Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quirky Americana

Let me say at the outset that Jill Dryer certainly paints more than just Americana, as evidenced by her gallery of Mexican-themed earthy folk paintings such as El Sol and El Nopal, two contrasting favorites of mine that would pair beautifully together in a home. In all fairness, I must also point out that much of her art is far more modern and contemplative than quirky—her tribute piece Home in the Woods being an example of contemporary artistic maturity par excellence. But with that all that said, is there any image more startlingly off-balance (read: quirky) and quintessentially American than that of a redwood-huge wild guinea towering imperially over a stereotypical white Winnebago somewhere in the great wild woods? My impulse is to label Guinea Warrior as satire, but who exactly is being mocked? In the end, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, artists just have fun. And unless we critics intend to forever stay too big for our art-lovin’ britches, we might as well loosen up and have fun right along with them. :)

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