and how art criticism fails in this country. stop talking to the artists! start looking at their work!
The endless gaze in Digging In The Dirt
In literature we always say the author is dead, a convenient and highly questionable concept really that allows the reader a pretense of reading only the text, ignoring as much as possible the notion of the writer as center of truth. In reviewing art, it still seems like a contradiction to do an interview with the artist in relation to a new work; always this means falling into the trap of making him explain himself.
This is what’s working against Digging in the dirt, an exhibit that’s interesting enough to talk about extraneous to who the artist is – or what that name holds. What’s in a name, when you’ve got some art to look at really, and portraits that already demand a conversation? This is the work of Martin Honasan.
The first thing that strikes you is the breadth of the portraits that are here (and the fact that it’s in the midst of a busy mall’s hallway): from huge canvases with heavy acrylic paint to small canvases with sparse almost pen and ink sketches rendered in watercolor, from dark almost dank colors to bright yellows and reds and stark whites. Even just the heavy hand in the large canvases vis a vis the lighter hand used for the smaller work is unique in itself, especially when one considers that across these portraits are the eyes as focal point, no matter how it’s rendered, regardless of the size of the work.