Friday, September 28, 2007

The Mists of Abalone

"While Spence deploys his signature post-photorealist airbrush technique to its full fuzzy luminosity in the new works, they have grown significantly in scale. And the recombinant mash-ups of “Afterlife” have been distilled into their discrete constituent ingredients. Almost every one of the large canvases consists of a single misty photographic re-reproduction, some found, some altered, some staged with models. A couple of these depict the kind of totemic handcrafted figurative sculptures commonly arising out of a clinical art-therapy session — the wonky cardboard toilet-paper-tube family of 'Gaggle' and the (deliberately) awkwardly installed, strangely Magritte-like 'Figure', which the artist copied as a sculpture from an art-therapy book before rephotographing it for its eventual transubstantiation into Real Art."

My latest LA Weekly piece looks at "Art Therapy," the current show by LA painter Brad Spence at Shoshana Wayne Gallery.

Above: 'Boundary'; below: 'Remedy'

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