Hmm, looks promising.
“I have only one word to describe this show: filth.”
Where are the car keys? I’m so there.
The funny thing was that on Monday morning, we got three separate e-mails complaining about Chronic, a show of paintings by Gary Abkin at the Excentrique Functional Art Gallery, 1409 R Street, during the past Second Saturday.
As the same writer, a graphic designer from San Jose, put it: “I got totally abused and felt fully degraded, not only by the pieces themselves, mainly depicting naked, decomposed bodies of man [sic] and mutilated women, but by the artist himself and his entourage, who were very rude and condescending, nothing like the usually inviting crowd I experience every time I attend Sacramento openings.”
Another put it this way: “I would have rather purchased the latest pornographic video than to bring my children to this event. I had to cover their eyes and was forced to discuss subjects that no parents should attempt to engage in.”
And another: “The ‘artist’ was drunk and obnoxious! … He was constantly staring at my teenage daughter, making her very uncomfortable.”
Now, do a gig like this long enough, and it’s like working in a fish market: Some things just don’t pass the smell test. And having witnessed plenty of the laughable handiwork of barely literate “street teamers” as they infested various online music discussion boards, it was pretty apparent what was going on. San Jose native Abkin and a few of his pals probably knocked back a few cocktails after the show, got a heat on and then fired off a few indignant e-mails to the local media. Yep, up here in California’s Bible belt, we get letters like that all the time, ha ha ha.
Still, these are strange days, and you never know when some sexually frustrated, former junior-high hall monitor who’s been deputized by “Kaiser” Ashcroft’s Kunstsicherheitshauptamt might be lurking about, ready to point vacationers toward scenic Guantanamo Bay (which, technically, may be a Caribbean destination but is not quite Club Med or Hedonism II in the kicks department).
So, it was incumbent upon the Scenester to examine the evidence, and gallery proprietor Pam Skinner was there on a Monday morning to show him around.
Truth be told, Abkin doesn’t need cheap stunts to draw attention. Overall, his oil paintings, though some do depict genitalia, are quite thoughtful renderings of the human form. Offensive? No, unless you’re prone to staying at home and watching a steady diet of Fox News. And a sign is posted at the door. What part of “adult content inside” is hard to understand?
The show is up through July 3, and the gallery is open Thursday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.