Art Picks from my weekend in Boston

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WAXACTUAL at Creative Alliance April 11

In Boston’s South End neighborhood, there’s a bunch of little commercial galleries. Here are several of my favorites. First: Joe Johnson’s ‘Mega Churches’ at Gallery Kayafas. These were super tacky, saturated, lurid, and printed huge. A creepy, fascinating, and beautiful show of color photography.

Joe Johnson: Mega Churches April 2 – May 17 at Gallery Kayafas.

This is Shepard Fairey-inspired graffiti in Chinatown. The Shepard Fairey show was at the ICA, so there were tags, billboards, and stencils all over the place.

Next show: Chris Ballantyne: Recent Work at the Steven Zevitas Gallery. This is the gallery that includes Open Studios Press, the publishers of New American Paintings. I asked to check out some Peregrine Hoenig drawings, which they had a decent selection of in a plastic binder. Up close, Ballantyne’s paintings reveal a lot of the wood grain from the wooden panels they are painted on. They were a bit austere for my taste, but the wall painting energized the whole show.

Untitled Tidal Bore (Surfer) by Chris Ballantyne

You can tell my friends are like, LET’S freakin’ GO already.

Some clever artist decided to plant these signs in lots of artsy Boston districts. I was told that if I called the artist would answer. Apparently this poster was placed outside the Rose Art Museum and confused lots of people. ?

Then, on to Walker Contemporary. Meg Brown Payson: Horizon was in the front room, but I preferred the hodgepodge group show in the back room.

The back room featured drawings by Ryan McLennan, and paintings by Anne Siems and Elisa Johns. Lots of flat white space punctuated with subtle color, odd narratives, and combinations of pop culture with more classical aesthetics.

Visionaries by Ryan McLennan

Anne Siems

Paintings by Elisa Johns

The Payson works were modular and stretched across several surfaces and were lovely, but I preferred the mess in the back. For more info, go to

Outside South End Galleries… and then, below, trying to keep warm and mobile.

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