Valerie Carroll, Spot @ Twenty-Two Gallery.
Valerie Carroll‘s animistic portraits of cats & dogs practically growl with aggression, daring DoN to stare down scary faces like monsters in a dream. Sometimes when DoN looks into KaTy the ArT DoGs eyes he feels a connection with her like some extrasensory perception mind meld is happening, Carroll’s paintings tap into that same vibe. Carroll’s animal portraits are classic mise en scene animal portraits yet brutalist and difficult like a great punk rock song.
Valerie Carroll, Rub-a-Dub, A Man in a Tub, oil on canvas.
Valerie Carroll explained how she first got this impression of the bathing man while out West but finished the painting back East. The painting pulses with emotion, the man’s facial expression roils with desperation, the luxury of a bath too sad to believe, a beard grown wild, a rusted basin a momentary respite from the New Great Depression.
Valerie Carroll, Man in a Pink Shirt, oil on canvas. Light & Despair @ Twenty-Two Gallery.
Adrienne Jenkins, Jamie, oil on canvas @ Twenty-Two Gallery.
Shawn Murray, Twenty-Two Gallery’s mastermind, warned Adrienne Jenkins that portraits are a hard sell but her paintings of twenty-somethings reveal such a current state of being for young people – harried, a bit grim, self absorbed like characters from a William Faulkner novel set in the future – that it makes DoN glad she ignored his advice, the portraits are so painterly they don’t read as so specific.
Twenty-Two Gallery’s co-curator , Diane Podolsky, has the balls to mix up impressionist still life paintings with stylized portraits and crazed pet paintings & makes it work like some museum show of the history of modern art; paintings just never go out of style.
Valerie Carroll & Adrienne Jenkins at the opening of their show, Light and Despair @ Twenty-Two Gallery during West Center City’s Second Friday art crawl. The two artists paint together at Wayne Art Center , sharing studio space and creating a kind of cross-pollination of painting styles. With 25 or so paintings, this is a big show for two artists but Adrienne Jenkins is preparing for her solo show next year for the same space; the two artists have joined the artist collective and you can meet them this Sunday afternoon at Twenty-Two Gallery, 236 South 22nd Street.
Photos by DoNBrewerPhotography.