And, if you haven't voted yet for your favorite box — the winner receives $500 — you still have time. Voting ends on October 31st. Vote here.
While on our annual wedding anniversary trip to Grayton Beach, Florida, I decided, after four shots of tequila, three coconut mojitos, and two dozen oysters, that I was never going to eat beef, pork, or lamb again. It is easy to make such a decision when you are surrounded by a never-ending supply of succulent blue crab, mouth-watering shrimp, buttery-flakey mackerel, and plump oysters. That was in October and I still have not tasted the flesh of those land-locked animals. I have also gained five pounds since then. Oh well.
I believe that I would have viewed Melissa Farris’ exhibition "Happy Cannibals," at Material through December 29th, differently had I seen it before I gave up on the delicious flesh of cows, pigs, and sheep. According to her exhibition statement, Farris grew up in a family “infixed with mid-century ideals.” And seeing the reminders of her families past, she is “struck by the pervasive influence of mid-century corporate America.” This influence had a disjointed relationship with reality and this exhibition is a “warm-hearted celebration of that failure.”
Material consists of three similarly-sized white walls. Farris has dedicated a different animal on each wall, lamb, pork, and beef, respectively. The pieces are either a butcher’s how-to guide on the proper slaughtering method of each animal or a humorously depicted suggested serving size and preparation. The pieces remind me of the animations of popcorn and soda played during the intermission at the drive-in on Summer Ave.
What makes these pieces work is the color palette of the frames the artist has chose to use. The avocado, mint, and strawberry colors are taken from the 1950s decor of her grandparents' home. (Similar to Kehinde Wiley’s nod to Neo-Classicism with his use of opulent gold gilded frames.)
Examining corporate America’s disjointed relationship with reality is an interesting sentiment and reason to make a body of work. These mid-century ideals never really made it to rural Arkansas where I was born and raised. I remember being surrounded by the motifs of the depression. The happy pieces that Farris exhibits here would be a welcome change, especially in the context of the meat and potato eaters of DeWitt, Arkansas, of which, I am no longer a part.
Images by Dwayne Butcher
The illustrious Dwayne Butcher has a new show opening at the David Lusk Gallery tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m. Titled The Politics of Inclusion, the exhibition is a rather intimate exploration into Butcher's own perception, of himself and of the world, but particularly in how the world views the grand stereotype of the Southern, white male, struggling with his own inevitable shortcomings.
"I have always been aware of my weight and accent and the negative connotations that come with each," Butcher says.
The work is the result of honest expression in which Butcher frankly relates his beliefs on art and life by embracing personal insecurities and generalizations. Through private understanding and doubt he displays a sort of living poetry with a variety of media; sculpture, text based installation, digital painting and video.
"I actually am a hillbilly from Arkansas with aspirations of integrating into the highbrow art world. Now, I capitalize on contradictions in pieces that counter my southern masculine roots. I use pastel pinks and baby blues, and feature gay men dressing in suits. I juxtapose classical music against a make shift pool in the bed of a truck and images of me consuming beer and wings. I'm attempting to construct a personality that lives between both worlds," he says.
The exhibition runs through March 31, but in the meantime, check out the latest installation of Caseworks at the Univeristy of Memphis before it closes on Saturday!
Butcher curates the space, and chose the work of Johan Gustavsson to showcase just outside of AMUM's main gallery. Gustavsson is a visual artist from Sweden, currently based in the Netherlands, who sees drawing as the central medium of his practice for its singularly intuitive nature. With a fascination in the notion of ugliness, he evokes the innocent honesty of childlike sketches, producing intriguingly simple works reminiscent of the human memory - loose situations that aren't entirely formed but still have visible boundaries and specific characters.
Now on exhibition at L Ross Gallery is the third annual "Works on Paper" show, featuring a mix of figurative and abstract work from artists like Bobby Spillman, Jeri Ledbetter, Ryan VanderLey, David Comstock, Chuck Johnson, and Carl Moore.
L Ross Gallery, 5040 Sanderlin Ave, Suite 104, 767-2200, lrossgallery.com
August 31st marks the last day to see Gallery Fifty Six's "Turnmaloose," an exhibition on Elvis and the fans who adored him.
The exhibit includes photographs of Elvis fans by Michael Whitaker:
Graceland graffiti collages on tile by MJ Reeves, and other musically-inspired paintings and photographs.
The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gallery Fifty Six, 2256 Central Ave, 276-1251, thepalladiogroup.com/galleryfiftysix