Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Id came from outer space (and landed in New London)

Hygienic Art
83 Bank St., P.O. Box 417, New London, (860) 443-8001
Hygienic Art XXX
Jan. 30-Feb. 14, 2009

I didn't get out to New London Saturday night for the opening of the Salon Des Independants and all the other associated festivities. Something about driving over an hour each way at night. But I did scoot up there on Sunday afternoon and there was a brisk turnout to see the show of shows.

There's little to say about the Hygienic show that hasn't been written before. The exhibit is more a festival of the creative id, the urge to splash paint on canvas, collage, sculpt penises. There is certainly a fair amount of artwork produced to high standards. But the show is overtly not about standards. It's more about thumbing one's nose—or some other body part or parts—at the notion of standards, the everyday repression. Not all this repression is sexual (or, in many cases, political). Some repression is that of the creative spirit, the repressiveness that looks at a child's drawing and responds, "That doesn't look like a house/face/cat." The implicit message being, "you're not an artist; don't give up your day job."

Of course, day jobs are the blackmail of survival. So for a couple of weeks, in a pagan festival, the walls and floors of the Hygienic Gallery are covered with drawings, collages, photography, paintings, assemblages, sculptures.

Herewith some images, not intended to be representative:

First, the sweetly paired "Cherry Stones" by Bruce Karr and "Wheel of Fortune" by Alison Ives. Enjoy the view of the gallery in the mirror in "Wheel of Fortune."

Colleen O'Connor offered a nice bit of very effective color wheel Op Art in "BT II."

Elegance and class are the calling cards in Floatin' Fred's sensitive "What's Your Name Again?"

Past years' critiques of the Bush/Cheney junta are upstaged by commentary on Great Depression II, as in this collage with store rewards cards, "Feed Me," by George Riel.

Finally, a zest for the pornographic doesn't preclude a well-honed aesthetic capability. Like mushrooms sprouting up after a spring rain, we have Gail DeCoteau's "Richard Defleur Revisited."

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