A few highlights from a hot and humid First Friday at 450 Harrison:
A few of Cobi Moules’ self-portraits were hanging up in the back gallery the first time I ever visited Carroll and Sons and I was very happy to see Moules’ work there again, this time filling the main gallery.
The show winds together four different projects. Most immediately striking are the slightly larger than life self-portraits that Moules has been painting periodically since 2009. The self-portraits create a visual chronicle, most directly of his gender transition, but also of his painting style and maturity. Interwoven with the 30″x40″ portraits are smaller canvases on which Moules has created sylvan tableaus featuring a cast of Cobi clones. The picturesque but surreal images recall Anthony Goicolea’s photo composite scenes of himself roleplaying adolescent queer narratives, but Moules carefully paints where Goicolea Photoshops and the scenes are less obviously queer, focusing more on a communal exploration of nature.
Shrinking even further, Moules abstracts his painted selves from nature and lets the tiny figures tumble together, collaged onto a blank paper void.
Moules’ show combines pristine painting technique with rich exploration of self-identity and engages the viewer in the process of carefully inspecting each painting. Moules invites the viewer to look for subtle differences between many versions of the same person, but leaves the question open as to what the many divisions of self add up to. I look forward to more work from Moules in the years to come.
The ever-engaging Anthony Greaney featured duel performances by Phil Fryer and Tom Maio going on throughout the evening on Friday. I missed Maio, but caught Fryer’s Patriotic themed performance, involving a red dress, blue and red paint, a keyboard, and a projection of a bed.
Brown’s installation transforms Kingston Gallery into a forest sculpture, strings of moss linking together twisting metal towers.
I enjoyed ducking in amongst the different sections to inspect the pale green sculptures that almost resolve into recognizable forms before the resemblance dissolves.