Saturday, December 29, 2012
BEAUTY: Painting--Alex Roulette
I have to tell you that these paintings by Alex Roulette scare the sh*t out of me. It has to do with seeing these pristine landscapes, classic iconic sights of the continent before European settlers arrived, before the slaughter of Native Americans and animals; seeing these landscapes with the first little signs of a civilization that will destroy it all--clues of the dystopia on the way, freeways, water parks, roadside signage. As if one has found the first tiny telltale sign of a disease--a sore, a bruise, a spot of blood in a cough--that will eventually take one's life. And paradoxically, it also has to do with the kind of isolationism (presented as "independence") that one finds in many parts of the United States, an isolationism that spawns xenophobia, and a certain small-town mentality that is hostile to education, the arts, and a worldly perspective. I know, I know, I am projecting all this onto these enigmatic scenes. But isn't that what good art does? It provokes one's imagination, one's own associations, one's own thoughts and memories. What do you get out of the narrative of these slightly surreal images?