Sunday, October 7, 2007

Forever and Ever and Ever and Ever

Saturday I went by Solomon Projects to check out the "Forever and Ever" show of Joe Peragine's work. The four large acyclic and air brush paintings are stills from an animated video by Peragine (created with watercolor and flash) also playing the gallery.

I heard gallery owner Nancy Solomon speaking to a group and was really impressed by her commitment to showing challenging work. She described her gallery as more a "laboratory" for artists to work through and show their concepts. Solomon said she does not like work that is too easily likable or beautiful but is more fascinated by what she find immediately unsettling or repulsive - interested in trying to understand why art can garner certain reactions and what these reactions mean.

I left the show unsure how I felt about Peragine's work, and then thought that that was just the reaction Solomon was looking for. The paintings leave a lot to consider. The entire atmosphere of the gallery, the inspiring music, the comic video, the vastness and instant emotional impact of the paintings, pulled at my heartstrings, sending me into some romance of the American dream while simultaneously making me cringe at the thought of my dreams drying up as the days pass.

There is fantastic write up on the show and also an interview with the artist on the art relish site. The show is up until Nov. 3rd, 2007. Check it out! And tell me your impressions...because I'm still confused...


mike said...

I left the opening quite unimpressed. It seemed to me that a lot of time and effort was wasted making these painting ridiculously large when the same ideas could have been conveyed at any scale. The result was 4 giant, boring paintings that took me all of 5 minutes to take in.

Jonathan said...

I think the size was necessary to convey the sense of "awe-inspiring" landscape/vista the artist was going for. Individually I found the paintings fairly boring too, but I see the show as more of an installation and the music was really necessary for me to feel anything for the paintings - music which was probably completely drown out at the opening. Presented in its entirety I found the show engaging.