Canvas finds humor in the plight of poor artists: "Did you get a clean glass from the tub?" But it also shows keen insights into the emotional risks of devotion, whether to art or to other people.
Jamie (Theroun Patterson), the penniless son of an art dealer, comes up with a get-rich quick scheme: to have his art-school roommate Winston (Topher Payne) paint an original work in the style of Jean-Paul Credeaux, a long-dead (and fictional) painter sure to be the next big thing. Jamie will pass the forgery off as a "discovery" to a credulous art collector (Michele McCullough).
What complicates the play isn't Jamie and Winston's fraud, but their friendship, especially when Jamie suggests that his girlfriend Amelia (Kimberly Jurgen) be the model. The tension in the nude posing scene is both erotic and comic, especially when Winston offers to make her more comfortable by removing his clothes. But as Amelia quizzes Winston about his work and his love life, the artist begins to feel "revealed." The scene has an intriguing dynamic of exposure and intimacy, although admittedly the talk would be less interesting if the actors were fully dressed.
Payne seems to play most of his roles in the same mild-mannered style, but it's a rewarding choice for Winston. By playing the part as sheltered and tentative, Payne makes the character seem unsure of his own feelings, as if he's not as remote as he'd like to be. The Credeaux Canvas pushes the humor a little hard but proves a surprisingly poignant drama, with Winston, who avoids emotional entanglements, turning his own self-portrait into a still life.
The Credeaux Canvas plays through May 17 at the 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m., Sun. 3 p.m. $10-$15. 404-817-3562. www.atlantaclassical.com.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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