I attended an artist’s talk at the Two Rivers Art Gallery last Thursday by Gary Pearson. His show One Way Ticket is a body of work that seems to be related through colour, size, and biographical mystery. Gary spoke through waves of sound and words emitting from 2 of his video installations which made it difficult to absorb the words he spoke, and as he spoke he gestured to various large canvases with faces which seemed familiar, and yet not. Words visually raced across his paintings in the same manner that they were audibly racing around the room. The result was an assault to the senses which, when tolerated for some time produced a dizzy, light-headed, feeling. Like the work hanging on the wall, his talk was filled with light drivel, punctuated with the occasional interesting, intriguing statement. It was humorous and light…until he began to unravel the mystery of who the individuals in the paintings were, and how he had produced the work. Admiration for perspective, size, and palette choice was replaced with disappointment that his schtick was no more that commercial art gimmicks. His skill seemed to be ability to use an overhead projector, photos and ads from old magazines to construct the paintings. And his concern seemed to be with his reputation, style and marketability, more so than any message his art might be conveying. May be I’m a romantic, but I was enjoying the work more before I knew this, it was too much information for me. Sometimes a person can say too much and a mystery is better left that way.
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