The crowd was thin while I was at this opening. I guess someone forgot about the Christo & Jeanne-Claude lecture that evening.
Walking into the gallery I was confronted by a group of small sink paintings by Gabel Karsten. Each one a different sink and titled according to its owner's name. They were very realsitic with well crafted details. On the south wall were Mo Scollans' works. They too, were paintings executed in a very realistic style. Mostly kitchen items with a bird or two thrown in. These had more painterly strokes visible, but still maintained the level of detail that the sinks had. On the north wall were Stella Alesi's paintings. These works were notably different. Instead of the photo-realism of Karsten and Scollans, Ms. Alesi's works describe a different reality.
Using a new-age approach, she paints and draws the essence of being. In her ink drawings she breaks down life into basic units of life energy. Microbe-like creatures swim throughout her "Life Essence" grouping. In her portraits, their is a person standing in an oval. Surrounding the oval are elements like birds and miscellaneous flotsam. I assume that the items describe that person's life or character.
I can see where the relationship between the three artists were supposed to connect. Karsten's sink portraits related to Alesi's portraits, Scollan's everyday items related to Alesi's flotsam, and Karsten's painting style matched Scollan's. Looking at Karsten and Scollan, the works were well rendered and nicely lit, but had little character. I don't think sinks were the proper vehicle to explore someone's personality. As a fixture and cleaning tool, sinks tend to be sterile landscapes. I think medicine cabinets or refrigerators lend themselves to more entertaining readings. The person they portray will have decided to insert or remove items as they see fit and you have to open a portal to reveal the contents.
Mo Scollans might consider combining items into a single composition. Single item investigations can only yield so much. Besides, there is more control on the relationships if they are contained by the same canvas instead of relying on the installation of the works. Stella Alesi's work looked like stuff I am attracted to. She uses a spiritual approach to life by referencing chakras, microbiology and personally treasured items, but they still had a staleness to them. I think it was the flatness. The ink drawings look as if they were created using Crayola markers. I don't care about which brand she used, but the application looked too uniform. The internet preview I've seen looks like some great design, but in person they just fall flat.
All the works in this show are attractive. They should be able to sell as they are well designed. I think they just need a little bit more experimentation. This show is NOT BAD.
I'll tell you 'bout what I sees.