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Portfolios: September 2014 Curator Reviewed Art, Assemblage
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Hommage to Isaac exudes the mystical trappings of a Christian reliquary with the arched wooden structure and earthy patina. The hand‘s submissive gesture of receiving conjures a death like momento-mori, and sign of stigmata. I find it intriguing that the object of pending receipt is a suspended plumb bob- the space between the hand and weight carrying anticipatory and eternal tension. The symbolic associations of the plumb bob and elevated gears suggest the weighing of fairness by an unseen or unknown force. The open screen at the top, while transparent, could also reference the gauzy barrier in a confessional. But the potency of the piece is partially in its lack of adherence to prescribed devotion. The assemblage L’ enfant et les Sortileges encapsulates Ravel’s lyrical fantasy, but appears to a broader, global aesthetic. The brown toned organic inclusions of smooth stones and pebbles suggest teeth or bone as used in African or Aboriginal designs. I find the aesthetic contrast between these raw organic elements and the refined sepia photograph to be both jarring and sympathetic. The alteration of the central figure helps to integrate him into the piece, while moving him beyond personal distinctiveness into a more collective identity.
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