Monday, January 25, 2010

I am now thoroughly convinced that all of my electronic devices are meeting secretly under my bed at night to conspire!
As my modem has died I am now at a free WIFI spot, sipping tea and answering e-mail and updating my blog.

I have managed to get to several shows the past few weeks all over DC and must say I am intrigued by what young artists are producing today.

I popped into Art Whino last Friday, a fun gallery at the National Harbor which features work by hip young artists, " innovators of the New Brow Art otherwise labeled Pop-Surrealism, Lowbrow and Urban Contemporary".

While perusing the display of graffitied sneakers and skateboards I  spied a show along the left side of the gallery entitled Quiet Little Stories, by Graham Franciose, an illustrator based in Colorado. These small, intimate ink and oil paintings alternately drew me in and pushed me away. They are the embodiment of the modern fairy tale- using fantasy to explore social themes of isolation, trust and distrust, sadness and happiness, apathy and caring. I am not normally drawn to this style of illustration but I found them oddly compelling and spent a great deal of time examining each small canvas.

I also love the fact that the artist invited viewers to write their own stories about each piece, with the stories to be used later in a project along with the images. What a great way to involve the viewer and to invite further thought about the works, which each managed to convey a single mysterious moment in an ongoing narrative.
Below is the show statement:

Relatable and honest, Graham's works are some of the most gentle, yet emotionally evocative works ever featured at Art Whino. His imaginative illustrative paintings are small in size and big on emotion, each depicting its own little narrative, often dreamily reminiscent, reaching deep into the human condition and showing us all little pieces of ourselves along the way.

The exhibition will go beyond the typical gallery experience, letting the viewer in on the action with an interactive story-writing component. The artist will invite viewers to share their take on the images with little written thoughts and stories that will be added to the walls along with the works.

Location: Art Whino Gallery
173 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745

  I also went to an opening at another new gallery in DC, the Fridge DC. It is located down an unmarked alley in south east DC. We were at a loss, standing on an extremely cold and dark street corner, trying to call up Google maps on our phones when we saw three people, dressed in black  and carrying cases of wine duck into a nearby alley. Wisely following them, we emerged into an empty lot with a building covered in murals.

The show was entitled Uncle Cory's Art Show! I've never been to such a packed opening, there were hundreds of people jammed into the space, talking, laughing and enjoying the live DJ. Oh, and looking at what art that could be seen through the huge throng of bodies...

Below is text from the gallery website for the show:

Cory Oberndorfer has invited some friends to come play with him 
at The Fridge for Uncle Cory's Art Show
The result is a collection of works that illustrate 
what happens when an adult's innocence 
is lost but the sense of childhood play remains.

While a common thematic thread exists, each artist 
approaches it with their own unique flair.

Megan Blafas plays with dolls.
Megan is a Washington, DC artist who creates 

figurative collages and assemblage sculptures. 
Her small-scale work is inspired by found 
object and DADA artists, Hannah Hoch a
nd Baroness Elsa von Frietag Loringhoven. 
Megan’s plush collages are created by 
jumbling vivisected stuffed animal parts 
and reforming them into unique 
mythical creatures.

Davis McLane Connelly likes bunnies and teddy bears.
Have you ever wondered what kind of lives 

your toys lead when you are not around? 
Davis Connelly has the answer. 
His masterful drawings illustrate the 
inner turmoil of stuffed animals at their 
most vulnerable moments. Davis is a 
Brooklyn artist. His realistic drawings 
often contain soft children's toys within 
dimly lit interior home settings. 
Davis holds a Bachelor's degree in 
Psychology and is the Director of 
two programs for youth in New York City.

DIABETIK melts peeps for s’mores.
Whether it is bitten, broken or dropped, 

no sweet treat is safe from DIABETIK, 
whose work has a ubiquitous presence 
on the streets of DC. For Uncle Cory's 
Art Show, DIABETIK focuses on the 
most overexposed of pastry trends – 
the cupcake.

Amy Misurelli-Sorensen was a 
catholic schoolgirl.
Proving that appropriate behavior is 

in the eye of the beholder, the drawings 
of Amy Misurelli-Sorensen depict 
young schoolgirls in a genuflection pose. 
Removed from outside context, these 
pious girls may be viewed as naughty or nice. 
Amy’s work, which she calls 
“drawings concerning piety, hypocrisy, 
depravity and subversion” are 
distorted images of female sexuality 
imposed by an Italian Catholic upbringing.

Cory Oberndorfer knows 
how many licks it takes to get to the center.
In a society that color types gender, 
Cory Oberndorfer emasculates 
our finest soldiers. His graphic 
pop style gives us pink plastic army 
men engaged in the heat of battle. 
Cory is an artist best known for his 
colorful paintings of rollergirls and candy. 
The presentation of his figures questions 
traditional gender roles. He is a grown man 
with careers as a professor and an artist, 
but his inner child still gets excited by 
candy shops and the opportunity to play with toys.

As a child of the seventies, I especially liked the meticulous chalk
pastel and charcoal drawings by Davis Connelly
of well known puppets, seemingly
captured in their daily lives away from the set...

I find what young artists are doing today
can be fun and provocative, often all at the same time.
In this exhibition Cory Oberndorfer, the curator,
has created an energetic, thought provoking show.


  1. I just love, love, love those drawings by the artist in Colorado that asked the viewers to write a story to go with the picture. I love that kind of interaction. But, oh, those pictures, wow. really, really like them. :)Bea

  2. The "photographs of Muppets" are actually charcoal and chalk pastel drawings by Davis Connelly. The skill level is amazing.