Call it transference or just a way of dealing with difficult emotions, but when artist and experimental filmmaker Adriene Hughes saw a deer's head for sale at a swap meet years ago, she felt an immediate connection.
In the midst of chemotherapy and a difficult battle with breast cancer, she understood the deer-in-the-headlights sense of paralyzing fear. And even now, as a survivor, Hughes says she still feels lost, disconnected and unable to put the cancer experience into words.
“Then I found this deer mask,” Hughes says. “So, I bought it, and now I use it as way to communicate my sense of shock over the diagnosis and [dealing] with this sense of survivorship” Hughes' photographic series, “Deer/Woman” will be on view in Masked/Unmasked, an art exhibition and live literary performance put on by So Say We All. It opens from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, at Zagrodnik + Thomas Architects (3956 30th St., North Park). Artist Rebecca Webb's “Gentlemen's Paintings” photographic series will also be on view, and Stacy Dyson, Heather Fowler, Laura Leisinger, Rebecca Moos, Yesi Padilla and Bonnie ZoBell will perform starting at 8 p.m.
We're ready for this
Last year, Malashock Dance's edgy “RAW” performance was met with multiple sold-out shows and rave reviews. This year, the San Diego dance company has responded with “RAW 2,” which you can preview for free at Malashock Dance Studio (2650 Truxtun Road in Point Loma's Liberty Station) at 6:15 and 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. It runs officially Oct. 20 through 22 in the Mandell Weiss Forum Theater at La Jolla Playhouse.
“I think the show is wildly popular because San Diego doesn't have—and I hate to use such a tired, cliché line—but we just don't have anything that's really cutting-edge,” says Scott McDonald, spokesperson for Malashock. “RAW, in its genesis, was created to allow for choreographers to be a little more edgy, and there isn't a chance that the audience will be surprised, since it's billed as something gritty and provocative.”
At the preview, McDonald says we can expect choreography by John Malashock and Michael Mizerany that touches on topics like homosexuality, sex and gender-role reversal.
“There are some suggestive themes,” he says. “It's also super-physical, which I think people like. You will definitely see bodies slamming against each other.”
B.Y.O.A. hits San Diego
Artists started lining up hours before last Friday's Art Squat B.Y.O.A (Bring Your Own Art) event at Periscope Project, and a few were still wandering in, painting-in-hand, about 45 minutes after the exhibition opened.
“This could have gone south so quickly,” said a bleary Enrique Limón after hanging the last few pieces and straightening them with his pocket-size level. “But it didn't. It looks like an actual art show.”
A CityBeat columnist, Limón is also one-third of the Art Fist Collective, the group that organized the show. Aside from getting the word out and providing a venue, hammer and nails, the Art Fisters invited anyone to show up and hang a piece of art— no approval necessary. The result was an interesting mix of mostly lowbrow and a few highbrow paintings and sculptures by local artists, including a $900 painting by Monty Montgomery that sold just a few minutes after the show opened to the public.
Artist groups in Los Angeles and New York have also invoked the B.Y.O.A. model with success. Giant warehouses have reportedly been filled with art in a matter of hours through the DIY, open-to-all approach. Limón said he was blown away by the local response and said we can expect more experimentation.
“Look,” he said, pointing to the crowded gallery. “People are supporting the arts, and I love it.”
This week's cover artist
Christopher Konecki's “Every Day He Sells His Soul” is part of a larger body of paintings juxtaposing organic and inorganic imagery and reflecting on the human condition.
“It's about the conflicts between mankind and nature,” says the young artist, who painted the piece after spending 48 hours on a job in sales.
“It's a little bit autobiographical,” he laughs, explaining that he felt so out of place in his suit and tie, pounding the pavement as a salesmen, that, when the Thumbprint Gallery curators approached him with a Power Animals exhibition theme a few months ago, the image of a bird in a suit immediately popped into his head.
“The 9-to-5 thing—the grind—it kind of feels like you're selling a little bit of yourself,” Konecki says. “And you are. The painting is about living freer than that.”
Konecki will show his work at Suture Gallery on Oct. 14, at CityBeat's Best of San Diego party at the W Hotel on Oct. 20 and at Thumbprint Gallery on Dec. 10.
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