Saturday, January 21, 2006

Something from nothing

I've been so scatterbrained lately. Many blog-worthy things have happened this week, but I haven't had ten minutes to sit in front of my computer and get busy. With the Blogger I mean. I started my new temp gig on Tuesday, had a random happy hour with three different groups of people, saw an art show, got denied admission at Cryfest, was horrified as I watched my roommate's dog bite Chai, saw a play at the Lincoln Theater, entertained an out-of-town friend, and had some good conversation over Ben's Chili Cheese Fries. Mmmm.

Let's start with the art show. Friday night was the opening of Bruce Erickson's show at The Fraser Gallery in Georgetown. If you haven't been there, you should go soon because this is the last show the gallery will have before it closes its doors in February (though their Bethesda location is still open).

I have to say, I really enjoyed Erickson's paintings. He had two types of subjects up: portraits and what were sort of still-life paintings of rooms (open doors, nearly empty floors, front porches). The portraits, I swear, looked 3d. At one point I looked around to see if anyone was watching me, then moved up against the wall beside the painting to make sure there wasn't actually a prosthetic nose attached to the canvas. This guy seems to be able to create light with his brush, which becomes all the more clear when you look at the other paintings.

The link above shows a few of the door/doorframe paintings, and I think part of the reason why I liked these so much is that I happen to love those subjects when I take photos. I've always liked the way the structured symmetry of a doorframe can contrast with vibrant, creative colors - or maybe it's just the curiosity in the unknown that waits behind them. In any case, as great as the scans are on the Fraser website, they certainly don't do the paintings justice. I'll say it again, he seemed to create light from nowhere. It's not like he was using bright colors, in fact, most of his paintings were in muted blues and yellows, but more like the way a muted yellow sunset across a wheatfield can blind you. ...Yeah, I'm not explaining it very well.

His rooms were very angular - straight windows and doors and walls with measured ninety-degree angles. Inside the rooms, however, was usually chaos deftly hidden by those muted (but so illuminating?) colors - floors littered with paper, bare mattresses with stuffing ripped out of the seams. If you just whipped a glace at one, you might think it was some pretty, but contentless Thomas Kincade thing, but the sharp angles and lines draw your eye in and forces you to look closer, and then you can see it's not just a room, but that someone's been there, and it's been changed in someway by that.

Anyway, I'm not going to pretend I'm some knowledgeable art critic, but I know what I like, and I liked Erickson's work immensely. I'm a little peeved that I left without speaking with him to see what he had to say, but I was distracted at my most recent introduction to yet another person I've met through this blog, Lenny. He writes DC Art News, which I read daily and have linked to on occasion on TTtC, and he also happens to run The Fraser Galleries. I knew he was going to be there so I kept my eye out and introduced myself after I checked out the show, somewhat relieved that we had emailed earlier, so he knew my full name and I didn't have to say out loud, "Uh, hi, I'm Heather from Two-Timing the Cosmos. You know, the blog." And what a nice man! He gave me all kinds of great tips for checking out art in the city, taking advantage of some opportunites for my own photos, and even getting a legal job! You know, later that night a friend of mine was teasing me mercilessly about my blog and my "imaginary friends" (dude, he keeps a binder of his fantasy football information - with tabs - so I had some ammo of my own), but I continue to meet interesting people and find great events and opportunities through this thing. Remember when the only thing you could do on the internet was talk with crazy people in AOL chatrooms? Those days are over, my friends. Need to get out of the house? Buy an internet connection. (And then go see Erickson's show.)


At 2:04 PM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Lenny said...

What a nice thing to say!

I think you have a good eye for writing about art: keep pushing it!

And good point about how the Blog opens doors and let's you (and me) meet good, interesting people.

See ya soon in Bethesda!

At 4:15 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger adrian said...

Yess! It's a good show. Too bad they're out of georgetown--good location... . . . .

At 4:17 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger adrian said...

yeah, good show. too bad they're giving up the location.


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