Monday, October 18, 2010

Benjamin Swallow Duke/Floating/Fitton Center/A Buster Cleveland Review

 Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Heya. Wanted to share a couple of paintings from an art show I attended last night, and became an instant fan of Benjamin Swallow Duke. The best introductory phrase is also the title of one of my favs- TMI.

Oil on boxed canvas in three panels, as though someone made it illegal to create in a larger scale, TMI is twelve or thirteen feet wide, with a guess at seven or eight high. From the girl looking away to her right, her red bra peeking from under her yellow tanker, it is the perfect moment to stare at her cleavage. She will never catch you, so don't avert your eyes.

City streets and a mash of people you might know or imagine, as well as the images and worries that sleep in your motivations from sleep to sleep. Elephants tangled with birds of prey, the leg of a broken stool wrapped in its trunk, along with countless images both finished and undone like thoughts that made it to the canvas with varying degrees of success. There were many 'Oh, my' and even 'Gross' declarations last night but I am enamored. A shopping cart with the suckered tentacles- a recurring theme, and my sons fav- a flat Super Mario mushroom. If I found myself in this scenario, you can bet I would be sending mms' to you, as I was with other friends. They in return sent their own shots of water lillies, barroom chess games, and street graffiti.

In his artists statement he asks himself "Is this the way the world is?". Says he is referring to text, theory, idea, but I am also finding myself already there, looking out to see in.

Funny how we keep having to explain this to ourselves. :)

In Permanent Catastrophes, there is violence and glut, pain both natural and induced. Again with the recurring theme- this time carrot cake, of which I approve. At $12000.00 I can't help wonder if he just doesn't want to part with the pieces, or is someone really buying art at these prices. I know- Banksy and all, but even Banksy responded to his high sale prices with a comment along the lines of 'I can't believe it' - I think he may have been harsher in actual quote- something along the lines of 'stupid fuckers'. Lol.

There are about a dozen pieces overall, grouped together on the second floor of the Fitton Center for creative arts in Hamilton, Ohio. The subjects range from a tribute to old poets with old school travelling hippy images and a man being thrown out the doors of City Lights bookstore, to more surreal subjects, to gatherings of people in a restaurant or cafe- again with the recurring theme- fish. The title is 'Excepting Alice' and Alices restaurant comes to mind. Walk right in it's around the back, just a half a mile from the railroad track. You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant...excepting Alice. This show runs until Aug. 6, 2010. I will be cyber stalking Benjamin Swallow Duke from here on out. I suggest you do, too.
Be good to you.

Many of the original pics/links were lost and I've replaced them with what shots I could obtain.  I also noted that I've had a difficult time finding a place to keep an eye on Duke, so if you find something please send it along, and I'll buy you a chocolate bar.

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