Sunday, October 22, 2006

my two cents on jesse's show

went to check out jesse sierra hernandez' solo show schlankin' it at gallery 414 down the street from where i usedta live off 5th street and university. the print rags will prolly pub their usual snidely dismissive comments on it, so i figured i'd put my two cents in.

it's been an unalloyed pleasure watching jesse's art develop the past several yrs, in the same way it's a gas to watch a good local band grow up in public (with their pants down). schlankin' it is the result of an unprecedented-since-i've-known-the-artist burst of creativity the past three months. he aimed to produce 16 new works for the event, and damn near did (there were a couple that he completed but felt didn't quite fit). while these won't exactly make aficionados forget the striking christian-aztec-conquistador imagery of a couple of the pieces from his 2003 show (so whatever _did_ happen to those paintings, jess?), they're impressive enough on their own terms.

jesse continues to grow in his command of his materials and the manner in which he presents his subjects (particularly dig the use of negative space in his figure studies), and these days, he's sure enough of himself to include his own image inside the frame for the first time. (guess that "smacks of hubris," huh?) besides the self-portrait that's the last piece one sees before exiting the gallery, there's a roomful of paintings that show the artist at work alongside his models. in the painting which gives the exhibit its title, we see jesse "schlankin' it" alongside his longtime friend and studio mate greg bahr. in a way, the piece (in fact, that whole series) serve as the artist's "adios" to studio 4, the space behind the wreck room where he's slung paint and shown the results for the past three yrs and change.

studio 4 will be vacated soon; schlankin' it runs through november 19 -- noon till 5pm saturdays and sundays, or by appointment (call 817-336-6595). i say check it out.


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