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Corazon One More Time
Where It's Continued from The Cover or Return to The Cover
Every year I promise myself I won't do the Corazon show for another couple years. Then I go to the darned thing, look around, find some pieces compelling and just have to write about them.
It's happened again. This year's show is much less compelling than any before it. Overall dull. Sparks missing up and down the walls, and pieces in all the halls. Where did they get all these artists? Mightn't they have been carefuller to choose?
These are the shining few. Some with humor, like Lori Dudley's Grounded Love, above, laying on the lard. Others with the inexplicable. A heart with wings, well, yeah, of course. But a black bird with a cruciform medallion on a rosary around its neck?
It might actually mean something. But visually, it's a direct assault. Black bird, red heart stabbed through with a silver dagger. Maybe it's the bird's expression of beady-eyed surprise.
This show's about it, and so's this. Heart. Not love, exactly. Whether it's visually exposed on a blue T-shirt, pleaded for or emanating from the Sacred Heart in Georgia O'Keefe's hometown. Heart. Not a spade, diamond or club. Courage, enthusiasm, essence. Look it up. The list goes on and on. Beseeching — to ask urgently and fervently. Etched in the soul. Or wood.
An abundance of hearts here. Too many exposed in one way or another, with darned little vulnerability or humaneness. Hardly any punning but gobs of smarm. Way too much not connecting. More than a few with words and pictures. Darned few dare beyond the obvious.
These make more sense than all that holding not much back and still not letting go. Vivid colors and distinct shape trumps somber hues and namby-pamby notions. Stitch together the mediums — and the messages. Make us think. Help us remember. Remind us who we really are. What we do, and how we fail. And yearn.
Stone's inegmatic ladder may not be far enough, but it gets our attention. Stops us in our tracks.
Boatman's alien army didn't look like no vestal virgins despite three hands hiding certain parts, and we couldn't get its tape to play Janis Joplin or anybody else. A failure of the medium to relate, but still a startled image. Almost prefer remembering the music in my head from reading the title. Subtle not overt. Litttle fem Oat Willies without wheels.
So what then is this greeting card GQ C&W cliché?
I'm not suggesting this show makes sense. Or this story does. I'm torn on van Gelder's plank. I like the tones and woodgrain and scale. It's big, but a bleeding heart is almost always too obvious. He doesn't look hurt, and his T-shirt isn't even wrinkled. The gray iconization stands on its own, but the bullet holes are more subtle.
More information about Corazon 2007 at the Bath House Cultural Center in the Calendar through February 24
See also our Corazon 2003, Corazon 2004, and Corazon 2005 stories.