24 October 2008

Kavin Buck- It's a Guy Thing

*Full disclosure- Kavin is a friend and colleague. Any perceived positive bias is intended*

According to ArtScene reviewer Roberta Carasso, Otis alum Kavin Buck sees himself as outsider artist in the sense that he "...grew up in a blue collar milieu in Orange County, is a white, straight, forty-something male, husband and father" who "...was never and still is not part of any social revolution."

It is in this context that Carasso weaves a theme of masculinity throughout the review of Kavin's current solo show at LA Contemporary Gallery. In some cases by using descriptors that one might associate as masculine traits- for instance in reference to some of the paintings she said they "...give the appearance of precision, deliberately measured and mathematical" or in regard to some of the sculpture she wrote "...his sculptures are built with precision tools, replete with right-angled configurations...in an architectural manner." Then there is the overt reference- "...his art involves male identity, particularly referencing a blue collar construction type of masculinity."

Whether these traits are more indicative of a male artist rather than a female one is obviously debatable. I did however appreciate the way in which it framed the discussion of Kavin's work. Especially when Carasso went on to deconstruct the image she set up- "The sculptures look incredibly heavy and yet are structurally fragile...the paintings appear controlled but are not. Looking more closely, nothing is precise. They have an off-beat rhythm, the results of a human hand pushing a paint roller." She finishes with her review with this- "...the exhibition implies that ultimately art's quality depends on the individual artist's perceptions and skill in bringing to fruition a profound and original idea. Certainly Buck's art proves this."

The exhibition continues through November 29.

Image of "Pallet Glass" 2005-08 taken from Kavin Buck's Artsltant profile

09 October 2008

Volumes on Veca

Mark Dean Veca's ('85) solo exhibition Phantasmagoria opens this weekend (10/11/08) in the Ben Maltz Gallery as part of Otis' 90th anniversary Homecoming weekend. I expected that we would receive coverage after the opening but for the last three days the blogosphere has been full of posts about it.

The most notable mention so far has been the extensive Sneek Peek provided by Super Touch, a leading contemporary art and culture blog. You can find that piece here. Since then many more have picked it up and its starting to feel like when the publicity for the Do It Now:Live Green took on a life of it's own.

If you're in town this weekend, come to the opening from 5 to 7 PM. Admission and parking are free. Phantasmagoria will remain up through December 6, 2008.

*Image from Super Touch