Sunday, May 30, 2010

Picot Booboo

"Cobbled together from a vocabulary of visual styles, ranging from Chinese shan shui painting to Cubism — and incorporating an array of techniques, including stippling, meticulous brushwork, stenciling and surrealist decalcomania — Pierre Picot's landscapes ought to collapse into a jumble of incomprehensible fragments. Instead, they are so pictorially coherent that Picot has been able to push further — destabilizing traditional perspective and gravitational logic, garbling the horizon — while retaining an immersive spatial illusionism and improbable symbolic consistency. Much of this strength would seem to result from the fact that the works are monochromatic, in black ink on uniform rectangular lengths of paper. But in translating his montage technique to oil paint — represented here by a single enormous 10-by-10–foot canvas — he manages to keep his balance while incorporating a whole new range of art-historical allusions and experiments in color and surface technique, resulting in the most challenging and innovative landscape painting to come out of L.A. since Constance Mallinson's impossible, vertiginous mash-ups of the early '90s."

"It was at a nearby Chinatown gallery — the lamented High Energy Constructs — that I first encountered Picot's work, in an omnibus "boat-themed show curated by painters Brad Eberhard and Raffi Kalenderian (in which I also had a piece). It was there that I also learned that Eberhard and Kalenderian had a band — a ragged, unclassifiable, high-energy construct of its own, called Wounded Lion. WL turned out to be a pretty amazing group. Visually, they present an almost unparsable variation on the standard rock & roll lineup — with former lumberjack Eberhard's towering sincerity and Kalenderian's shamanic seizures and tambourine solos bracketed by Hawaiian-shirted renaissance-geek Jun Ohnuki's frantic musical multitasking, token hotty Shant (brother of) Kalenderian, and a succession of exploding percussionists. Musically, they offer a ramshackle pre- and post-punk synthesis — mixing influences as diverse as Swell Maps, The Clean, ? and the Mysterians, and Creedence Clearwater Revival — that can, in spite or because of its heart-on-sleeve record geekery, get the art girls up and dancing."

Read the rest of Pierre and the Lion here.

Image IDs TK, (Picot; Mallinson; WL Live) but I believe that last one (taken by your humble blogger) is of the original public debut of WL's breakout hit "Dagobah System," the first popular song to be written in the soon-to-be-dominant 'crazy shit there/crazy shit there' rhyme scheme.

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