Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Paul Urich - Gone But Not Forgotten

The last time I was in SF, I made it a point to go to Fecal Face Dot Gallery, traveling across town, up hills and down wind tunnels, to try and grasp the experience that seems so in touch the the contemporary art world today. Of course, when we finally reached our destination, over hill and dale, it was CLOSED! This major disappointment has not dampened my enthusiasm for all things Fecal, though. They still are coming up with some of the best shows in the country pretty consistently.

This show of Paul Ulrich's should be one of the more interesting ones, and a great kickoff for 2009. Contemporary, so relevant, yet hints towards the old drawing masters, with subtle lines, shades, and papers blended with washes and portraits. A stellar SF based artist who I had not personally heard of before. It's exciting to find new guys like this, and then to discover that they've actually been around for years!

He takes portraits of the dead and breathes color into them, taking their faces to a ghostly place that only a few brave viewers can venture to. Beyond the aesthetics of his work, there are many layers of meaning that are fascinating in their exploration of life and death and what happens after. He explores the decomposition of human existence both physically and mentally. This show seems to be a must-see for anyone in the area. Many a good conversation to be had. It's also nice to see someone "contemporary" explore meaning beyond the aesthetic. I confess, I've dabbled with the idea of "meaningless" art, or art for arts sake. It's another school of thought, and almost a requirement for any artist to experience at one stage or another. But it's when one moves beyond the obvious to the complex when the REAL conversation starts, and that's an exciting transition to make.

So go see the show.

No comments: