Gallery cruising in the Capitol City

Gorjus’s photography show at Light + Glass Studio, last Friday night, was terrific. Well, “Stereo” wasn’t technically all his—both Wendy Eddleman and Rob Cooper featured glass art—but Gorjus’s Polaroids draped the walls and overwhelmed the scene. He combines photographs—vibrant colors, broken-down highways, fuzzed-out night with neon and streetlights seeping out of the black night, dilapidated objects—together on a single frame, so that they tell a little story or establish an scene.

He writes on and around the images, sometimes by hand, sometimes with stencils and rubber stamps. The pieces are reminiscent of comics pages, and he’s obviously influenced by David Hockney during his 1980s photo-collage stage. His large portrait of Light + Glass co-owner Roy Adkins—at least, I think it’s Roy—draws directly from Hockney’s cubist photo portraits. There were roughly 20 Gorjus works on display, and I was so enthused that I bought one (see above) along with back issues of his zine The Sandusky Review. I even learned his real name but I’m not telling.

Better yet, Brünhilde (fresh from Asia, Africa, and Europe) introduced me to him, and we got to chat briefly—he had plenty of wellwishers, and the reception was packed—about Mingering Mike and movies. He managed to drink Miller High Life unironically, which is a hard thing for a white hipster to pull off. So, my meager art collection gets another acquisition, this time from a local artist.

After leaving the Light + Glass reception, C., Brünhilde, and I ended up at the Ink Spot, a downtown combination art gallery/tattoo parlor. As you can guess from the description, the art tends toward the rawer, skate-punk-inflected, and heavy-metal-influenced. Lots more mixed-media and found-object art was displayed than at Light + Glass. The best works were the painted skateboards, which brought me to my short-lived skater days as a teenage Thrasher reader. (For most of junior high, Christian Hosoi was God to me.) The space was airier and larger, with high ceiling and big walls for big paintings, but there was less that I liked.

The night before, I’d gone to a reception at the Josh Hailey Gallery featuring various snowglobes photographed through a fish-eye lens and printed on a metallic paper stock. The idea was more fun than the execution but Hailey’s vision is playful and witty, and mixing a Christmas theme with an experimental edge is all right by me.

All of this is to say that I attended three gallery receptions in 24 hours, which is more collectively than I’ve done in three years. How have I missed this whole art gallery thing for so long? I’m no social butterfly but it’s time to make a rebel yell to other Jacksonians. Introverts unite! Gallery receptions feature free food, free wine, free bourbon (you are in the South, after all), hip and attractive younguns, schmoozing, carousing and canoodling, and sometimes, occasionally, really beautiful works of art. Even if you’re not inclined to talk, you’ll see at the very least the latest fashions that you can’t afford, one truly sexy person, and someone wearing stretchy gold lamé/plaid pants and “acting out.” That’s totally worth leaving your apartment for, isn’t it?

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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2 Responses to Gallery cruising in the Capitol City

  1. Judith Coleman says:

    Is that piece of Highway 18 in Utica the one you bought? If you ever consider selling it, I would buy it from you. We used to pass that sign on the way to my Great Uncle’s farm in Utica every Sunday; I love both those pictures and the presentation.
    I’ll be home mid-March, and would love to see you!
    Judy (Coleman)

  2. Walter says:

    Hi Judy, yep, that’s the art I bought, but it’s not up for sale for the time being. If I can dig up the catalog of his art, which has his email address, I’ll put you in touch with him directly, as he may have others like it, or perhaps other prints of the same sequence of images. Hope to see you in March.

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