It was a strange confrontation atop the mountain with a one week exhibition hindered by the unfamiliar, icy, winter weather and being completely oblivious to the artist and his prominence in the art world.
On the last day, in the last hour, I come face to face with some still prints from the video. The stills looked like simple drawings created in MSPaint or some other early generation, computer drawing program. Elements and characters were created using basic colors and basic geometric shapes. Think rectangles and triangles merging to form a creature resembling a yellow quadriped. Of course only two limbs can be seen when standing still. The video projected an animation retaining its simplicity of form throughout. Sections of the video resembled the old, poorly designed websites of yesteryears as the colorful characters traveled across a black background. Laid out on a table were cell phone cases with similarly geometric figures adorning the screens. Constructed from shiny, colorful cut paper, the images looked like a combination of Lisa Frank stickers and Playmobil figures. There was a quick waft of a flea market booth.
On the adjacent wall were more works on paper – larger images of the same brightly colored, geometric figures and elements. In the corner of the gallery sat a TV playing interviews and videos with Benito Laren. Its here that you learn that Mr. Laren is a character conjured by an artist. With a Warhol-like wig and big black sunglasses, Mr. Laren goes through numerous adventures reminiscent of Benny Hill. The final set of works were perfume bottles with the caps altered to look like flying saucers from Mr. Laren’s arsenal of images. The animated video, some of the cut paper works, the Benito Laren personality and the perfume caps were all out of this world. (Corny? Yes, but I had to say it.)
The works were colorful and playful, yet it felt like something was missing. The personality introduced on the television set seemed to have been lost in the rest of the show. Somehow that aspect needed to be strengthened. I got a little confused as to what was going on.
This initiative and cooperation by the gallery and other entities in town must be applauded. They’re mixing things up and keeping the scene feeling fresh. GOOD
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.