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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mat Gleason: Baseball Goes Post-Modern in Los Angeles Art World

Cleats, Cleats, Cleats.


This two person exhibition features Pat Riot and L.A. legend Bill Barminski. Who knew that an icon of the L.A. art world, Barminski, was a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan and still considers Pete Rose his favorite baseball player?! The love of sport can reveal more about a man than any exterior pose he might ever take.

Pat Riot veers from slick conceptualist to sarcastic pop collage master in Known Gallery’s main room. His portion of the exhibition has large portraits of basball players that appeared at first to be pointillist paintings. But this is no Seurat. We’re talking Reggie!

...The ultimate Post-Modern trope of juxtaposing two unrelated images and expecting the viewer to make an association is alive in these pop culture collage conflations. The need to make associations is inevitable. The more informed a baseball fan you are, the more rewarding the search for reason in a sea of chaotic images becomes.

Take for example the head of the Sargent from the “Beetle Bailey” cartoon superimposed over a 1972 Topps card of Kansas City Royals infielder Cookie Rojas. The artist has merely chosen this combination for the matching proportions of the player on the card and those of the cartoon head. But a baseball fan can make a connection—later in life, after his playing days, Rojas managed the hapless 1988 Angels for most of the season and I immediately imagined the caricature of military authority overseeing 25 hapless Beetle Baileys with bats and gloves. Post-Modernism’s privileging of the viewer’s own associations is alive and well at the old ball game.

...These artists share a love of a common subject and create rigorous art around this thing about which they are so passionate. So many artists today, especially coming out of art schools, have a strong theoretical disposition but have no passion with which to communicate their vision. The bland art in many galleries is a result. Artists with the intellect to understand truths about our times are wise to address these things in a subject close to their heart. Pat Riot, Bill Barminski and Jim Thompson do exactly this to great results.


Repoz Posted: May 28, 2013 at 03:44 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: art

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