March 29, 2018

ARTofficial

Three must-see exhibitions and a gallery grand opening

An alternate anime universe, drone-based photographic installations, and a feminist’s funny bookshelf make for a thought-provoking gallery crawl this month.  

“Plastic Flowers” by Brent Ozaeta at The Public Trust, through April 21. Artist reception March 31, 6-9 p.m.
Influenced by Japanese animation and the super-flat pop art of Warhol and Lichtenstein, Brent Ozaeta’s screen prints have a comic book appeal. By collaging original photographs and pictures he’s culled off the Internet, the Dallas-based artist utilizes the raw materials he stores in his decade-old “image atlas.”

“A lot of (the prints) revolve around floral arrangements, but then maybe those elements combine with a picture of a girl in distress or this kaiju monster, so you draw a story in your mind,” Ozaeta explains. “There’s a lot of visual information going on and things you notice in the images that might make you draw a narrative.”

The 12 pieces in “Plastic Flowers” aren’t meant to tell a coherent story, but their whiz/bang/pow effect inspires the viewer to write out an action-packed ending in their mind.

“The Future’s Ecology” by Bogdan Perzyński at Liliana Bloch Gallery, March 31 through May 5. Artist reception March 31, 6-9pm.
Polish contemporary artist Bogdan Perzyński’s work lives in the space between ecology and technology. With his second solo exhibition at Liliana Bloch Gallery, the artist builds on the large-scale installation “Table” he showed at Bloch’s space in 2015, addressing the hazards of digital culture through framed photographs and a single-channel video installation created with drone imagery.

Bloch, who discovered the artist through the University of Texas at Austin’s MFA Program (where Perzyński serves as a professor), says she’s “never seen anything like” his work.

“His pieces are really coherent, and I’m drawn to how original his projects are. He almost feels like a messenger from the future. I’ve always been interested in the relationship between photography, art, and language—not just text, but the language of aesthetics and Bogdan has tapped into that.”

In addition to the “The Future,” Perzyński has also contributed to Bloch’s booth at the Dallas Art Fair with an installation examining the last visible evidence of a primeval wood on the border of Poland and Belarus. Throughout all he creates, the artist bears witness to the lightning-fast changes of the modern world along with our dwindling natural elements.

“Feral” by Tracey Harris at Craighead Green Gallery, March 31 through May 5. Artist reception March 31, 5-8pm.
It may be hard to ignore the particularly wacky moment we are all living through, but there’s always a way to view it through a more optimistic lens. Post-election, Colorado-based artist Tracey Harris decided to relocate to an “amazing little liberal community” in the heart of the Rockies to reboot her perspective.

With “Feral,” she divides her canvases between representations of her son and the bright young friends with her ongoing series of sardonic self-help tomes. Her imaginary bookshelves contain titles addressing everything from Postponing Adulthood Indefinitely to Enduring the Apocalypse to Digging Up Old Wounds with Passion, but through the sarcasm there shines a little bit of hope.

“I’ve been doing the book pieces for at least ten years, and throughout the history (of the work) there’s always something about love and how people get along,” Harris muses. “The last year has been crazy politically for me… and the book titles were so incredibly negative and snarky, but now they’re becoming a little bit more positive. People need more compassion, and I feel like it’s my place to voice that.”

Ginger Fox Gallery, 1531 Dragon Street. Grand opening March 31, 5-8pm.
Painter and gallerist Ginger Fox traffics in everything from abstract work to West Texas landscapes to portraiture—anything she feels like, which is the advantage of having one’s own gallery in the first place.

Having proved a success with her 6-year-old eponymous Bishop Arts gallery, Fox is expanding her presence on the scene with a new Dragon Street space. There, she’ll continue to exhibit whatever she feels like, when she feels like it, adding in the work of other female artists that catch her eye along the way.

“I make pretty pictures of things that I like,” laughs the artist. “It is a mix but I work in series. It’s been such an experiment and fun time for me to play and develop different styles. On Bishop, we exposed people to art that hadn’t been in a gallery before, and on Dragon, we want to keep that same welcoming thing.” —Kendall Morgan