Stare Tactics

I love hitting a gallery I’ve never been to before. Hespe is running a group show right now, which is perfect, since I never seemed able to make it to see any of the artists they were featuring last year. One artist whose work seemed quite interesting was Eric Zener, who builds up his pieces, the woman at the desk explains, through a complicated layering of resin over gold leaf applied to paint or prints. You can see some of his work in the Paper Beings exhibit they’re running through the 31st. For now, here are a few of the pieces I really enjoyed.

Alyssa Monks’ Lips is hard to miss. It’s likely the first painting that’ll draw you in when you step inside the gallery. The rendering of the hair is especially mesmerizing.
Cindy Craig’s works are elaborate recreations of mundane scenes. A few feet back they may as well be photo realist, but close up, you notice all the interesting choices the artist makes. In Central Park Lifeguard, the swimmers take on a two-dimensional flatness due to the refraction of the water.
They’re like the characters of Flatland transformed as they cross dimensions.
In Gift Time at Macys, the knobs on the ceiling (surveillance cameras?) are just simple blotches of color, but the shapes are so precise they seem to have volume from a distance.
You could stare at Stephen Wright’s work all day and still find yourself puzzling over how the riot of colors and shapes come together to represent flesh, bone and muscle. The outline of the woman in Figure in a Room is worked heavily with a finger or tool. There is a mass of thickly applied paint on the wrist that is being clasped. The designs of the shirt are a chaos of careful observation. Another work on display, Portrait of Kem’s Feet almost seems like he’s showing off it’s so absorbing in its intricacy.
The knees from Portrait of Kem’s Feet:
Kem on a Couch isn’t part of the show proper. It was leaning against the side wall but I made a point of asking about it and it was another Stephen Wright work. Just in case you were wondering if his skill in composition extends to capturing expression (detail below)…

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