the knack of a few stereoscopic techniques but is limitted by his use of stencils. A free hand painting would allow for greater development of the composition. I look forward to future stereoptic works by Rice to employ a more complicated map of visual disparity to build a greater sense of depth to the objects as well as between them.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Small Present for Neighbours

Matchboxes, lucky dips, and small presents for strangers are among the feel-good repertoire that makes up artist Sonya Gee. It seems that everywhere this emerging practitioner infiltrates ends up richer and sweeter than it was before.

So it is no surprise that upon this lady's decision to leave her family home where she grew up, move to the big city where she can fulfill her dreams of cupcakeries, wardrobes and strawberry pancakes, she put together a tribute to her home town; something to remember her by.

Neighbourhood Watch is Sonya's latest work. Curated by Tony Curran, it's a microhistory exhibition at Brush Farm Park which tells stories of characters around the City of Ryde who "you won't find on google". The exhibition is marked with non-celebrity photos and stories of good citizens from a cake shop to a primary school aerobics instructor.

The Night was officially opened by Vic Tagg, the Mayor of Ryde, with an address by Maxine Mackew whose political campaign unseated the former Australian Prime Minister in the Bennelong electorate surrounding Ryde. Her campaign was a pivotal community moment in recent Ryde history and her address on the opening night placed her within the exhibition among all the other artifacts of the community identity.

Neighbourhood Watch
opened last night and will run until the 7th of April. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11am -4pm at 19 Lawson St, Eastwood.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yaiyoi kusama

Yayoi kusama Is Japan's Bjork. Easily mistaken for contemporary art, this show ranges from Pop kitsch to outsider art the earlier you go.

Like most kinds of pop arts, it comes with dilute disappontment add to this the show is fragmented. None of the works really speak to each other, and the themes seem to be dots, phalluses and reptition. In her black and white print room which dates back to 2000. The images repeat lines and curves like an elaborate doodle on stretched canvas. The doodles show her talent for drawing lines and eyes but are otherwise unimpressive and reminiscent of the graphic art movements of the same decade. Actually all the works seem to be very "now" for their time. Flower Orgy depicts hippies painting dots on each other and then, well having an orgy and Flower Obsession Sunflower looks like a teletubbies episode directed and acted by Bjork.

However I'm Here But Nothing 2000 is a fantastic ultraviolet room with colourful dots meticulously distributed on the walls and furniture. No axis of space was left untouched. The dots glow and interrupt your perception of near and far by uniformly patterning the visual space. This work is a description of her experience with hallucinations. Her polka dot hallucinations have become a strong motif in her art. The bit that irked me in this work was the considered placement of vintage magazines for all those retro fans.

I became so sure that Kusama is hideously overrated that I worried that maybe I was just a hater. The MCA have made a great big hoo ha about this artist and I'm twenty four saying she could do better. I worried that if I put my opinion out there, I'd be speaking above my competence. So in my moment of self doubt I looked up some info about Kusama and came across biographical and info plus some images of other works.

Yayoi has cred. She's been making works for almost half a century and partying with the elite "it" of 1960s New York art scene which often overshadowed her own artistic brilliance. Being a woman of "small stature" was continuously frustrating for her in her early NY days, but exhibiting with the likes of Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, to name a few, was a good indication that she had something. She gained a reputation for her business savvy while Warhol was still coming up with his "business art of art business". So far I haven't even mentioned that she was the first woman to receive japans most prestigious award for internaional art - the Praemium Imperiale in 2006.

So how did this show get it so wrong? Well they did a retrospective and like so many retrospectives they missed THE key curatorial task: get the right artworks. Get that giant dotted pumpkin, put it in with the serpent bits coming out of the wall or anywhere but get it IT'S great! Unfortunately this time around the MCA dumbed down the exhibition to wow us with mirrors and puffy faux cushions - don't blame it on Yayoi.

Having said all this, if you're stuck for an activity and don't have the cash to see the dugongs, this exhibition is free and I know a ton of people who love it....... Maybe I'm just a hater after all.