Reenactments at Current – reviewed by Cara Ober

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on the re-enactment show:
first of all i was included in this show. so let’s just get that out there. i was sorta embarassed b/c i think i did it wrong. my drawing looked like a grown up ‘me’ drawing with some specific childhood references thrown in. which is kinda what i always do. so i missed the point. for that i am sorry.

but, i have baggage. as a former high school teacher and also a community college teacher i am just so inundated with badly composed anime/pretty lady/horse/ superhero/ and still life drawings – and i am just so BORED with them. really really over them. they are bad. bad. bad. floating subjects with no background are LAME. you’re making a DRAWING – not a bowl of fruit. so DEAL with the entire frame, unless this is done intentionally.

and i didn’t want to make faux bad art. i couldn’t do it.

reenactments – the BOOK, however, is AWESOME. and i am not saying that because i am in it. the stories were, on the whole, much more interesting than the work itself, which mostly all looked the same. that’s why i bought the book. in my opinion, i think the exhibit was an excuse to make the book. its a really fun who’s who of local arty folks – gary did a great job of picking LOTS and LOTS of different people – and reading their stories, which out-do each other in rediculousness, is a good time.

one of my favorites is andrew liang, who included two drawings: “man with ding dong hanging out who is in water panicking from hungray piranhas done in 5th grade as a joke.” he writes: “i passed it around the class and it ended up in the teacher’s hands. i got spanked.” and then, of course, “girl with mountain breasts done in the sixth grade.” this one, he mentions, was confiscated by his teacher and brought to his mom, who threw it in the trash. you don’t forget that kinda thing. very special.

another quote that made me laugh a lot was by lauren bender: “This is a drawing I did around the age of 10. Heather was my favorite horse. I was convinced that one day my parents would buy her for me, but they never did, and for that I am deeply resentful.”

i thought the most successful works were when the artists managed to integrate their childhood drawings with something new – an adult perspective and humor as an added layer – i thought marci branigan’s drawing of a naked torso originally traced from her french textbooks was brilliant (why haven’t i thought of that??), and also nicola knight’s bon voyage in spanish where all her clothing was picked out, colored in crayon, and labelled in spanish. jack livingston’s blood and guts on top of academic ‘american pride’ folders were also hilarious.

but these are all works that could all be considered ‘adult’ art and function as is in the existing art world. the new soul brother by sam christian holmes is awesome, too. with the little klansmen getting trounced. awesome. but they remind me of stuff in zoe charlton’s current body of work. again, something ‘adult’ has been added, a layer of complexity and humor, on top of the childhood memory. (by Cara Ober)

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