Thursday, November 8, 2007

Local kids make good — real good

Posted By on Thu, Nov 8, 2007 at 10:00 PM

click to enlarge arts_visualarts5-1.jpg

During a quick trip to New York City I was able to meet up with almost all of the relocated members of the industrious and wickedly clever arts collective, Atlanta College of Art grads-all Dos Pestañeos, which I profiled back in 2003.

Hope Hilton, Andrew Ross and Scott Lawrence are all now New York residents. Ross recently graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where Ben Fain, the fourth member, is now a student.

Hope remains one of my favorite companions for NYC-art going. I spent a memorable afternoon at the Armory art fair in her company several years ago where we gorged on art in between sightings of Yoko Ono, Michel Gondry and Target designer Cynthia Rowley.

I met the Dos Pestañeos trio for drinks at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar, where I was amazed anew at their commitment to keeping their collaborations going, not an easy prospect with their individual careers, school, and the city’s demands and enticements all vying for their attention. The four artists will be featured on Jan. 25 in a retrospective of sorts, Undertow: Counter Current and Excavations, at Alfred University's Fosdick-Nelson Gallery in upstate New York.

And on Dec. 15-17 Andrew Ross (who is currently featured in a not-to-be-missed two-artist show with Amy Ross at Atlanta's Romo Gallery) will participate in six performances employing the gorgeous paper cutout works he created in Atlanta at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. (The work "Caves" is in this link and pictured above.)

Only this time Ross' installation/performance will unfold at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.

His collaborators will include fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and the New York City Opera in an interactive interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev's 1936 "Peter and the Wolf." The Dos Pestañeos group has done Atlanta proud, but the Guggenheim? Gaw. Rock on.

Atlanta kept cropping up on the trip. I saw perhaps Atlanta’s biggest success story, former Atlanta College of Art alum Kara Walker’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Nightmare-inducing in its approach to the open wound of race in America, the most disturbing aspect of the show may have been the 5-year-old wandering the gallery with his mother, taking in the images of lynchings, rape and other horrors. Talk about bad dreams.

And amid the Whitney’s recent acquisitions, a photograph from another ACA alum and Atlantan made good, Roe Ethridge.

Just one more reason to both sing the praises of the Atlanta College of Art, a school that launched so many great artists, while also lamenting the loss.

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