Enormous Tiny Art
The phenomenon of the “small works” or “tiny art” show is a prevailing theme on off-season now.
Size generates a lower price-point, and the hope that this will also generate sales. At Nahcotta, the red dot visual almost overwhelms the art, so here, this tactic is successful. The question, from a serious art collector’s point-of-view, is whether or not this brings the best work to the walls of this major downtown Portsmouth gallery, or is this just a way to stay in business?
There are 43 artists represented within the confines of the show. There are also other craftwares available, which further “waters-down” the impact of each individual artist. To further decrease the visual effect per piece, the works are hung by artist, and are placed so close to one another the viewer could easily confuse each artist’s offerings as one piece.
The quality of the work is acceptable, though little of it challenges or poses any more questions than why it is hung so close to the next piece. Cait Guinta’s works are a perfect example where the labels are hidden or they are on the shelf below. Her work, arranged differently, would have made a stellar singular piece. Each one separately was not allowed to define its space, and as small as they are, probably wouldn’t anyway.
Matt Adrian was the “hands-down” winner in the red dot contest. Sarcastic looking songbirds with epic-length titles best describes these works. Masterfully painted in acrylic which looks like oil…and there is nothing more to say. Bird memes of contemporary bleh.
Amanda Kavanaugh offered “more of the same with mixed media paper/paint mixed media” on canvas pieces. Kim Ferreira’s work featured a “Jackalope” which was more about illustration than fine art. Jeremy Miranda’s interiors, though skillfully executed, did not provide enough back-story for his juxtaposed pairings to make sense.
This small works show really is not much more than that, though there are a few decent artists represented that may be worth looking at going forward.
John Layton is the featured artist at Kennedy Studios in Portsmouth, NH.
He is really limited to a small corner of the frame shop. It is unfortunate that this is part of what are considered a gallery in town, because there really is such limited wall space, it might as well be someone’s mantle.
The quality of the work is gorgeous, taken from sheet film in a real dark room and printed… if we really need more Ansel Adams and more blurred waterfalls.
The description of how he achieves his images no longer provided interest when he began to describe, in a really condescending manner, how he does all of this in a totally dark room. Find a safe light. They are available online.
Black and whites are of what the water looks like when it meets rocks is the essence of the show. Good and clean technically, but that’s all they are.
The work has been used by the likes of Audubon. That’s where it should be. Nice depictions of nature, but missing most of the personal stroke that is art.
Marc Twain is a freelance writer
and independent art critic
from Madbury, NH
Art, Culture, Unity and Soul