“A short line drawn between sex appeal and a retinal overload gross out”

Clicking through my inbox this morning, deluged with paintings slathered in bright, saturated color, I was reminded of an artists book produced in an MFA seminar I taught last semester at the University of Connecticut.

Russell Shoemaker, Lover’s Lane, 2013, acrylic on canvas, large scale.

In Formula, painter Russell Shoemaker writes passionately about color, dividing it into several categories, one of which is synthetic.
 

Warning. It has a short line drawn
between sex appeal and a retinal overload gross out. 1990s action
figures, Toxic Avenger, these were the colors of mutants, Nickelodeon
slime, rainbow neon highlighters, the Springfield power plant, and
tanned leotard donned early morning ESPN exercise babes in front of
hawaii backdrops. At times it was a digital realm we were not physically
privy to, or an accent in a construction zone themed burger joint from a
now empty highway strip mall. Synthesisphillia is now Second Life. It’s
top-ten Pokemon cosplay blogs aggregating through the web. It’s
escapist. It’s teens and basketball celebrities. Charles Burchfield
channeled this sun air synthesis in a ‘spiritual’ or ‘other wordly’
quality without the use of even a highlighter. Synthetic is at once
safety, ether, god, science, disgusting, and sexy.

Yeah, Russell–you nailed it. See you guys at Sideshow in May.
Joshua Marsh, &, ?, !, 2013, oil on panel, 12 x 9 inches. 

Paul Behnke, A Kind of Grail, 2012, acrylic on canvas
 Xanda McCagg

Elisions: The 2013 Master of Fine Arts Exhibition,” featuring work by painters Daniel Bohman and Russell Shoemaker, photographer Kathleen Deep, printmaker Christina Goncalves, and photographer/videographer Allison Hale. William Benton Museum of Art, Storrs, CT. Look for another post about the exhibition when it comes to Sideshow Gallery in May.

Joshua Marsh: As If,” Jeff Bailey Gallery, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through May 4, 2013.
“Paul Behnke: An Awful Rainbow,” Markel Fine Arts, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through May 18, 2013.
Xanda McCagg,” Studio 7D, Chelsea, New York, NY. Through April 27, 2013.
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3 thoughts on ““A short line drawn between sex appeal and a retinal overload gross out””

  1. My favorite piece has to be by Joshua Marsh. I love the mix of different colors he used, and how it is somewhat hazy so there isn't one main focus of the painting. At first glance there is somewhat no focus on this painitng. I absolutely loved it and I hope to see more.

  2. My favorite piece has to be by Joshua Marsh. I love the mix of different colors he used, and how it is somewhat hazy so there isn't one main focus of the painting. At first glance there is somewhat no focus on this paintng. I absolutely loved it and I hope to see more.

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