VISUAL ARTS & ARCHITECTURE:
A playful synergy enlivens this collaborationBy Debra WolfFor the JournalConstitutionPublished on: 08/19/2007
Sunday Southern Art Revival: Jessie Cregar, George Long, Scott Pethia, Mario Schambon, Tindel-Michi
Through Sept. 1. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays. $100-$3,000. Whitespace, 814 Edgemont Ave., Atlanta. 404-688-1892, www.whitespace814.com.
Bottom line: Good old-fashioned fun.
Put six Southern gentlemen together on Sunday afternoons. Add a passion for making art and a significant dose of humor. What do you get? A self-described religious experience, an ongoing visual conversation and a unique collaboration among six creative spirits: Jessie Cregar, George Long, Scott Pethia, Mario Schambon and Tindel-Michi.
Each of these artists pursues work on his own: Cregar is a classical painter. Long and Pethia work in varied mediums including ink and metal. Schambon paints and sculpts, while Tindel-Michi (two individuals) work in tandem on a regular basis under an appended name, frequently using acrylic, stencils, markers and spray paint.
But on Sundays, generally, these six are part of an experimental process where the rules are simple —- mutual respect and having fun —- as they paint collaboratively and simultaneously on a number of images.
How do they actually manage this?
George Long points to one painting and smiles, telling how its background was the beneficiary of tennis balls dipped in acrylic and thrown, followed by boxing gloves used to pummel the surface. Yet no one would guess how these marks and splatters were formed, particularly when the end result is many-layered and well-executed.
In addition to these less-than-staid methods, more orthodox tools and processes are used, traditional brushwork, drawing and stenciling among them.
"Dairy Queen Don Quixote" is a vibrant example of these collaborative efforts. It is a composition with luscious, warm tones, floral stencils and a scratchy representation of the Spanish literary hero on horseback. While the painting's meaning is not self-evident, the work itself displays the surprisingly synergistic style of the six, partly figural and with notable graffiti elements.
"Fade to Black" is a different sort of image; dark and sophisticated, it is one of several interrelated and moody abstractions, while "Pink Pigs R the Way" is an utterly charming and humorous depiction of flying wheelbarrows and the occasional pig.
With an exuberance and spontaneity that enhance the unusual nature of their activity, these art-making mavericks work right up until an exhibition opens (even creating on-site) and continue to paint unsold pieces after the show comes down. This yields pleasing and playful results in the ultimate illustration that for some, no creative endeavor is ever quite finished.