ART REVIEW
’Gloss and Grime’ at MAINSITE Gallery

BY JOHN BRANDENBURG
Contributing Writer
Modified: November 17, 2010 at 3:26 pm •  Published: November 16, 2010
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“Gloss and Grime” is the title of an intriguing and provocative 8-person show with strong drawing, photography and interactive installation elements at MAINsite Contemporary Art gallery, 122 E Main, Norman.

David Crismon, the show’s curator, said it is based on the juxtaposition of “polished exteriors and gritty interiors” in the work of a group of artists who work mostly in “black and white with a spattering of color.”

Showing at Mainsite are Oklahoma City artists Jansen Sterba, Jerrod Smith, Dylan Bradway and Crismon, Norman artists Adam Stewart and Christian Pitt, and out of state artists Debra Di Blasi and Dan Heidebrecht.

Five accurate pencil renderings of pairs of wasps, cockroaches, black ants, spiders and earwigs are encircled with comic strip-like ink drawings and a border of quotations in Sterba’s exquisite works on paper.

Paper butterflies seem to swarm over and around a person in a gauzy costume, flooded with white light, in three “Butterflyman” color photos by Pitt, which nicely complement Sterba’s drawings.

Equally well executed, but more surrealistic, are the graphite and acrylic wash drawings on birch panel of Smith.

A realistic white hydra stone hand offers a silvery, anatomically corrent heart to us next to a shadowy graphite drawing of a multiple circle shape in one Smith composition, called “Concentrate.”

Ornate frames enhance Smith’s oval drawings of a dog-headed man and an owl-headed woman in period attire, while his framed drawing of a buffalo-headed man with an arrow in his side, a la St. Sebastian, is a tour de force.

More fun and funky are three acrylic, spray paint and brushed ink on wood paintings by Bradway, on which the word “bling,” is loosely scrawled in dripping black paint, helps to unite on the wall.

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