Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The next show, be here, or I'll be forced to have a talk with your mother


Everybody knows that "Sex sells" right? Remember to bring cash, check or credit card to Kristi Ropeleski's show. But don't be surprised if your reaction upon seeing her paintings is similar to realizing that the escort you hired is a two-headed midget with acne due to chronic steroid abuse who also ends up stealing your reproduction of that painting by F.H. Varley. More to the point, "Blood Harmony" refers to a vocal technique common in hillbilly music, Kristi's paintings sing out like the bastard love children of Lilias Torrance Newton & Regina Seiden Goldberg.

That's what I wrote initially in the emails that I was sending out to the various media outlets in order to inform them of Kristi's show. The more time passes, the more I like it. Because it, to my ears, hits you hard over the head with a sledgehammer about what Kristi's paintings are like, even if you have never heard of F.H. Varley, Lilias Torrance Newton or Regina Seiden Goldberg. Her paintings are so in your face, it is ridiculous, they effectively take you by the short and curlies and wrench hard with a twisting motion. You get the idea. They are about as aggressive as Mike Tyson on a bad night.

The main focus of the exhibition is the Blood Harmony series, right now numbering a ridiculous eighteen! You try doing that, in oil, in under a year. They are relatively straightforward paintings of her friends and other folk in the neighborhood (assuming that you're not one of the long distance readers, I would bet even money that you know at least one of the models). The twist, hook, or where it gets painful, isn't in that all of these folk are naked from the waist up, but in that they are all looking straight at you. Not that they're looking to punch you in the nose, but more along the lines of looking at you like they know that you're not telling all the truth. The idea of being called a liar by a painting is an interesting concept, wouldn't you think?

I'm personally looking forward to living with them for the six weeks that the show is going to be up. Coming in to work in the morning and getting stared down by a bunch of folk is a daunting idea. I'm not certain if seeing them once during a vernissage will do them justice. But then again, I know that I have told the truth.

The "two-headed midget escort with acne due to chronic steroid abuse" is a reference to Kristi's Monster's and Heroes series. She took some pictures from a muscle magazine (I forget which one, but you could ask her) and redid them as oil portraits. Although they aren't looking at you with the same aggressive eye contact that the Blood Harmony series has, the physical aggression is what is self-evident in this case.

Nonetheless, or despite this, Kristi really is a gentle and sweet person, very good natured with a smile on her face � but, I wouldn't want to run into her in a dark alley if she was carrying a paint brush.

For her exhibition we're up to a whopping five vernissages (openings for you long distance folk).
Thursday the 8th at 5 pm, the non-smoking vernissage, for all of you healthy art collectors.
Friday the 9th at 2 pm, the Super Secret VIP, by-invitation-only, RSVP Vernie with fancy-ass food and drink.
Saturday the 10th at 8 pm, The regular vernissage appropriate for everybody, the one to come to if you're only coming to one.
Sunday the 11th at 2 pm, Kid-friendly vernissage with home made cookies and chocolate milk.
Sunday the 11th at 5 pm, Pet-friendly vernissage with kibbles and bits for our four legged friends (and the feathered folk, too!)

If you're too lazy to scroll up to the top to see the address: 3955 Saint Laurent, Montreal, Quebec Canada (for you out of towners)

PS [Full disclosure: I'm the gallery guy who is curating the show, do not for an instant think that I am objective. That line about the truth? Yes, it was true, but... understand your sources.]

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