09 November 2009

Review: Chris French Presents: Annie Rudolph, Aryn Kresol, Carrie Allan

Yesterday I came across a review for the photography show myself and a group of my friends organized last month in Rockford IL. You can view information and images about the show on one of my previous blog posts here.
The view was written by Alex Danger Stewart, who I actually met at the show. I will include the text from the review here, but if you would like to view it in its original format - which I suggest you do - you can find it on Sock Monkey Sound.

Chris French Presents: Annie Rudolph, Aryn Kresol, and Carrie Allan

Review by Alex Danger Stewart

Every fall, there’s a thing in Rockford called Art Scene in which lots of (mostly downtown) businesses showcase the art of local talent. There’s always a pretty sizeable contingent of boring older lady art. Always at least one artist who puts a spin on graffiti and tagging culture. Jesus Correa (that odd fellow who ran for mayor. No, not the one who built his own house. The skinny one) usually shows some good work. And he wears a shirt with kittens on it, so you get a twofer. It’s the usual, ‘get the city to support the arts for one weekend so they feel better about themselves,’ deal. You’ve heard the speech, “Blah blah blah. Civic improvements. Culture. Etc.” Here’s what you need to know: Some places have terrible, boring art. Others don’t. Most have free wine. That’s what makes art galleries awesome. Predicting which locations will have great things to look at and which ones will not tends to be a somewhat haphazard practice. That’s why I just go where my friends and acquaintances are. This becomes much easier as my friends spend less time playing Halo and more time being proactive.

For their first year hosting an event, Chris French and Vixen Productions have chosen three talented young photographers, each exploring different aspects of the medium. The photographs of Annie Rudolph show a command of light and form that belie a mastery of both technology and a strong eye for composition. She also had really cool frames. I am loathe to use the word ‘surrealistic’ for any art that doesn’t actually fit into the Surrealism movement; but it does become a somewhat apt way to describe Carrie Allen’s work. Her photographs appear almost as evocative glimpses into wider stories. I heard she sold one piece for $40. That’s the same price as an average television DVD, so I hope she spends it wisely. Aryn Kresol steps from reality even further. She uses such real world objects as bodies, faces, and furniture in an almost abstract manner that suggests new forms and deeper thoughts and emotions.

Vixen cleared out their studio and turned it into a venue that was open, well lit, and equipped with adequate seating. Also there were sandwiches. That was pretty tremendous. The wine was surprisingly good for something that came from giant bottles (I’m by no means a connoisseur. My favorite variety is white. But I also enjoy red). After writing the first draft, I promised Chris French ( referred to as “C” from now on) a positive review, so I’m going to keep my complaints to a minimum. The only problem that really arose was that, at one point on Friday, a few drunkards took over the iTunes and started playing Alanis Morissette songs and singing along in a very loud manner. In their defense, C’s password was super easy to figure out.
To that end, I had a very good time and hope that Chris French and the fine folks at Vixen Productions take part in the Art Scene again next year. One could also hope that they might be swayed to consider a performance art installation.

On an unrelated note, my band, Boys Like Jason; are now billing themselves as performance artists.

Score: 7 out of 9 Alfred Steiglitzes

Again, you should look to the site. Sock Monkey Sound. There are also many other interesting things to see!

Thanks for the review!