|Posted by email@example.com on April 11, 2017 at 2:35 PM|
THRU MAY 13TH - "It’s Not Funny" (Or is it?) - RoCo
By Christine G. Adamo
When I was 7, I would slather myself in oil in hopes of catching a killer tan. I did this on the tar rooftop of the Ridgewood brownstone our Italian American family of seven kept a 2BR, 2nd story apartment in. This alongside my three grown sisters—two of whom shared a Castro convertible couch, in the living room, as a bed. They'd mist with water and run fresh-cut lemons along their miles-longer and lighter-than-my-own-tar-colored hair.
As I slunk into the background, they listened to “Night Fever” (Michelle was a whiz at The Hustle), “Yellow Brick Road” (Fran’s favorite) and “Black Betty” (Denise’s top pick, as with all things, for a short while). When I wasn't tagging along for tanning sessions, I watched a lot of TV with my only brother, Joey—who rocked the bunk beds in the back parlor slash sewing room off my parents’ dedicated bedroom with me and who remains my Pop idol. Long live Joe Cool.
“The Incredible Hulk” was a favorite. We’re talking original episodes here.
No reruns. No DVDs. No Netflix sprees. Afterward he’d flex his yet-to-develop muscles and “Grrrrr” in my face. I, like Bill Bixby’s Dr. David Banner, played his mild-mannered sidekick. Joey was obsessed with Lou Ferrigno. Me? Bixby earlier starred in “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” I swooned over Eddie (aka Brandon Cruz). I fell harder after interviewing The Dead Kennedys in So. Cal., when Cruz was the DK frontman.
Pop culture has a way confronting us with our past—when we least expect it.
Which brings me to the “It’s Not Funny” exhibit on display thru May 13 at Rochester Contemporary Art Center (137 East Ave. | Rochester, NY). The pics here offer a glimpse. Barbie. Ken. Bart Simpson. Mickey. Commonplace collectibles amid rare, precious gems. Pop icons from the past reconfigured to address modern concerns. The lone questionable icon who currently takes up space in our conscious collective.
“Grrrrr,” indeed. Then there’s Ferrigno. A slew of Ferrignos, in fact.
His hulking frame and larger-than-life musculature expertly mimicked in the talents of the artists whose work you’ll see. His status, as a figure looming large over pop landscapes, celebrated by art fans cozying up to this collection of diverse, provocative work. His sad sense of being misunderstood lurking in details: barely-there brush strokes or blatant examples of what we fix our attention on. (Like Facebook much?)
Whether you’re a Gen Xer (like me), a Baby Boomer (I'm admittedly borderline), a Millennial (I’m so bored with that term) or someone who defies categorization: You’ll find your memory jogged until it leaves you huffing and puffing or perhaps your psyche prodded until barely recognizable, as you stroll the 1st floor at RoCo in search of meaning. Whatever era it is you take comfort in, “It’s Not Funny” will take you there, to infinity and beyond
Participating artists hail from near and afar, spanning generations, and show work in various media both new and familiar: Airigami (aka Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, Rochester), Bob Conge (Rochester), Chris Cosnowski (Chicago), Dan Gunderson (DeLand, Fla.), Dina Goldstein (Tel Aviv, Israel), Tyler Bohm (Columbus) and Jason Schulmerich (Rochester).
RoCo Curator and Executive Director Bleu Ferrigno (errr, Cease) sums up the exhibit.
“Each artist used materials found in pop culture,” he told me, during a Thursday night preview, “which are commonplace and accessible. Yet, they gave them uncommon meaning as expressive tools, conveying deeper ideas (for a humorous and ironic take on) toys, play and pop culture while engaging some serious subject matter.”
It’s not funny! Or is it? You decide. Visit RochesterContemporary.org.
THIS ALSO @ ROCO: 6x6x2017
- Common folk: Submit an original 6-in. x 6-in. work of art!
- Entries due: Sun., April 16th (pick up a free “canvas” @ RoCo)
- Proceeds from the sales of donated 6x6x2017 works benefit RoCo.
- 6x6x17 Opening Party & Artwork Sale to be held June 3rd from 4-10pm.