Dutch artist Reineke Dijkstra seems to turn the effect of the Warhol pictures on their head. A catalog of some of her work is available for viewing, which consists of carefully produced portraits of very mundane people looking extremely awkward—sort of like the snapshots you choose not to have printed—in effect, the glamorizing of the mundane, rather than the “mundanizing” of the glamorous. The effect is further developed in Dijkstra’s contribution to the show, “The Buzz Club, Liverpool, England/Mysteryworld, Zaandam, Netherlands,” which consists of projections of young people filmed in back rooms at night clubs.
Many are trying to be glamorous in their own way, but don’t quite succeed, especially since they are largely out of their element (the dance floor), yet are close enough still to feel like they should be “doing their thing.” I must say that I found the whole thing quite interesting, although it is hard articulate why.
British artist Douglas Gordon’s contribution to the exhibit are works in the medium listed as “smoke and mirror” from his series “self portrait of you + me, after the factory.” These consist of images of Warhol silkscreen images that have been partially burned and then mounted on mirrors. The effect is the mingling of the Warhol work with a portrait of yourself. Dijkstra could have had a field day, filming people awkwardly looking into the paintings.
Toronto artist Tony Scherman’s contribution to the exhibit includes two paintings from his “The Junkies” series. These images are in keeping with the “tearing down” tendencies in modern art. They consist of iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando (Warhol, again), but with a decidedly dark and foreboding palette. Scheman has partially burned the paint after application, the effect of which is to melt partially the image. Here, we are in the familiar territory of deconstructing sacred cows, with little in the way of constructive alternatives.
Over all, the exhibit is well worth the investment of time. Take a date; armed with the information I have provided you, you are sure to score some brownie points during dinner and drink chat. You might try for one of those exotic restaurants on Magnolia Boulevard in the Near Southside – the exhibit seems to be one which would lend itself to alternative food experiences.
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