Thursday, January 04, 2007

Stuff Seen - Afshin Matlabi



It's obvious that I was busy during the holiday season if I'm only able to write about a show I saw in October three months later. Sorry, but in this case you only missed three really kick-ass drawings that almost got lost and forgotten in a much larger show that somehow was supposed to be political or something.

Basically as we entered, on our left there were three humongous drawings. Something like six feet high and three feet wide each, or if you can imagine, 54 square feet of paper. All drawn on with what looked like ballpoint pen. Or in other words an awful lot of scrawling, scribbling, scratching and mark making in order to get something that looked like a picture. If I remember correctly the image on the invite was one of them. Yes they are a tad juvenile, or naive, or simplistic, but one of the things that I always makes me impressed with art, irrespective of what it looks like, is dedication. Call it the Sisyphus method of liking art. In order to draw 54 square feet using ballpoint pens takes dedication. Those three drawings are directly responsible for the "+." If not an awful lot more.

Continuing around the wall, there was an even longer and bigger drawing, except that the sky had been painted! Hey! If you're gonna use a brush to save time, it better be something better than just a flat laying down of color. Then there were two or three badly done videos. I can vaguely remember some pixilated something or other that had been projected onto plynths, and two others (or was it three others) which were no more than third grade power point presentations attempting to poloraize global and American politics.

All of which succeeded in removing the bright and fun impression I had of Mr. Matlabi's work. My advice, keep drawing young man.

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