Friday, March 11, 2011

Gasp! Arilla Art Show @ Cafe Hey

On March 7th (last saturday), Cafe Hey held an opening night for its Gasp! Arilla art show, held at the same time as the Raymond James Gasparilla Art Show. The Cafe Hey version was small-scale, local, and intimate, much like the cafe itself.

Marie Bydlinski had two paintings in the show.

"Surveillance", Ms. Bydlinski says, is about the difference between the way we present ourselves and how others perceive us. Note how the print coming out of the Polaroid camera is of a vibrant flower, and the image on the LCD screen on the digital Nikon depicted is of a Godzilla-variety creature. The newer technology apparently capturing the old almost conveys a message about our living in a simulation.

The painting depicted at left, titled "Life", is about mortality, and how we move through life knowing it lies ahead.

I found both of these works too literal. More telling  than showing, and locked into one meaning (monosemic). One of the strengths of art is its potential to carry a multiplicity of meanings simultaneously (polysemic).  The explanations provided by the artist also reduced the range of possibilities in the works.

Amber Antonelli had several works in the show, but I couldn't find the name tags.

The above image shows a multimedia work with intricate patterns, a lunar form encircling a heart, flat-nosed pig-like (?) figures around the woman, whose hand reaches toward the heart, with the words "I want her heart" on their necks, which seems like a hint about consumption. I couldn't make out some of the words, but the work is strong and seems like some sort of feminine quest for love and/or self.

Here we see the feminine figure as Fool-Quester, holding a sword (?). She is encircled by what appears to be a torc. The picture is divided in two, and at the lower level, she is reaching for an upside-down heart.

Interesting, beautiful work.

You can see more of Amber's work here: [Link]

Allen Hampton's "Sex and Thrill Hungry", at left, couples a text from a tabloid or detective magazine about a naive, perfect, well-respected housewife that gets taken in by a con man with a picture of a woman wearing a gold-leaf mask. The text leaves us hanging at a point of abduction, we are left to ponder what happened, accept it as a chunk of hypertext, or make up our own lurid ending.

Allen's site can be found here [Link]

  Tim Gibbons had several works cleverly painted on folding movie/slide show projection screens. Here is one example (I could not find a title for it). Like many of the others, they contain intensely American iconography, usually with a twist. Here we have a jet plane in the background, the silhouette of a male figure carrying off a female figure. Is he rescuing her? She seems to be struggling, legs akimbo. Is it an abduction? In the foreground, we have a voluptuous woman in a skimpy outfit who at first appears to be tied up, but a moment later, one realizes she is holding the bindings tight with her teeth. A prisoner of her own device, like so many of us. I got to meet and talk with Tim Gibbons at the show. He's an outgoing, warm, funny guy, who's been doing and teaching art for more than three decades. See more of his work here [Link]

Gigi Lage had this delicate looking work and three others titled "Flours of Hope". 

She can be contacted at:

Congratulations to Cafe Hey for putting together a good show, and for being a great hangout.
1540 N. Franklin Ave., just north of the interstate, downtown Tampa.

--- Luis

No comments:

Post a Comment