Friday, August 10, 2007

workable day

Big City Sky

Wow, what a difference a day makes. The cooler temperatures this afternoon made my time in the studio sweat-free for the first time in weeks. It made assembling and stretching two large canvases that much easier. I thought I was going to have some trouble keeping the corners square because the tongue and groove construction on almost all of the sets of stretchers weren't as tight as they could have been.

Seeing how much the actual stretchers skewed into trapezoidal shapes when I handled them made my heart sink because I knew the trouble I was going to have during the actual stretching process. However, the addition of cross braces seemed to keep everything in it's place, which made my day after spending four hours cutting wood, drilling, screwing, stretching and stapling.
I was in center city this afternoon and took a little time to stop by the Works on Paper Gallery to see the Amze Emmons show. Emmon's works depict desolate looking, spare cityscapes with more than a hint of human inhabitants, but with no trace of a figure anywhere. Instead, there are bits of a broken society strewn with debris and make shift living quarters throughout Emmon's image.

Bits of trash blowing the wind right next to near-empty grocery store shelves half-encircled by concrete traffic barriers as seen in Eating Position Papers in an unidentifiable, seemingly outdoor space was one piece that especially pulled my in. The sense of isolation and desolation is palpable in these pieces, but that's off-set by the opposing cheerful and almost garish candy-colored pinks, greens and oranges sprinkled throughout Emmons works.

This seems suggestive of the isolation of individuals living desperately day-to-day and immersed in the technicolor dreamland of television and the internet as an escape. That's my semi-academic take, anyway. On a more aesthetic level, Emmons makes great use of space and strategically spare use of color, making the bleak cityscapes in his worlds burst with life where there seems to not be any.
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