Sunday, July 8, 2007
Ka-Pow! Group Show, Profiles Gallery July 5 - 28, 2007
Image used with permission from Profiles Gallery, Tony Baker, Bly, 2006
Originally slated as a Tony Baker exhibition, artists Murray Allen, Kib (aka, Tristian McClelland) and Christopher Zaytsoff ended up rounding out the Ka-Pow! show. Baker, who was classically trained at the University of Alberta and has since relocated to Toronto, continues on the lineage of stripping down the 2D representation of his world into the basic rudimentary lines and colours that we associate with children's drawings. The product is often "childlike," but upon closer inspection, his training of relearning how to draw and see the world, his keen sensitivity shines through--perhaps childlike as well . . . but with great depth.
The curator's decision to add the other artists to the show was based on the observation that all of them were working in very similiar veins. Murray Allen, making mini wall sculptures and diaramas using kitschy scraps (everything from old barbie doll parts to novelty license plates and anything you would imagine in a well-stocked junk cellar), does indeed have an extremely playful quality that may be construed as either a child's mishmash or a commentary on waste and commodity. There is undeniably an aura of darkness to Allen's modules, as the same can be said of Kib and Zaytsoff's pieces, all explosive depictions of fantastical creatures emanating a profound sense of alienation.
At first, the attachment of the extra artists felt cheap and a gesture of disrespect to Baker's pieces, which in themselves are visually strong and were threaded a loose character narrative. Baker alone could carry a show, but on second thought, the mixture of Baker and the three outsider artists, and how all their works were indeed visually similiar even if they arrived from opposite directions, was an interesting contrast.
Image courtesy of Profiles Gallery, Kib and Christopher Zaytsoff, Secret Doors, 2007
At this point in all of their careers, probably spanning some forty years in age from oldest to youngest, they are all at the same juncture of expressing a similiar aesthetic voice. And although the title of the exhibition may express something fun and childish, the effect of the exhibtion overall is much more demure.
at 2:14:00 PM