Opening Reception with the Artists Friday, May 25, 6-9 p.m.
“I’ve Been Setting Fires All Day” shows the work of 3 artists with an intrinsic sensibility that is both vulnerable and sophisticated.
Brett Wilson does what few others dare to do when he takes the craft of painting at face value, making naive oil paintings that use a sharp wit to convey meaning. In “Let’s Do Some Living After We Die” his deceased dog Gilligan is portrayed enjoying himself in the afterlife in a field of raw and beautifully rendered flowers. His self-portrait “Feelin’ Fine” is a depiction of a trip to the afterlife to visit “Gilly”, showing just the top of Wilson’s head peeking up in that same field of flowers. Since life is so fragile it should be taken with the best of humor, Wilson reminds us.
Michelle Cortez’s watercolor and embroideries on thin white fabric resemble old bed sheets, fragile and strong. Domesticity comes to mind as it usually does with sewn works, but in this case she has taken it on the road. These works were all made before, during and after a 6 month bus trip through South America. In Cortez’s simultaneously meticulous and haphazard work you can feel the sweat of her labors and the issues she may have been struggling with along the way. There is a distinct sense that she was working something out by creating these highly personal works.
Suzannah Sinclair paints seductive portraits of young females in different states of repose. Whether in bed, laying in the grass or in other intimate settings, her subjects are always stripped down to their bare elements. Often inspired by 1970’s era Playboy imagery, her muses are mischievous and knowing with a pure innocence and clarity which it seems Sinclair wishes to preserve in her paintings. Often referred to as sad and lonesome, her paintings also show a confident power in their solitude which is presented by Sinclair to us, the audience and voyeur. Created with thin layers of translucent watercolor on birch panel, Sinclair uses the natural wood grain as part of the composition which furthers the sensual quality of her work.