Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Real Art Ways Real Room opening Thursday night

Real Art Ways
56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006
Tom Fruin: American Landscapes
Oct. 16—Nov. 16, 2008.
Opening reception and Creative Cocktail Hour on Thurs. Oct.16, 6—8 p.m.

Press release

Real Art Ways presents a solo show by Tom Fruin titled American Landscapes in the Real Room on Thursday, October 16. The opening is from 6—8 p.m. and is part of Real Art Ways' monthly Creative Cocktail Hour, a coming together of creative people for conversation, music, and art. Creative Cocktail Hour runs until 10 p.m. Admission to the opening costs $10, $5 for Real Art Ways members. After the opening, admission to the exhibition is free. Fruin's show runs through Sunday, Nov. 16, and Fruin will give an artist talk on Thursday, Oct. 30 in the Real Room at 6 p.m. Real Art Ways is located in Hartford's Parkville neighborhood at 56 Arbor Street.

Tom Fruin uses detritus from the streets and parks of New York City, where he lives, to make provocative art from forgotten objects. Fruin's latest series of wall hangings explores the hidden taboos of American culture and blows them up to something unavoidable and impossible to ignore.

American Landscapes will feature two "monuments" as Fruin calls them: a quilt of sewn together drug bags and a mountain range of Budweiser cans crafted to look like Klansmen. Fruin's creations confront hard to swallow realities of American history, as well as world-wide issues of intolerance and imperialism:

Now that we as a culture are on constant alert for religious terrorists from the middle east, my attention has turned inward to our country's own imperialist beginnings - fostering terrorism in the form of ethnically intolerant Klansmen. I likewise investigate the remnants of life found in inner city housing projects and transform the detritus into a map to reveal underlying truths.
Somehow these realities form the actual substance of Fruin's works without being too apparent. It isn't until one closely scrutinizes that the true material is revealed:

Budweiser cans emblazoned with Klansmen iconography, discarded drug bags resplendent with illicit residue. This "hidden in plain sight" quality allows one to view one's own country as majestic while ignoring the plight of the everyday.

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