Something to TalkAbout

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While I’m mentioning calendar items, tonight is one of the Fleisher Challenge TalkAbouts, a discussion of what’s on exhibit there, led by artist and critic Mary Murphy.

I’ve always liked the TalkAbouts, which start at 6:30 p.m., whether I liked the work on display or not, and Mary Murphy is consistently a good discussion leader. Besides, the crowd that shows up is usually pretty varied and unpredictable, and that, for me, is a reason to go.

This Fleisher Challenge features sculptor Warren Holzman (“Small Victory” shown above), painter Jennifer Macdonald, who also offers a video here (shown right), and photographer Ahmed Salvador. (I’m sorry I can’t include an image of Salvador’s work, but my picture came out with a huge flash circle dead center–my fault, silly me).

Holzman’s sculptures are amusing and horrifying at the same time–a giant metal pacifier to stuff into the bawling baby’s mouth, with weld seams left visible, the intestinal stroller surmounting a concrete hill, a giant baby’s head resting peacefully on a pallet, it’s neck sealed off with some kind of industrial fastener, again the weld seams left visible.

The work brought to mind a cross between Todd Noe‘s tiny household mechanical objects pumped up to giant size, crossed with Phoebe Adams‘ creepier organic pieces.

Macdonald’s video, “The Lie and How We Told It,” shows a young man eating and then un-eating strangely inert live birds, all in a rough cartoon style. My mind went from WIP’s Wing Bowl to education to George Bush, all as my stomach heaved just as the young man dropped and turned into a green puddle. The paintings on mylar, mostly of disconnected house spaces and domestic patterns, proved a bit more puzzling, but the piggy paintings (one shown here) held an emotional undercurrent that worked for me.

Ahmed Salvador‘s C-prints are “manufactured views of the universe,” said his artist’s statement. Before I read that they were manufactured, I thought they were the real thing.

The faculty exhibit of small, buttery portraits by painter Stanley Beilen is worth a look. I was captured by the unselfconscious gazes from “Amelia,” “Andrew” (shown), and “Joe Dugan.”

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