Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Labor of Love Is Never Lost!

March 11th was a beautiful Friday night for the opening reception of "Love's Labor Lost," here at Like the Spice. The gallery was filled with artists, artists' friends, passer by-ers, and art aficionados who were out and about enjoying a mild second Friday. Jason Bryant's "Love's Labor Lost" adorns the gallery with black-and-white oils that recontextualize film stills and contemporary magazine photos, creating glamor while using pixels to skewer the idea of an individual self. Against the backdrop of night, being amid the bright lights of the gallery Jason's subjects felt so real and recognizable that one could not help but feel like they were at a red carpet event amongst Hollywood royalty!

The glamorous subjects seen above have faces that are obscured by a pixelated rendering of each pair of eyes; this left the viewers asking themselves, "that must be (so and so), right? It just has to be? Or is it?" In these pieces, Jason has managed to maintain everything about each character accept their definite identities. The images at first seem familiar but upon closer inspection they leave the viewer questioning their own memories and recognition reflexes. And, despite all of the inquiries, no amount of guessing out loud would convince Jason to confirm the suspicions as he rather fiercely guarded the subjects' anonymity.

I myself had some interesting ponderings during the opening as I wandered around, catching snippets of some of the 'who's who?' games; the guessing brought me to think about famous movie quotes and how I often can recite a quote but not necessarily be able to identify who first said it. Not being able to credit a quote does not always take away its impact. There doesn't seem to be anything like an iconic movie quote, taken from the reels of classics and appropriated during all times by all people. Some quotes are more memorable than others, their impact is great despite from whom they originated. Identity becomes lost during the changing of the times but the sayings still manage to keep their meanings and messages. The quote,"we're alike, me and cat. A couple of poor nameless slobs..." taken from "Breakfast At Tiffany's," is one of my favorites. It makes me think about the question 'what's in a name?' In the film, Audrey Hepburn's character might be nameless to some, but her actions and mannerisms give her quite a reputation. Even in a film still from an unknown movie with her back turned to the camera one would most likely be able to identify Audrey Hepburn. Our memories fill in the blanks of her face, and our imagination fills in the context of the scene.

Cary Grant once said, "it takes 500 small details to add up to one favorable impression," but notice how he does not specify whether or not it should be the same 500 details every time. Must they include physical details, lips, eyes, nose, mouth? Well, it's a strong possibility that Mr. Grant would include these as necessities for making a good and memorable impression, but are they truly necessary for identifying or remembering a moment? Based on the content of "Love's Labor Lost," I would like to argue that they are not.

Sorry that you missed the opening? We are too, but no worries! "Love's Labor Lost" will be up in the gallery until Sunday, April 3rd. And as the weather keeps getting better and better we will be accepting less and less excuses when it comes to missing out! Also don't forget about our monthly artist dinner series the next installment of which will be this coming Friday, March 25th at 8pm: come have "Breakfast at Like the Spice" (because Tiffany's is soooo overrated)! If you are interested in joining us please RSVP here.

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