Saturday, February 1, 2014

OUI we at The Commercial - 1 February

Happy new year art lovers.  The Big Lamington team has taken a nice long summer break and is just gently dipping the toes in the arts for 2014.  I happened to be running an errand around Alexandria way and so managed to sneak in to catch the new years group show at the Commercial.  Some play on words going on with the oui we, not sure what I am supposed to get but I am in above the waist here.

I love a good group show and the Commercial doesn't disappoint.  I was instantly drawn to Archie Moore's 'Today we celebrate boat people' (top).  He is still running with the flag theme he showed back in December 2012.  Those were just paint, this one is acrylic painted over the back of an upside down sewn cloth Australian flag (flying the flag upside down shows distress, I got that from the Robert Redford flick, Last Castle!). Aesthetically I really like it, although politically I am a little closer to Scotty Morrison on the issue of shutting down the smugglers for the good of everyone involved (which I am sure would be a rarely held viewpoint in the art world).  That said, you should always be open to both sides of the argument and I like how Archie is doing it here in the colours of green and gold (and so close to Australia Day).  Another noticeable entrant was Mitch Cairns' 'Wet Painting' (pictured below). I'd seen the gallery PR that they had picked up Mitch (from the carcass of the shuttered Breenspace).  A pretty nice inclusion to the roster as Mitch is well favoured at the moment (& won the Brett Whiteley travelling scholarship in 2012).  I quite like his minimalist style but would probably rent on his works from artbank (from memory a $200/year rental for one I liked) rather than drop $4k on this one featured.  That is nothing against this work, just a comment on opportunity costs.  Speaking of opportunity costs I reckon I'd have a crack at recreating a bootleg of Agatha Gothe-Snape's 'Every Artist remembered with Elizabeth Pulie' before dropping 6.5 large on this one.  That said, again, I really liked it.  I spent quite a while reading through the artists, noticing some of my favourites (like Liam Benson, Nell, Textaqueen) and trying to work out who was missing (like half the artists in this group show, whoops).  It was quite thought provoking and as a record of a piece of performance art works pretty well as documentation as well as decoration (although I do like a bit of text in art).  Certainly got me thinking. Hmmm, hand me a posca pen!  Clare Milledge had a nice work where she paints oil on the back of tempered glass although the title, 'Antropocene Solar Anus', could do with a little revision.  As much as I hate 'untitled', I think it works better than that one!

Points:  I will give 3 points to Archie's flag.  I wouldn't mind having this back at the Big Lamington HQ, certainly having me second guessing!  I will give 2 points to Agatha's artist list.  Mitch will take the 1 point, welcome to the Commercial.

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