Too bad Ellen Wagener's Italian Landscape minus Lisa was one of the pieces that went lightless. It appears to be a beautifully stylized version of the Italianate landscape behind the Mona Lisa, but that's pretty much a guess. While Suzanne Meow Meow Falk's The Defenders of Sweet Dreams displays the artist's usual mastery of her medium, I just wish she would venture out of her comfort zone and mix a little acid with the sweetness of her nostalgic still-lifes. Melanie Corradi's Both of Me, a dual-headed portrait using a rough, expressionist technique reminiscent of Lucien Freud, has a psychological rawness to it that made it impossible to ignore.

It was equally impossible to ignore Randy Slack's gigantic canvas, Let Freedom Ring, immediately recognizable as being a still from The Bad News Bears, a 1976 film starring Walter Matthau as a has-been, alcoholic minor leaguer turned pool cleaner in charge of a Little League team composed of a motley assortment of misfit kids with outrageously foul and politically incorrect mouths. The artist was 10 at the time he saw the movie, which apparently resonated with his pre-pubescent persona. Slack's sketchy, essentially monochromatic version of the photo has the face of Ahmad Abdul-Rahim, the black Muslim kid on the team, painted so dark that it's painfully obvious, while the face of the Mexican kid on the team is basically obliterated with brown paint; it's a potent statement about racial bias that continues despite objections to the contrary.

And it's no surprise that I gravitated to Colin Chillag's Tourist, a half-rendered, half-painted oil on canvas taken from a camera-dated photo of a man snapping off a shot of some desert mesa. It speaks volumes about what in life is virtual or reproduced and what is actually real.

Two Step by Shauna Thibault
Two Step by Shauna Thibault

Location Info

Map

Legend City Studios

521 W. Van Buren St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Category: Art Galleries

Region: Central Phoenix

Details

"Chaos Theory XII"
runs through the end of October at Legend City Studios, 521 West Van Buren. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For a private showing, contact Randy Slack at 602-321-2887.

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More About

As for the artists I haven't mentioned, I should point out that I'm under space constraints. So don't bother sending me another one of those obnoxious Bratz dolls in protest.

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38 comments
Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

To very loosely paraphrase something that Amy once wrote in regards to an anonymous poster:

" I see we have an Editor who's too chickens**t to answer valid criticism from her readers."

Or more specifically- we have a member of the Mean Girls' Club who's still ticked off she was never the popular one in High School, or at any place she's worked since.

And among her current employees... still isn't.ditto that, Amy.

respectfully,

Wayne Michael Reich(http://www.WayneMichaelReich.b...)

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

Also- f any of you want to tell Mrs. Silverman at New Times about what you think of her deriding both anonymous and named readers who dare suggest that she's wrong, here's the info you'll need:

her direct line at New Times is 602-229-8443, email is amy.silverman@newtimes.com

Call. She's ever so lonely, and seems to need a good hug, in my opinion.

Guest23
Guest23

Your derision is uncalled for because what you are inferring isn't really how the show is set up. Yes, many to most artists are friends or acquaintances of Randy Slack but Randy is open to and has been approached by artists wanting to be included in the show and if what they show him is interesting enough they are included. It doesn't get any more egalitarian than this unless he just opened his gallery doors and let anyone who wants to come and hang their art. This latter scenario probably only leading to hordes of wannabe horrible artists work being displayed with most decent artists just avoiding the situation all together. The point of the show is that Randy isn't very critical about what is chosen to be in the show and whatever is best rises to the top. If you want hypercritical slections of medioacre art go to anyone one of a number of galleries in phoenix or scottsdale. What is sad is that the best galleries in town seem to always disapear Gallery X, Pravus, Perihelion (though they closed their roosevelt location have popped up this week at Trunk Space with a Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame show).

So what is your point and what's your problem?

Suzannefalk
Suzannefalk

and thanks guest 23 - that was really sweet. xo

Suzannefalk
Suzannefalk

the title "the defenders of sweet dreams" is indicative of this entire critique of my work. laughably ironic.

Alokin9
Alokin9

Dear Kathleen and Amy, the fact that someone chooses to write under a pseudonym does not invalidate what they are saying. Many writers throughout history have done so and are well respected to this day.It is curious that Kathleen took the time to dismiss comments based on the fact that the writers were anonymous, but didn't take the time to answer the questions posed. It's a classic intimidation technique to discredit the person who challenges one's "authority".Again, I am not impressed. I would love to see the New Times up it's credibility in general, but somehow I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon.

Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

I haven't used a pseudonym, and yet have received no attention for my simple question. Is that telling?

Guest23
Guest23

It is more evidence that PNTs editor Amy Silverman is not interested in honest dialog. She is more interested in being "snarky" and stirring sh*t up that generates buzz and more comments. I even suspect that she may even be fine with being raked over the coals and decimated in the anonymous posting debate because overall this has increased the number of comments and buzz around this article insuring that more people will read it. Though, I'm not sure if she is intelligent enough to pull off something so devious, she certainly has the lack of journalistic ethics to do so.

Alokin9
Alokin9

Yes it is Dain! It seems that questions will not be tolerated, tee hee!Nicola

Ted G Decker
Ted G Decker

Wow! A critical art review emerges from the void of art criticism in Phoenix and environs. It doesn't matter if the viewer/reader agrees or not. It is essential that we have more of this type of writing for our creative community. Kudos to KV for returning all these years to Chaos Theory which for me is like taking a pulse on what is going on in our art community at this time each year. And for basking in the glow of the show which her scathing review spawned 12 years ago. Long live scathing spawning!

Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

Hi Ted! I would tend to agree with that point in general; however for a critic to essentially imply that someone has been wasting the last 11 years of their life, seems more than a bit unproductive on its face. I would most certainly take that as offensive, and certainly not edifying as a critique.

Kathleen Vanesian
Kathleen Vanesian

I tend to agree with Civic Communications Specialist David Burton: "If it's worth saying or putting in writing, it's worth signing. Otherwise, it's worth nothing." So don't bother to reply again, Guest23, Alokin9, et al., since you have absolutely no standing until you identify your cowardly selves that conveniently hide behind that mask of alleged anonymity.

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

"If it's worth saying or putting in writing, it's worth signing. Otherwise, it's worth nothing."

So does that mean you won't accept anonymous compliments, either?

Somehow, I doubt that.Definition of Critic: A legless individual who teaches running.

And BTW, you were asked several direct questions here on this comment page, are you going to answer any of them with a mature response, or continue to hide behind unprofessional whining?

I'm pretty sure I already what the answer's going to be, but hey- I live for surprises.

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

Still waiting, but on the up side- winning the bet I made regarding your cowardly conduct is as good as in the bag....

Guest23
Guest23

Unfortunately for you too many disagree. It is a standard of the internet age and goes against journalists own fights to protect their own anonymous sources. If your beliefs were law you wouldnt be able to ulitize anonymous sources any longer which would gut any investigative journalism PNT participates in. Funny, how the only rebuttal you trot out is one communication specialists opinion... you do realize there are many other communications specialists that disagree? How about all the points I made that rebut your and silvermans assertions that anonymous posters lack credibility? You post nothing that points to those that signed the "federalist papers", or peer reviewed scientific journals articles anonymously lacking credibility.

So I would say as far as debates go, you lose due to the lack of rebuttal on every major point and the lack of substance or evidence to prove your point.

And it's really hilarious when you try to assert a stance of deluded authority and tell me not to bother posting again. I made one hell of a case supporting my anonymous posting and you did not in anyway rebut any of my supporting statements successfully. So keep on dreaming that I am going away... it is just another delusion of yours.

Do you realize that most major news outlets ban posting by their own employees to their employers forums. Seems they feel it lacks journalistic integrity. I don't necessarily agree since it infringes on your right to make an ass out of yourself.

You can keep fooling yourself that you are right but in the end it is a fight you have already lost and will never will win as anonymous posting is too important to freedom of speech. Anonymous speech like mine is protected by the constitution of the USA. So your fantasies and hopes that such actions will ever stop and the fact that many ethical people of stature in the fields of journalism and communications still consider that anonymous posters can very well post credible information and it is your responsibility to refute their points based each points merits rather than the sad and ineffective manner you are doing so thus far.

Alokin9
Alokin9

Does Kathleen actually know anything about art? It seems to me that her knowledge of art and art criticism is a bit shaky. For instance, I cannot help but wonder if she has ever seen a Lucien Freud painting in the flesh? I have been a long time fan of Melanie Corradi and Freud, but a comparison between their work is far fetched. It sounds to me that Kathleen knows a lot about what she likes, but doesn't have the chops as an effective art critic..

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

At least Kathleen Vanesian (along with being a fantastic, award-winning, long-acclaimed critic) is willing to put her name to her opinions -- and her criticism.

Guest23
Guest23

Out of curioisity what awards that are relevant to art critiqueing has kathleen won and who has been doing the acclaiming of her writings? From her online profile she has been a critic for PNTs and has written on arts and crafts for other publications. If PNT is doing the acclaiming than that is a conflict of interest and doesn't add to her credibility and I will await to find out which of the awards she has won to comment on their relevancy. Appears Kathleens educational background is in law and not the arts, so further information would help in determining her qualifications for being a art critic. Anyone can be a art critic for the PNT, hell you even had jerome dubois as a art critic and he was the saddest art critic you ever had. Besides jeromes lack of credibilty he exhibited on his "tears of things" blog, it is no surprise you would hire such a hack since he epitomizes PNTs "snarkyness" and theory PNTs appears to subscribe to that even baseless negative opinions are promoted by PNTs because of the number of responses they garner. It seems that PNTs believes fully in "all press, positive or negative is good press" and pushes its writers to lean towards the latter in how they want their writers to write.

In the end, it doesn't make any difference who kathleen is and the fact she posts her name doesn't give her opinion any more credibility than if she did not.

Guest
Guest

this means nothing

Guest23
Guest23

Well, your post doesn't appear to mean much as well, so perhaps a good point.

Guest23
Guest23

Oh f*ck off silverman,

I would think you would value the act of anonymity esp. when it comes to their sources. Hell, journalists have gone to jail to protect the right to anonymity. I do it because it could affect my partners employment, guilt by association being popular in this part of country that is painted red.

I found that the writers words may appeal to the elitist art snobs that usually stay far away from thr downtown art scene, prefering the safety of Scottsdale but they hardly speak to the majority that attend First Fridays and other downtown art events.

But then your comments may just be more "snarkyness" that PNTs is known for and promotes in its writers.

Benjamin Eugene NElson
Benjamin Eugene NElson

And I probably could find your peresonal data if I really wanted too.

you are not as anonymous as you think you are guest. With some digging pretty much anything can be dug up. scariest part? It is totally legal, using publicly available data.

We know who deep throat was.. we could find out more by digging. A subpoena or two in the right lace makes a wonderful pry bar.

This is why I don't post under a pseudonym. I if, for whatever reason valid or not, I feel that I shouldn't say what I have on my mind then I just won't say it.

Not saying your basic reasoning is flawed, mind you. But I am saying that your assumption that you are protected by using a pseudonym is false.

Guest
Guest

Her quote " shows absolutely no discernible evolution in the artist's oeuvre in the 11 years since my first review ", could easily be applied to her own article/career... except replace the word "artist" with something else, I'm not sure what...

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

And ditto to you.

Guest23
Guest23

This has to be one of the most doltish replies I have ever read on a comment forum and it is the PNTs editor trotting it out for everyone to view in all its moronic glory.

This almost sounds like "I know you are but what am I?" That would be shouted out on a childrens playground. But that is even being too kind. This doesn't even make any logical sense since Silverman can in no way know what anonymous "Guest" has been writing or doing for the past 11 years. What makes silverman's comment even sadder and evidence she doesn't deserve her job is that "Guest" hits the mark with this comment since it is essentially the same in tone and result as kathleens earlier effort, if this review required much effort whatsoever. It would have been much more insightful to report on why the egalitarian approach has become quite popular with the downtown art scene. I cite Pravus Galleries "Deck," piggy bank, designer toy, ping pong paddle shows where each of these items were given to various local and nationally well known artists to decorate or deconstruct in each of their own artistic fashions to illuminating, interesting, beautiful, inventive effect. Though I will admit that "chaos theory" did not have the cohesive glue that these other events had due to their use of one substrate to begin with, the egalitarian approach of just seeing what comes forth is an interesting experiment that can lead to many or few actually good pieces of art, this year leaning towards the latter this go around. I just wonder if shows like this are a sign or measure of how good the artists in Phoenix are, which I hope not judging from the lack of amazing, jaw dropping pieces in this version of "chaos theory."

Silverman needs to step up her game and dispense with the snotty, uncalled for juvenile comments such as what she spits out here. You would think an experienced writer/editor could come up with a much much more intelligent response than this besides being an act that many major news outlets frown upon.

Amy silverman makes flaming just too easy.

Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

I must take umbrage. I must take up for the many, many artists that were not even mentioned...any press is good press, they say. it is the Internet, and yes, you do have the space, despite what Ms.Silverman dictates.

Guest23
Guest23

Why does it seem so many art critics have so much derision for what an artist does... such as Suzanne Falk, whose amazing technical ability to render photorealistic paintings is amazing and how the subject matter often does touch memories of childhood in many who view her work. The ability to find those items that can resonate with so many out of the millions should could choose from points to an ability most artists do not have. I still recall a painting of a rabbit and chalkboard that invokes memories of bedtime stories but if she were to add "acid" to the mix than she might be accused of venturing into Mark Ryden territory. I still am amazed at Suzy Falks expertise in rendering a chalkboard that actually calls you out to write in chalk on the painting because it is so realistic or a skate deck for one of the Pravus "Deck" shows that was a painting of a single polaroid taped to a clear varnished blond wood skate board with masking tape. The polaroid and tape were so thoroughly realistic that many people were reaching out to push the masking tape back down on the board so the polaroid pic would not fall off. But I suppose, in what is usual for new times editor amy silverman and PNTs owners, writers are pushed for "snarky" writing that creates a response and if its negative and creates a load of (e)mail/response than all the better, letting journalistic ethics slide down the toilet in the process.

Good to see Colin get a mention as he deserves the attention he has rec'd from Art in America and other high profile art mags but I am also sick of seeing another typical mention of too many boorish critics fave hector ruiz whose work just bores me to death, but he's mexican so it must be good, yeah right. I am glad this writer hasn't been writing about the chaos theory shows during the years since the early show they reviewed, as the same trite sort of criticisms and crap are best left for elitist parties attended by people most of us would not want to be caught dead being stuck in a conversation with lest we risk being bored to death. This note being in lieu of a doll.

Amy Silverman
Amy Silverman

And an even bigger ditto to you. What are you all so afraid of, that you spend so much time putting so much work into leaving these comments -- but you're not willing to put your name behind what you say? If that's the case, why bother? You have no credibility.

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

Oh my dear sweet Editorzilla...

When someone does leave their name, you still claim they have no credibility anyway, so it's a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation in regards to your little bully pulpit.

For someone who claims to be wanting an honest dialogue, you sure do seem to spend a lot more time lashing out at your critics, rather than seeing if they might have a valid point- you know... like a truly competent Editor is supposed to do?

But don't feel bad- because when it comes to slowly death spiraling this Pennysaver with Porn into the ground... you are pretty good at that, and no one doubts your credibility there for a second.

Ditto that.

respectfully,Wayne Michael Reich(http://www.WayneMichaelReich.B...)

Guest23
Guest23

Wayne, you are a legend in your own mind };)

It sounds like you are channeling Barney from current sitcom whose title eludes me.

Guest23
Guest23

The most likely reason is that silverman and PNTs supports writers who have a "snarky" approach to writing that garners negative or opposing points of view, no matter how ridiculous. They don't care to justify why they do this so they ignore posts like yours. In all actuality it is odd for a news sources editor to participate in a forum like this, as many reputable news outlets frown upon such behavior.

Realistically they could have given more space to the other artists work but PNTs is not really that interested in doing so.

Guest23
Guest23

Wayne,

Great points!

An interesting fact is that IRL I have had no problem voicing my negative opinion of your exploits in the world of media to your face and we still are on speaking terms.

Dain Quentin Gore
Dain Quentin Gore

I for one would like to know why my issue was not addressed. Is it because I am using my real name? New Times has the "space" on the Internet to post more than a page and a half covering a 50 artist show. If you have time to respond to Anon and Guest, you have time to finish the critique.

Guest23
Guest23

After reading this again, I personally have no fear for myself and previously have posted in public forums by my name for decades but when my words started to affect my partners employment situations I , being in a relationship where I respect my partner, decided it was a worthwhile compromise to post anonymously because some people were unfairly targeting my mate for my words that my partner did not always agree with. You have a better solution to this situation or as I suspect you probably think I should just not post at all or say to hell with my partners worries. Unfortunately there are problems with these two latter solutions because there are assholes out there that can't seem to realize that two people in a relationship may have differing opinions and that it is unfair and unjust to hold another individual responsible for what another states.

For some others posting anonymously allows them to speak freely without fear of retribution. It is a simple fact that there are people that will take any issue they are passionate about whether it be abortion, illegal immigrants, liberals, right wing conservatives, etc and use information they have gleaned in forums like this to deny them employment, ostracize them socially, or actually attack and physically harm them for words they posted online. It is a manner to practice freedom of speech and be able to do so without fear of retribution. I have heard and witnessed the toll that your management style takes on those employees you supervise, and while many respect your skills, many find your style and manner of enforcement overbearing, unnecessary and assholish. Can employees realistically complain about such things in a public forum such as this and be assured that you will in no way be prejudiced against them in even the smallest manner in the future? No, because humans just are not wired that way, deep down it would affect the decisions you made and that could very well have a negative effect on their career and lives.

I post under a pseudonym I use consistantly and your accusation that because I do so I have no credibility is completely false as the following excerpts from an excellent essay on posting anonymously points out:

"The Federalist Papers were published under a pseudonym.Most newspapers publish letters to the editor and help columns and allow the letters to be anonymous or signed with a pseudonym and many newspaper articles are merely credited to "AP Newswire". Additionally, anonymous peer reviews of proposals and articles is common in academic circles.... Pseudonymity comes in useful in that it allows users to send mail to pseudonymous users in response to their mail or post. People are able to respond to emails that they like or dislike or that they find offensive or disruptive. This makes the pseudonymous user more responsible for his or her actions than the completely anonymous user. They are still accountable for their actions on the net but are protected from "real world" damage." - Karina Rigby

So silverman, that pretty much shoots your argument all to hell.

You would appear much more intelligent and give much more creedance to your argument if you didn't take the cheap, easy, and usually point of last resort because you have nothing of any substance to offer in rebuttal if you argued against the merits of what I posted rather than how I did so, which the latter doesn't have any real bearing on the merits and in the end is just an ad hominem (logically falacious) attack.

Guest23
Guest23

My ass, it does not matter whose name resides at the top of the comment as I could have just written "Dave" and you would be none the wiser. I found this argument logically fallacious and very unbecoming of a news outlets editor. Who knows, if it is a business owner in towns comment it could lead to you shooting down articles covering their business. Why don't you refute the comments made rather than shooting at the anonymity issue that isn't relevant to the points made? But than this is no surprise since silverman comments like she edits and manages... like something crawled up her butt and died. Keep up the sad sack, not having a leg to stand on comments you are making. It is editors like you that have lead to PNTs becoming more adolescent and dumbed down via desired "snarkiness" besides the shameful dumbing down that your parent company has done with the Village Voice and PNT compared to when I first read it close to thirty years ago.

You don't know me, well maybe my name but nothing else, since you didn't recognize me when I was standing in your house and we don't socialize or run in similar circles. How are my points any less credible than an anonymous source investigative journalists use? You can't have it both ways deary. Or is this an admission on your part that anonymous sources have no credibility? Go back to your bitch den, it is bad enough your employees have to suffer under your words and rule but your need to be a bitch elsewhere is ridiculous.

 
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