This show is a curious pairing of the work of Jake Cline, a painter, and J.R. Duffy, an illustrator. Duffy has the front gallery, with a beautiful portfolio of strikingly well-conceived, chromatically fluent and skillfully executed illustrations, many for stories and themes well-known in our culture, including fairy tales in children's books a series themed on beer, with esoteric symbology from the Holy Grail to the spirits of the fields in the last sheaf of barley, and much, much more. All with a decidedly cosmic twist. There's a few pieces that seem to be done strictly as art, too. J.R. is a graduate from the Ringling School of Art & Design and a freelance illustrator.
In this illustration for a children's book of the story of Rip Van Winkle, we see an unwitting Mr. Winkle happily heading away from the comforts of hearth and home, commuting towards an inconceivable future. The small dog's and Mr. Winkle's pose is slightly reminiscent of The Fool card in the Tarot. The colors in Duffy's works are lyrically beautiful. I found it easy to lose myself in its beauty. It should be noted here that the computer version is nothing like the original vibrant Prismacolor pencil renditions. The poignancy of what is about to happen in the subject's life accentuated, and a reminder to the viewer that the same, or worse, could happen on any given day, and that life should be savored.
To see more of Duffy's work, go here, but please keep in mind that it is by far, best seen in person.
Jake Cline is an Ohio transplant who arrived here six years ago. His art explores the dark side of Truth, and how some of life's hard Truth brings its own humor and beauty. There's an ink painting of a rabbit frozen as if in a flight response, but it's been attacked, its belly section gutted, with drops of blood on it, and it is beautiful in its own way, and dripping with mortality, one of life's inevitable Truths.
Attention: This show ends on Sept 4th two days from the time this is being written. A Life in Progress: A portfolio of Works By J.R. Duffy with Jake Cline: The Truth can be seen at Studio 620, 620 First Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Thursday-Saturday, noon to 4 PM.