Reviews

40Owls Pop-up Gallery in Phoenix Presents Fortoul Brothers' Polished Primitivism

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There's no boundary signaling a crossing from art exhibit to gift shop. Instead, it all bleeds together beautifully. Works lack signage noting the usual details: title, medium, size, or cost. In this context, it works. Such things are better left to the 40Owls website and social media, which serve as intriguing variations on the brothers' nomadic gallery theme.

The Fortoul brothers are already answering the questions some artists have barely begun to ask. When do the costs of having a single brick and mortar space outweigh the benefits? How can artists who lament their lack of profitability shed their bias against the commercial aspects of their field? What truly captures the imaginations of those consumed by digital culture?

By their own account, they're creating "a cultural entity encompassing art, music, fashion, film and design." Artificial boundaries created by those who segregate various styles of art-making into distinct disciplines have no place in their realm of creative expression.

This particular exhibition includes nine small concrete sculptures placed atop cinder block towers, two carved wooden sculptures, a shelf dotted with small talismans and figurines, and several two-dimensional works hung on panels in four colors: black, white, poppy and celadon blue.

One panel is filled with 100 or so small pieces with a mail art vibe. One replicates Fortoul's artwork included in the "Focus Latin America" exhibition of mail art organized by the Phoenix Art Museum to complement its current "Paolo Bruscky: Art Is Our Last Hope" exhibition.

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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble