On human and international relations
It’s a testosterone-intensive show at the Solomon Dubnick Gallery, at 2131 Northrop Avenue: four men’s exhibits in one, all up until November 4, featuring three oil painters and a sculptor. Mark Bryan steals the show with his Interesting Times, especially “The Mad Tea Party.” The Mad Hatter’s there, but he takes a back seat to the other partiers, a cast of Washington characters that morphs this scene out of Alice in Wonderland into a colorful political cartoon.
Dick Cheney looms over a diminutive American president, directing a lethal knife to divide the party cake, a pink and cherry-adorned confection decorated with a map of the world. Donald Rumsfeld pours oil-tea from a tank teapot, and a religious leader happily offers his praise skyward, while Condi Rice gleefully observes. There’s a lot to take in. Bryan fills every corner of this piece. Ghoulish generals look on greedily, holding out their plates for a piece of the cake. Fighter jets whiz outside, piercing the idyllic sky, while skulls with wings hover inside. And Alice? Well, she just looks aghast, clasping her hands against her white pinafore. Businessmen look on, too, with oil rigs pumping atop their bald heads. It’s quite the party, all rendered in a parody not unlike those of Mad magazine.
In Kent Alexander’s Rorschach Tests, the artist uses his favorite subject—himself—to explore personality. While you’re admiring his gift of realism, you realize all the characters are personas of the artist—not clones, but the different facets that we all carry. Tom Gracy’s Green Windows offers another realistic take on the relationships we have with nature and ourselves. David Furman’s Body Language offers the only sculpture in the show, but it’s a new take on those little wooden mannequins used in art classes to teach figurative proportion, position and perspective. In clay, Furman gives those faceless bodies personality, sculpting them into simple tableaux that reflect relationships and the human condition. For more information, call (916) 920-4547.