Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What I See

When I saw this, I thought it could be a few things:
The last thing you see before succombing to death by hypothermia.
A depiction of the force of will it takes to sprout chin-whiskers at the drop of a hat.
Smurfette and the Amazing Technicolor Turban.
Deanna Eveland, the artist, saw it as something else -- a force of nature. That's why she called her oil painting Force Majeure, the French term for force of nature.
The title has more to do with the creative process for the oil painting, which I attempted to replicate in pastels above (the actual painting is much more visually intriguing, trust me). She started something completely different than the final result, then painted over the top and wiped away top layers of the paint with a palette knife. She didn't sit down and plan it, she said; it just took on a life and a force of its own. "It's going to come out whether you like it our not," she said.
Deanna's show is running at the Basement Gallery, and it's her first gallery show. She also has some nicely done cartoon characters for a children's book she's working on.
Other artists at the Basement Gallery included:
- Fred Choate, who had an installation of landscape paintings in muted tones. I'm much more familiar with his murals -- I met him once and took some photos of him when he was painting the fairy character on the side of the Ceramica building in downtown Boise, and I know he painted the Hitchcock Building (where the Record Exchange and Neurolux are), although it was Oliver Russell that designed that one. Still, his landscapes are much different than his murals. I was surprised.
- Nancy Brossman, who had a display of woodcuts -- mostly landscapes, if I remember right. I picked up a postcard invitation to the opening reception with one of her woodcuts of buttes. She does a good job using the woodcut medium to capture the butte's stark, earthy sides, as well as the undulating brush in the foreground.
- Michael Margulies, a photographer whose work includes one of the last pictures ever taken of Bobby Kennedy. He was shot the morning after the photo was taken. I thought his photos of dumpster divers were more visually interesting.
- Matthew Jordan, whose colorful, fantastically shaped glass work was one of my boyfriend's favorite installations in the gallery.
- Bill Carman, whose work I've learned to recognize. He often has cartoons at the Basement Gallery or on the cover of the Boise Weekly, and his style is very distinctive - very whimsical. A lot of them were pugs this time -- he had a pug Frankenstein and a pug Tin Man. The hands-down favorite exhibit of both me and my boyfriend at the Basement Gallery last Thursday.
That's not even all of them. The fit a lot of art in that little gallery -- and it's all pretty good.

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