Monday, January 20, 2014

Beyond Politics

Known for her installations previously displayed at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans and the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Cynthia Scott, sculptor, is exploring new territories with Punditry,her solo exhibition at Staple Goods Gallery in the St. Claude Arts District. She has chosen figurative paintings to deliver her message which has switched from reflections about disasters to a discussion about pundits.
Her subjects are selected  among a list of personalities, mainly heard on television or radio shows, feeding us daily with their "thoughts" about the latest news. Politically savvy,  they represent Democrats, Republicans or else with a common trait, they are famous.
The artist gathered screen shots from anonymous photographers found on the Internet and several steps later (after enlarging, cropping, enhancing saturation or shades) printed the photographs. Then, selecting the most expressive gestures or facial expressions, painted these with acrylic on rectangular pieces of yupo, a synthetic material.
Mouths caught in the middle of a speech, lecturing hands with pointed fingers, creases, wrinkles the camera would like us to forget, expose the orator. The satirical works make us wonder. Could it be  Rush Limbaugh next to Al Sharpton, Ann Coulter, Arianna Huffington? But this is not the point. What comes out when surrounded by the paintings lining up the gallery are the aggressive gestures of the lecturers and the similarity of expressions whatever "side" they are on. These daily guests in our living rooms, whose mission is to indoctrinate, screaming long harangue, have  forgotten the art of conversation and dialogue. The artist has chosen harsh blues for backgrounds, black or sometimes dark violets and all shades of skin tones to deliver her sobering comments with a decisive brushstroke. She is also aiming the camera back to us, the silent and passive audience. Attraction, irritation, loathe, anger and all gamut in between, she crystallizes our feelings with her caustic view of the pundits.
Scott is one of the artists going back to figurative with a twist, combining photography and painting and her latest work is proof that the art of satire, in any form, will never be out of style.

photographs by the author:

"A. H." (Arianna Huffington), 2013
"A. S"  (Al Sharpton), 2013
View of the exhibition

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