Monday, September 30, 2013

Loud Enigma

It's always hard to come up with a postcard invite for a group-show.  You don't want to feature one artist, and you want to give a sort of global take on the concept, but a "global take" never is that interesting.  So often what gallery people do is collage together a bunch of images, which makes everything look a little puny, even while you're desperately trying not to.  So for our upcoming show, "Superunknown:  the Neo-Folk Impulse," curated by Leigh Cooney and featuring Andrea Heimer, The Cooney Brothers, Mike Egan, Ben Kehoe, Bill Ross, Marc Lambert, and Matthew Waldeck, I thought a little bit and decided:  go with Raymond.  But not a Raymond drawing, a Raymond costume.  "Superunknown" could totally describe Raymond during his heyday.  He was a secret, unnerving, but beautiful presence on Cincinnati streets, walking in one of those clown outfits with a big ominous toolbox in tow.  He created his own enigma, and boy was it loud.  A "loud enigma" is kind of a good way of explaining what Leigh is after in the show:  folk art that does not have a sense of preciousness, but a smart snappy attitude that deconstructs notions of what "folk/outsider/self-taught" art can mean and be.  He's selected these artists because they seem to be working on art that does not conform to notions that are already in the world.  They are mining what's inside their minds and souls without aligning themselves with a genre or school. 
So be on the lookout for the "Superunknown" postcard.  Coming soon...