Saturday, February 26, 2011

Power of the Brush

Walking through the Center for Visual Artists to view the last days of exhibiting VISUAL DOCUMENTS by Juie Rattley III, it is impressive to note the impact each brush stroke has on the work.  Oil on canvas, spread with long caressing strokes evokes a sense of compassion for the sleeping woman, while short thick jabs of dark colors evoke distain or perhaps simply imply something coarse and unrefined about the man seemingly looking past the viewer.

A grouping of self-portraits depicts a series of reactions to hearing of the death of a friend.  With bold colors and an obvious mixture of brush strokes it is easy to see the progression of shock to outrage to confusion to grief.  It is the combination of bold, dark colors and the visual tracing of the brush strokes that gives each piece a distinction beyond the expression and stance of those in the paintings.

One painting stands out of the entire collection, drawing you back repeatedly.  Blue is the dominant color with white, black, brown and a hint of yellow.  However it is the brush’s touch upon the canvas that is the fascinating aspect of note.  Each color is dabbed in a loose cube-like manner giving the whole painting an almost pixilated feel.  It is detaching, yet engaging at the same time.  It is easy to spend so much time entranced by the texture and to become startled to see that the subject of the painting seems to be studying you just as intently.

-Veronica Ibarra

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