After paying my short visit to Ben Franklin’s, I rounded the circle to arrive at Artstream. And, what made this visit that much better is that one of the managing directors was there and was full of information. So much information, in fact, that I determined that listening and absorbing was preferable to taking notes, though I did take some. I also shot a few pictures, but I will also refer you to the web site. As usual, I find this to be one of the better galleries in the area for variety and quality of art.
Marilyn Truett, who curated the show also presented some outstanding examples of her own work. Through a process of soaking photo paper and then adherring it to pressed ceiling tiles, she achieves rather remarkable yet understated historical imagery. Most of the work seems almost sepia-toned, adding to the aged feel. The added depth created through mounting on bas-reliefed surface adds contradictions and interest, visually.
Polly Cook’s work adds more-than-a-little social commentary in the way she depicts her images. She concentrates on subjects from less-than-desireable neighborhoods in a style similar to the Ash Can School of the early 20th century. Some of these scenes are on tiles. This removes the pretense of creating “museum” art, and gives it that everyday, and more gritty appeal-though there are a few of her pieces on canvas also included.
Tobia Makover’s encaustic on photographs are the pieces that impressed me the most. They are surreal, unearthly and spooky. According to the brief mention on the website, she is dealing with the concepts of memory and loss-and I have rarely seen that basic premise done so simply, cleanly and well. The application of the wax over the photographs blocks just enough of the photographs to make them feel like there are spirits or other energies present.