A good piece of art will obviously show off the artist’s chops but a great one will communicate a vision that leaves an impression. On opening night of Thinkspace Gallery’s “Dirty Laundry” show this past Saturday, Adam Caldwell and Brett Amory’s differing aesthetic styles collided and left visitors’ minds reeling. What exactly does the combination of images on each of Caldwell’s canvases mean? Who are the people waiting in Amory’s pieces and why is there a sense of something ominous?
To that end, “Dirty Laundry” offered plenty to admire, dissect and unravel. At a glance, Caldwell’s collage-like pieces pieced together unrelated images strange narratives while Amory’s blurred renditions of people and places remained completely elusive. But on a closer look, the talent of both artists’ became clear.
Caldwell, for one, does an exceptional job of manipulating oil on canvas to create a collage-like effect and display his painterly skill. A see-through veil and a pair of pants held an impressive amount of detail. The meaning of each piece does not shine through clearly but that’s the magic of Caldwell’s art – every part of it evokes something in the viewer that leads to a myriad of interpretations.
The same goes for Amory’s pieces. His works serve as part of a series of paintings about waiting, which takes inspiration from photographs of people that the artist snapped. As photographs the pieces would not engage the viewer as much as Amory’s canvases do – here the subject’s anticipation and location become dreary, mysterious and sometimes haunting. Up close the composition looks like nothing but splotches and lines but somehow from afar the subject and his/her surroundings form a chilling scene.
“Dirty Laundry” is on view until Aug. 25th. Thinkspace Gallery is located on 6009 Washington Blvd. in Culver City – Eva Recinos