kiki sits for dan + robert suits up

Wow! All of my inspiration is converging. Above, persistent anima Kiki Smith sits for Daniel Carrillo (contemporary devotee of the wet plate collodion process).

And below, painter¬†Robert Hardgrave (who I reviewed a while ago here, and who has since become a Seattle art friend) protects himself from impending doom or prepares himself for fabulous rescue in his own Rapturesuit… seeming to channel Nick Cave, but in a particularly Robert Hardgrave fashion.



I walked into this exhibition this morning and gasped. I wasn’t sure whether to pee my pants or cry. Which is appropriate, considering that the show is designed around still life as sensual catalyst. It probably also figures into one of my current obsessions– linking visual/media input to food. I find it really helpful to compare my discipline with others in order to understand it better. So… I’ve been noticing that we all seem to have our “doritos” version of visual culture: quick, easy satisfaction that hits the major taste buds and achieves an immediate, but temporary, escape. I find myself wanting to name some culprits, but I ask you to determine yours. What are the quick fixes that do not satisfy for long? And what is your whole-grain-bread-from-flour-milled-by-your-friend-with-goat-cheese-made-from-the-milk-of-the-goat-that-is-munching-grass-outside-your-door version? Visual input as nourishment or empty calories.

So yes, this show.

I am determined to spend more time with it, because the nourishment is rich. Hanging there are disciplined observations from a different time scope than I usually inhabit. Delicate, laborious, slow study yields both the terror and beauty of fecundity… the ever presence of death as we examine life.

If you are in Seattle, the illustrious SOIL is also holding their annual auction, but you can do it all, right? I’m going to attempt it! If you can’t make the opening, the show is up for two months, and wouldn’t suffer from quiet intake. Here’s curator Katie Kresser (also illustrious) describing Ripe:

During Fall quarter 2010 the SPAC Gallery is proud to present Ripe, a group show featuring contemporary experiments in the genre of still life. Good still life has always been about sensuality. In our world of synthetic materials and virtual realities, still life can remind us of the beauty that’s painful and bloody: birth, woundedness, ecstasy, transformation, decay and death.

Artists featured include:
Zack Bent, Eric Elliott, Linda Hutchins, Gregory Jacobsen, Steve Levin, Christian van Minnen and Natalie St. Martin.

Ripe: Juicy Contemporary Still Life: October 11 – December 3
Opening reception will be held Friday evening, October 15 from 7:00-9:00pm.

{The SPAC Gallery is open 9:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday}