Recently, I visited the Nordstrand Art Gallery to view the new Senior Art Exhibit. One piece in particular stood out, impressively. The work is titled Alternate Reality, composed consisting of acrylic on canvas, and done by Becky Lewis. Here, a bicycle is depicted as one looks past the railing of a set of stairs. I found the painting very intriguing because of its incredible use of color and line. One half of the stone floor is a vibrant red, and the other half, a brilliant orange. The railing and stairs are made colored a very cool blue and are contrasted by an electrically yellow pillar in the background.
On either side of the pillar are what look like black prison cells with pale purple bars enclosing them. The bicycle sits between the bars and the railing from our perspective, and is painted a rich green. The strangeness of this combination of colors, along with the strong directional forces of the railing, really make this an interesting painting to view. I very much enjoyed spending time thinking about the though process used by the artist in deciding what colors would be used for each item.
There was a piece, however, that I did not enjoy as much. This was a mixed media piece by Bailey Dahlkoetter, titled When The Going Gets Weird. It is extremely difficult to describe what this piece depicts. There appears to be a flaming television at its center, and it is surrounded by alternating vertical stripes, one consisting of dog bones and another with a wavy golden pattern. In the foreground, there are two white pyramids, one with what I’d describe as an Asian cartoon face.
The television, and what is being shown on the screen (a man with a gun that extends from the screen) is somewhat silhouetted into the piece with a strange pale blue. In my opinion, there are absolutely no unifying components to this piece, and it seems as if the artist had no intention of creating any cohesion whatsoever. No element on its own is impressive either. I simply found it difficult to be pulled in and interested by this piece, and I wish the artist would’ve taken a simpler approach to this work.
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