Friday, September 3, 2010

Tim Jaeger & Joshua T. Pearson @ Vitale Art Studio

Large, close-up paintings of roosters, done in mixed-media acrylics mixed with water and enamel. The series is titled "Cocksuckers". Tim Jaeger attacks his canvases, almost like an action painter, in large, vectored, saturated colors, sometimes nearing abstraction. The roosters, he says, are vehicles of expression. They can be seen here. Some are introspective-looking, others stare intensely at the viewer. The compositions depend equally on color which is democratic, with the backgrounds as significant as the figures, and line. One is often led to the roosters' eye(s). There are also human figures, all women, "Stuntwomen", in the Vitale show, with mostly drab-looking skin, and splashes of color. They are more about the painter's response to the subject than the subjects themselves. Many look lost in introspection. Unlike the Roosters, they're not confrontational and loud. Jaeger's drawings of roosters, titled 'Chicken Scratch' are among the best of the work shown. Precise, much more expressive and dripping with character than enslaved to realism.

Joshua Pearson also paints animals and the human figure. His work is formally more restrained, more graphic and dependent on line. Some of it seems derived from graffiti. There's an octopus painted mostly behind plexiglass (with a few dabs of texture on top) somewhat similar to this one. The colors are carefully modulated, they do not overwhelm line or form. Content ranges from animals of various kinds, including this one, which in the show has transitioned from drawing to painting, a  hybrid, where a truck with two traffic cones on its hood is also a rhinoceros. The human figures often have political overtones. The current president makes an appearance. There are gold stars, the kind the army gives to families that have sons and daughters in war, in several pictures.

This show seemed a little soft on theme, and the artists quite different from each other. I thought of it as more of two one-man shows simultaneously occupying the same space.

See at Vitale Art Studio, 651 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. 727.520.0969  No closing date given.

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