A strong sense of humor and satire, as well as abstract, figurative, expressionist and American Indian influences, are found in paintings by Bert Seabourn at Paseo Originals Art Gallery. The Oklahoma City artist's acrylic compositions are on view with oil paintings, oil on paper, collages and monotypes by Norman artist Don Holladay in their “Unconventional Wisdom” show.
Typical of Seabourn's witty approach to a taboo subject is his acrylic of an American Indian man, wearing feathers in his hair and a tuxedo, with martini in hand, enjoying his “Medicine Potion, Saturday Night.”
In a second acrylic, a woman in a chic black dress, holding a cocktail, insists that “there's a sober woman inside me trying to get out” that she can keep “quiet with another glass of wine.”
“Get Your Kicks” is the title of Seabourn's acrylic of a classic shaman figure, his clothes adorned with musical scores, holding a bird-flute and a medicine pouch with an “Oklahoma … U.S. 66” emblem.
Equally humorous, but well-painted, is an acrylic of a rooster, balancing on one clawed foot, asking waggishly “If You Girls Want to Play Leapfrog?” The ghostly figure of Albert Einstein sits behind the word “Relativity” in “The Challenge,” which includes photos of stamps and a picture of the physicist wearing a headdress with members of a tribe.
The head of a purple dog doesn't look quite as “Happy, Happy, Happy” as the title of a Seabourn acrylic, but another dog does look ready to dine, and almost human, in “Did Someone Say Dinner?”
Amply demonstrating that Seabourn is an outstanding “action painter” as well as an expressionist is “Pony Up,” a black and lavender hued acrylic of a horse turning away from us at full gallop.
Holladay is an attorney who uses printmaking inks and oils as his primary media, many of whose works on paper originate from printmaking processes.
Strong, crude but expressive works in the show include oils of a “Boy With (a) Stick,” of a woman in a red dress “Dwelling on (the) Past,” and of three bizarre mummy-like figures “Returning Home.”
Nearly mummy-like, too, are Holladay's oils of a “Prairie Apparition,” of a woman covering her mouth in “Surprise,” and of a “Lost” figure who seems to be embracing himself or herself.
A black “Woman With (a) Necklace,” sitting on a green field, in front of a flat red background, brings to mind an ancient Egyptian or Ethiopian, while Holladay's bikini-clad “Beach Girl” seems modern. More abstract, but well-handled, are such oils as “Good Vibrations,” “Zimbabwe Water Falls” and “Sleeping Egyptian.”
— John Brandenburg