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GLENN CLARK
GIDDIEEYUP
 
 
October 5 - November 24
  Headbones Gallery
 
 
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GLENN CLARK - GIDDIEEYUP

Opening Reception 6-8 pm – October 5 - November 24, 2018

Glenn Clark’s exhibition Giddieeyup at Headbones Gallery promises to engage. Glenn Clark will be in attendance at the opening reception on Friday October 05 from 6 to 8 PM.  RUBY BLUES, where “Catch your Dream”  rides the lintel of the winery door and “the tasting fee is a smile”  will cater the evening, an apt pairing for Clark has caught his dreams in paint.

Glenn Clark is a realist because his style is such but his subjects – and this is where the artist holds absolute sway - appear outside of reality. Even an old car rusting in a field carries more of the aura of the past, an implied story, than a sensation of immediate presence. The cars have been overtaken by the artist, claimed for a storyboard that has now become specific in another, more auspices way than that which makes up virtual reality. There is a strange vermillion cast on the front hood of the old Pontiac eight. The bloody cast seems to creep forwards and out of the frame as the tail of another car, the exact same suggestive hue, occupies the foreground like a rumbling wave - not lost and forgotten but found and refreshed.

Clark deals with time masterfully. Clark saw Gustave Courbet’s painting Girls on the Banks of the Seine and “it blew my socks off!” he says. Courbet’s detail is not stultified but liquid, the figures relaxed, their physical being in tune with nature so that even the intricate patterning of the dresses feels endemic to the scene. With an eye for treasures, Glenn Clark came across his mother’s wedding dress and knew that he had to make a painting based on Courbet’s Girls.  Clark has girls of his own and as a contemporary man, seated in the surrounds of family and the stuff of this age he lifted the idea of the melding conversation between beautiful young women in their physical prime and a natural setting. Using the wedding dress, his daughter and her friend posed for him and Clark struck as chord as resonant with authenticity as Courbet’s work. By assuming the air of a painter from the nineteenth century through subject matter, Clark’s affect is fresh, eye-opening and rejuvenating.

Clark took another step. He painted the same two women in clothes that reflect their age and interests in a setting as contemporarily urban as it gets. There is the same spirit shining forth but the garb, gear and graffiti impart a new, defiant, almost warrior-like aura to the two women. With a tattoo of a wolf on her thigh and the black eyes of a raccoon masking the other, Clark has inserted their brazen beauty into the conversation so that there is no room to consider them flowers-for-the-picking as the Courbet might suggest. Courbet had relished his gazing position on prone female bodies and sealed his voyeurism with L’Origin du Monde. Clark’s reversed text, Sex and Death, on the wall behind the women affirms the holistic portrait, making contemporary a reference that though well known to art lovers, was censored at the time.  L’Origin du Monde hangs in the Louvre, its place and accessibility solidified by time.

Clark is a realist who takes chances with his subject matter, as if challenged by enticing sirens who prompt his direction like hostesses whose invitations to dance he accepts just in order to bring about a different translation of a trope secured by time and repetition.

The knights on horses that he has rendered over three paintings reference historical portraits and like Tolstoy’s War and Peace they enter an echelon of images based on ideas of battle, protection, aggression, and the gaining of ground. Yet each rendition is awry when examined with more than the cursory glance that often arrives on historical paintings around battle scenes.

There is wonder and innocence in Clark’s work. A demure girl peers cautiously but with interest into an implied abyss.  Clark is not entirely a realist for his perspective is enchanted despite his willingness to tackle the grand themes.  Not frightened but encouraged to look and question, Glenn Clark plays with the message underneath the cacophony of established norms and his response is reflected back at us with just enough room to appreciate.  His technical expertise is sure to convince any wary nay-sayer that art is awesome, pertinent and yet way out there from the furthest reaches of an imagination that is accustomed to flying free. Like Clark’s self portrait, launching ferociously into the air, riding a broom stick like some kind of male witch is true to form. Glenn Clark’s potion is bubbling and boiling over with exuberance.

Giddieeyup Glenn Clark Headbones Gallery, 6700 Old Kamloops Road, Vernon, BC. Oct 05 to November 24, 2018.