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CAM 2012 Preview

CAM 2012 preview: 'Animals Who Wear Make-Up'

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Artwork by Linda Arredondo


Don't go looking for pigs in lipstick at "Animals Who Wear Make-up." The show title is only a framing device, according to artist Linda Arredondo. But that doesn't mean Arredondo and fellow artist S.C. Giesey III, sharing the Joan Grona Gallery for CAM, haven't been thinking a lot about how humans are different from "regular animals." Showing for the first time since finishing her MFA at Yale, Arredondo focuses on female faces. "Culturally it's easier to look at women," she says. "It may even be something primordial, the mother's face being the first face you really begin to know." Her portraits are composites, faces morphed colorfully from mixed media, watercolors, acrylic, and puff paints, with lots of labias and deep black irises dotted with plastic googly eyes. The countenances come from Facebook and the boards at Walmart picturing missing kids. Arredondo, 37, is a mom. The faces of lost children resonate.

Geisey hones in on another life threshold, specifically his wedding to artist/arts administrator Kelly O'Connor, happening concurrent to the CAM show. Geisey first showed at Fl!ght Gallery in 2010 "'cause Kelly told me I should have a show." O'Connor then nudged him to exhibit at Marfa's Thunderbird Hotel last February. For CAM, all his found-object, Kienholz-like assemblages are new, and taxidermy (Geisey is a self-taught practitioner) dominates. He buys it on eBay also. "In China, they'll taxidermy anything," he says with a smile. "Sometimes people find things offensive, but to me it's interesting, the things that repulse people. I try to take those things and make them not ugly. Nobody wants to look at an amputee's stump with the little knobs on it, but maybe if you paint it gold and put it next to cypress knees in a case…" Yeah, human beings are different from regular animals. Free; 6:00-9:00pm Thursday Mar 1, Joan Grona Gallery, 112 Blue Star, (210) 225-6334, joangronagallery.com On view to March 31.

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