Finishing up three months of reviewing art shows, I am now getting a little tired of group shows. Don’t get me wrong now. I know Austin isn’t Houston or Dallas, or even San Antonio and artists need to get exposure when and wherever they can. And I know that group shows take care of this very well. What tires me is the surveying that I am forced to do. I would much rather take in a solo or duet and take my time contemplating the works. Karaoke fortunately, lifts this guilt and presents a fun show by spelling out the works’ relationships to art history.
Shady Tree Studios solicited work from 20 local artists and asked them to create an homage to a modern artist. Inspired by, influenced by, mimicking, or just blatantly copying others work was the theme and the reason for the show’s title. I thought it was a good idea as it allows the public to learn about twice as many artists and only half of the history.
The artists worked in the range provided by the marketing material. Holly Veselka for instance, uses Edouard Manet’s iconic Olympia and is easily recognizable as such. Ali Fitzgerald loses something in translation as she presents a large ink and acrylic drawing based on some filmmaker’s videos. And then there are the cheaters from Sodalitas. Jana Swec and Shea Little decided to copy each other’s work.
I know it was left up to the artists, but some editing could have occurred. Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and some sculptor whose name escapes me right now, had more than one flatterer. As such, the show had some pieces that felt very similar in their construction. But other than that, I enjoyed the show. It was fun trying to figure out who was being referenced and then reading the artists’ description of who they were admiring. This show was NOT BAD.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.