Arts Pick: unstable utopia

unstable utopia
Today’s pick is another piece by a popular Philadelphia artist. In many respects, it is similar to her last installation, reviewed here. Note the similarities–especially the limited palette and unstable medium. However, the new work is bolder and more innovative, perhaps even groundbreaking. The canvas has been cleverly placed in a high traffic area, and if the piece’s strategic location doesn’t attract the attention of passers-by, the contrast between the dark, solid background and the luminous subjects surely will.

Appropriately, the images at the bottom right of the canvas provide an overall sense of stability to the work. The flower and the unnamed amphibian represent a childlike, optimistic perspective of nature. This utopia, however, is overshadowed by the impending chaos in the upper-left corner, moving towards it in a classic z-pattern. And it’s this progression that epitomizes the piece’s theme. The artist has abstracted the violent forces that are ever-present in today’s world and depicted their impending detonation. Will the idyllic, pastoral scene survive the onslaught?

One response to “Arts Pick: unstable utopia”

  1. art historian on hiatus

    Becky,

    You are hillarious and brilliant! Please keep the fabulous art reviews coming!

    I think the snowman/woman shows the existential angst of alienation in the urban world. You are dead-on about the pure state became sullied and the ephemeral nature of all of us.