(noun) nonchalant absurdity with a dash of embarrassment.

(verb) to be shark bitten.

(adverb) in a manner that is nonchalantly absurd and embarrassing.


11 March 2014

VOLTA

Volta Art Fair is quite different from the rest of the fairs. Rather than a mixed bag of artists (by no means am I insinuating that this is a bad thing), Volta is an invitational solo project fair, marketed as a "tightly focused, boutique event." Each gallery chooses one artist, and the result allows for a deeper contextual connection and, for some viewers, a more holistic understanding of the works. A couple people I spoke to said they hated Volta, while I loved it. There is no place or event more applicable than an art fair to use the saying "to each his [or her!] own." The fair was full of tons of talent and great ideas. Below is my way of streamlining all of that goodness into six works.

Adam Mysock, In Their Own Image, 2014
Adam Mysock's revisionist small-scale paintings use "yesterday's imagery in order to rationalize our present circumstances." If you haven't already guessed it, In Their Own Image is painted after Jean-Léon Gérôme's The End of the Sitting. The artist's idea is not so innovative or spectacular, but the paintings are beautifully executed and the artist's choice of scale is smart, especially for the art supermarket we refer to as the art fair.

Gerard Ellis, Untitled (Encounter II), 2014
Possessing a strong technical style and a unique visual vocabulary, Gerard Ellis combines realistic acrylic paintings with the imaginative sketches of a child in Untitled (Encounter II). Large-scale and expressive, the work contains a dramatic quality that hovers between "speed and stillness, paralysis and aggression."

Jennifer Wynne Reeves, The Prodigal, 2014

Jennifer Wynne Reeves' dark, atmospheric painting, The Prodigal, lured me into her nonrepresentational space. The bright reds, that piercing strip of blue, and ropes of yellow against cloud-like layers of white and gray put me at ease, standing in front of the work for quite some time.

Chris Barnard, The Revenge, 2013

Layers of thick oil paint float in the foreground of The Revenge by Chris Barnard leading the eye down a road to a darkening sky. Casey Ruble's "intimately scaled paper collages depict scenes that appear ordinary but have a charged history." Using a former Catholic orphanage, a once Jewish cemetery that is now an abandoned playground and other places based in New Orleans, the Offing series presents the city's "curious relationship to the deceased."

Casey Ruble, Charters Street, 2012
The show stopper of Volta goes to Japanese artist Satoru Tamura whose kinetic sculpture Point of Contact for Nagashima creates "intermittent blinks from dozens of small bulbs using various points of contact as an energy source." The work is based on"destruction of meaning," the main theme present in the artist's work. His work seeks to "create a pure white idea with no background."

Satoru Tamura, Points of Contact for Nagashima, 2011