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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Casey Roberts and Deedee Davis

surf sprayed rainbow 1 small.jpg
The new show at Home Gallery of the works of Casey Roberts and Deedee Davis I think will appeal to a wide audience. Casey's cyanotypes, and the layered glass works of Deedee, at first seem to contrast each other fairly harshly. This, for me, ended up being just an initial reaction, because upon a second look I saw that the playfulness and mystery between the two styles complimented each other quite well.

Pluto and the Plague Doctor.jpg
Deedee Davis' work was very similar to animation cells. On separate sheets of glass with she'll paint and layer the foreground, middle ground, and background of each piece. This creates space and makes a perceptible shadow of one layer on the next. Her layered flat imagery lies out these loose narratives, although there is not a whole lot of information on what those narratives might be. In Elisabeth Furnace II, and Pluto 1 Water1 we might investigate far enough to understand how the titles and images relate but there is more going on here than that relationship. Deedee's work draws the viewer in with her use of bright flat color and allows us to play within the space.

hidden lake bathers 2 small.jpg
Casey Roberts, has work that showcases his love for printmaking. This will take a little more explaining, Casey works with cyanotypes; this is a process in which a light sensitive liquid is applied to the paper where he makes images by manipulating light and shadow, as well as bleaching colored areas to create multiple tones. These works are little prizes for the viewer because at first glance they look similar to watercolors but slowly reveal themselves as much more. The playful quality and natural imagery of his work invites you into these natural spaces, although they are not there to comfort you. These spaces are uncomfortable by design. Not meant to drive you away, but to help you notice. Brushstrokes and overlaps in this medium don't respect the image that Casey is trying to create, this is very important because there are very often two images on these paintings, one being the surface the other being the images just beyond the surface. This creates a beyond the looking glass kind of thing that plays with your imagination and allows you to explore.

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