Drummers who paint
Rock Star Art Show at the True Love
Although this space is nominally reserved for a clever dissection of a selected exhibition in one of this town’s finer art galleries, this month we’ve elected to visit a location that, while noted for hanging art on its walls for its waffle-eating denizens to enjoy, may not be on the radar of, say, the fine folks at the Crocker.
Of course, when the idea of “let’s have an art show” springs from a café co-owner observing one of her patrons, who happens to be the outspoken frontman for one of the area’s better-known rock bands, doodling penis-based caricatures at a table, one cannot expect the local art establishment to beat a path to the door.
But that’s the story. One night Allyson Seconds spied Skid Jones of Magnolia Thunderfinger drawing comics with a “pud” theme, with no references to Bazooka Joe, at his table at the True Love Coffeehouse. Knowing that other area musicians—Kepi from the Groovie Ghoulies, Matt K. from the Shruggs—had shown their art at the True Love in months past, Seconds decided to put the word out to area musicians with an artistic bent.
What resulted from Seconds’ idea is Rock Star Art Show: Local Musicians as Visual Artists, which will be on display at the True Love through the end of this month.
As one might expect, there’s a fair amount of kitsch. But while the downtown musician aesthetic inevitably contains, within its parameters, a bit of an appreciation for thrift-store paintings, some of the pieces on display evince at least a passing connection with the deep, unnamed inner spring from whence artistry emerges. Others succeed more as graphic design.
One of the latter, by Dave Garcia of Daycare, is a large purple-and-white graphic, a high-contrast blowup of a section of sliced red cabbage. This has been partitioned into 77 jewel-boxed CD covers containing Daycare’s latest, Valium, each attached to the backing board by Velcro. One can purchase a CD and own 1/77 of an original work of art.
Another striking graphic is a dynamic painting of a black-vinyl 12” record, bearing the rainbow-hued mid-’60s Decca label, spinning on a turntable. The artist is Baby Grand bassist Tim White, who once wrote art reviews for SN&R.
A couple of dog images stand out. One portrait of a basset hound by graphic artist Keara Fallon (Cake, Deathray), looks initially like something one might find in Jim Shaw’s book Thrift Store Paintings. It has a warm and haunting quality, however, that continues to resonate after turning away. And Tinfed drummer Matt McCord came up with a transparent dachshund image on a moving field of bluish hues. Hey, what can I say: I’m partial to dogs.
On the anti-canine tip, Kepi contributed two small cartoonish images, one of which is a cat; the other depicts a Frankenstein figure. He’s got that Saturday-morning cartoon aesthetic dialed. His wife, Groovie Ghoulies guitarist Roach, has a couple of photos on display (for you cat lovers, one depicts a black feline).
A couple of self-portraits, by Red Star Memorial’s Bobby Jordan and singer-songwriter David Houston, seem like pretty apt representations of these guys’ inner beings. Houston’s dark-hued image, especially.
On a real dark tip, however, the Knockoffs’ Tom Hutchinson created a three-dimensional tray of glued-on stuff—no, were not calling them “objets d’art” or any poop like that—over which he then applied a uniform black-matte finish from a spray can. One of the lads in Spinal Tap, recognizing its Smell the Glove color scheme, might be impressed to utter, “None more black.” In competition with the True Love’s superb waffles, however, it comes in second.
There are plenty more pieces in this show. They’re worth checking out, and even if you’re unimpressed, you should try a waffle. Or two.