To many, the term "new works" stands as a metaphor for a physical place, where bold artistic adventurers meet to shake up the Status Quo Baby until irreversible spinal damage occurs.
However, what is a great new works exhibition without a balls-out celebration? A one of a kind opportunity to meet with the artists over a few bottles of wine and get their take on the world as it pertains to their vision? That party is upon us, and the hosts are sure to make it a memorable one.
No one seems to celebrate life, literature and the pursuit of creativity like Portland chestnut Walt Curtis. Loudmouth poet, painter, talk show host, and historian, Curtis will be celebrating his birthday with Arnold and Jacob Pander at the Mark Woolley Gallery, Wednesday, July 2. The bash will be a kick-off gala for the month's showing of new works by the three artists. Curtis will also be celebrating his recent publishing deal to have his novel Mala Noche published in France.
This three headed art monster (party) promises to pull out all the stoppers, with live musical and poetic performances by the numerous friends of the artists, and a throng of ribald fans. A few years ago, Curtis celebrated his 60th birthday at the same gallery, and the place was literally packed to the rafters with party people. Expect the same this time around.
Curtis' bold paintings conspire to jolt the senses, in a colorful drama of brightly flavored metaphysical images and mythological references, often inscribed with poetry. For those in party attendance, Peckerneck Poet Curtis promises he will take the podium himself, and read from his frenetic take-no-prisoners poetry.
Instead of an overall umbrella theme for the show, each artist has decided to entitle each of his own works as separate entities. Curtis is calling his homo-erotic collection Poet's Choice, reflecting his duel artistic disciplines.
New works by prolific brothers Arnold and Jacob Pander, known for their countless collaborative efforts, bring separate visions to the fore for a change, in an exclusive exhibition that triangulates the balance-point of the triple threat: Pander, Curtis, and Pander.
In an art partnership that's acrobatically survived since their childhood through various disciplines crossing common medium techniques, the two have adapted to existing avenues, as well as created their own unique commercial ventures over the years. Successfully reconnoitering through the thorny hedgerow of distinction between selling out, and selling art, can be an art in and of itself.
Though they've engaged in mainstream work with comics industry mega-corporations, such as Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, through the years the Panders have kept up their artistic integrity and stylized depictions in an industry that favors archetypal rigidity. Join the party, and they'll be glad to elaborate.
Having moved a few years ago to California, Arnold Pander has been mining the Los Angeles streets for artistic influences: architecture and twisted personalities, which he transforms into futuristic watercolors and oils. The collection of Arnold's works are titled Transition.
Jacob has chosen to stay on in Portland, but frequently visits Arnold, and also steals from the street to create his new digital photography tandem narratives, combining anywhere from three to 30 images in a single work of art. The paneled images are vibrant and blurred as if blown slightly off course by invisible forces of city life, brushing the viewer aside to get somewhere important. Easy enough, then, to accept the title of his collection: Variance.
Mark Woolley will open his gallery doors to the public for this special shindig, thus endowing common folk like you and me with an invitation to celebrate art and life with three of Portland's most iconoclastic artists at what, by all accounts, could possibly be the best art party of the summer (if there is such a beast).
While the party kicks off the exhibit, which will run through the entire month of July, the official opening is the next day, First Thursday, July 3. The perfect opportunity to stay home and nurse a hangover. JOHN DOOLEY