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6/4/2009

The Arts

Larger than life

 

Larger than life
Sticky Fingers: The Iconic Art Show
Through June 13
CityArts Factory
29 S. Orange Ave.
Free; 407-648-7060
www.cityartsfactory.com

The earthy, sometimes raunchy Sticky Fingers is more than a tribute to popular culture. To most of today’s society, it is the culture and celebrates a shared sense of connection. The group exhibit of iconic art was created as a companion to the just-completed Florida Music Festival, but the familiar faces within can be visited until June 13. Many of the subjects come from music culture, but “there are also movie stars, historical figures and other influential members of our popular culture,” says Chuck Dinkins, director of CityArts.

It is easy to connect with nearly all the artwork, because the subjects are so instantly recognizable and embedded in the cortex. Names aren’t necessary to communicate the subject matter. “James Brown,” by Everett Spruill, does include the figure’s name within the artwork, which at first appears redundant. Then again, Brown’s status as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century popular music might be lost on viewers first attracted by the urban-art-style of the painting. The use of his name reinforces Brown’s powerful, commanding presence, pointing out at the viewer.

Subjects like Cher, Elvis, Marlin Brando, Martin Luther King Jr. and even Don Knotts are given interesting twists by the artists, and are laden with so many meanings that they produce a flood of individual experiences and memories. Dan Tashlin’s “British Stonework,” a photorealistic portrait of present-day Watts, Richards, Jagger and Wood is startling in its clarity and serenity, evokes the institution they are today, with only subtle hints – Richards’ ring, for example – at their iconoclastic history.

1950s EC Comics graphics influence Enemy Ink’s promotional posters, and his detailed, intense style brings back the best of this era, conveying a sense of the old theatrical posters from rock & roll’s early years. Ink’s “Unknown Hinson,” rendered in black and day-glo orange, shows a gravedigger with a shovelful of dirt, an eyeball skewered on its tip – an old-fashioned gruesome touch that still thrills. Other artists represented are Tiffany Beasi, Tramaine Dion, John Hauser, G. Lemus, Nick Mitchell, Jeff Riggan, Andrew Spear, and Dan Tashin.

arts@orlandoweekly.com
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