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48 x 60"
Ink, acrylic & oil on wood.
Portfolios: October 2013 Curator Reviewed Art, Handful of recent works
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Prime Supremacy is a provocative, though perceptively unsettling figurative image. The portrait furnishes an engaging and rather sophisticated interplay between figure and ground, with the non-objective elements completing the gestalt of the woman’s absent torso. The pinkish coloration is at once fleshy, while providing a more energizing, fresh surface for the theatrical human gesture. I see the small lines at the bottom as somewhat architectural, as if the drips at the top of the picture plane slowed to eventually form static, angular ridges. While literally disembodied in the space, the expressive hands and facial expression register as something between amusement and contempt. I’m unclear about the iconography of the threaded/leashed fish and cup (?) and cigarette in her other hand. While they seem excessive or superfluous encumbrances, or affectations, I can’t be certain. Despite the stylistically recognizable subject, there is a good amount of narrative ambiguity. Baskin appears to share the surreal abbreviation of female form against a warm pink background. I particularly admire the patches of vibrant color within the body and face, against a quieter neutral background. But while the small brightly colored balloons could offer some levity beyond compositional balance, their distance from the figure doesn’t lift the contorted pose into a happier surround.
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