Saturday, May 25, 2013

Art Crawl: Just For the Pun of It
Hanksy and Alexis Smith

I went to two art shows recently that both dealt with visual puns.
The first, Hanksy at Gallery 1988, opened last night. The second, Alexis Smith at Craig Krull, closes today. Both are very amusing.

Hanksy is riffing on Banksy. He has taken Banksy's signature style and applied it to pop culture and celebrity.
Such as, "Pee Wee Merman" 
Or this trio of potty humor:
"Gatspee" | "fl-Usher" | Poolander"
The work is online at Gallery 1988 here.
The show will be up until 6/15. Find it by cruising Melrose and looking for the giant rat with Tom Hank's head.
Read an interview with Hanksy here.

Alexis Smith too enjoys playing with words, images, and meanings.
I went to her artist talk that was held last week and got to hear about her process and some of her obsessions.
Alexis Smith, "Against the Grain" 2013 [source, Craig Krull]
In "Against the Grain", she's taken two found objects: a postcard and a hand-drawn paint-by-numbers outline. She positioned the card to line up the visual elements with the underlying drawing of the bird.

She says she likes to change the meaning of things through the act of collage. She waits for the right combination to manifest and lets her pieces "sit around in heaps for a really long time" before deciding that they're finished. She has no secret art agenda and gears her work for "the regular person" -- albeit skewing to an older crowd who can remember the cues.
this gent needs to stand next to these pieces all the time
 Mixing and matching and playing with words makes for fun art that tickles the brain.