Wednesday, March 19, 2008

UPDATE!! Paige Wery in ArtUS

Finally have this for you!!
Paige Wery Review by Christopher Russell, artUS, January 2008

ArtUS

Here it is with extra images than originally published added by me.

It appears that no part of the Los Angeles art scene is now left unscathed by the proliferation of art school graduates. Even the nonprofit sector, which is understandably limited, tends to look to school clout in its programming. Indeed, gone is the old romantic myth of the solitary genius striking out on his own, seemingly snuffed out by the stamp of cultural endorsement. Once-revered vagabonds and anarchists like Rimbaud seem so antiquated and out of place that it's hard to imagine anybody like that hanging out in the art world any more, even though revolutionary ideals continue to be taught in art schools.
With little evident concern for historical or school context, Paige Wery's "My Sentiments Exactly" goes at it like the "I" in the storm, scattering trash around as if color itself amounted to expression, and adding found objects to paint with almost architectural persistence.
Her labors are partly 1990s poetic assemblage in the mold of a Jim Hodges or Sarah Sze, with a touch of Gracie Mansion thrown in for good measure.

Rosey (all work 2007), which looks remarkably like a Christmas wall decoration,
is a tangled heap of fake jewelry, tiny white lights, plastic flowers, string, and scraps of paper, all pressed together into a large abstract mess of empty paint tubes and paper wads stuck onto the wall a foot or two behind, neither completely ornament nor painting, neither whimsy nor act of defiance.
And as if the sight of a largely green contraption popping off the bright pink wall weren't enough, the piece also juts outwards into the gallery space, projecting a Brechtian "fourth wall" of her own.

Another mixed-media work, Foxy, offers a faux-cubist canine creature,
with one enormous eye turned toward the gallery crowd, tail proudly up, exposing a large pink poo-denda. This foxy mongrel, as intriguing as it is off-putting, poses a conceptual challenge to the empathy that automatically comes with animal imagery. Furthermore, Foxy's clunky gold frame bejeweled with glitter and purple fabric gems, though faintly reminiscent of a Baroque masterpiece, has all the allure of a DIY drag show.
In the smaller Suzie's Poo,
the sky seems to have curdled and mottled the colors of the rainbow, propelling them through space toward a parade of animals cut from a children's coloring book.
The indiscreet charm of this show, the appealing muddle that lots and lots of junk can create, is hard to beat, despite the artist's own admission that, "Being so poor in the past, art materials became sacred [to me]."


The sacred aside, Wery, who refuses to throw away anything from her studio, even every last drop of paint, fresh or dried, is far too busy to worry about school ties, whatever this might have to say about blowing the lid on anal-retentiveness. But compared with the schoolyard tales mostly told today, it's still a great relief.

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