Wednesday, August 27, 2003
“Presto” Brian Priest - J. Martin Gallery – Aug. 27, 2003 – 1 1/2 star.
This is an installation/performance piece where Brian lives in a red styrofoam sphere (recycled from a Cisco convention display he made) and creates small assemblage sculptural pieces on order for $20 a pop. Fortunately, Brian is not solely confined to the sphere as lie has the freedom to open or close the gallery and use the toilet. A Samsung monitor displays the isolated interior (documentation more than voyeuristic), showing Brian working away on his art. Visitors to the gallery can choose five objects, then place those five objects into a wire bin that is placed on a shelf while they wait for Brian to work them into one of his clever forms which then gets ejected from the sphere an a green ironing board slide. It's somewhat Little Rascals. When asked if this display was an installation about installation, Brian said, laughing, "I don't know. I'm just in this damn ball makin' shit." To many artists the art is in actually making the art object and not the final product. Here we have that process isolated and under examination. If this is what "Presto” is about, then it's not very thought provoking. Living in a confined space is hardly a fresh idea - and the best art usually has a philosophical purpose to explore. Despite the breadth of talent Brian has, this is an underdeveloped effort. Living in a bubble, after all, implies self-absorption, not seeing the world realistically. Perhaps this is a statement about underestimating the public's knowledge of and appreciation for art. Through Aug. 31, 2003; 317-916-2874. – Mary Lee Pappas
Posted by Mary Lee Pappas at 10:58 AM