Monday, June 10, 2013

Marginal Portraits, or Insides @ Centotto Gallery

Last month Chris Verene might have been the most famous photographer with work up in Bushwick but Maureen Drennan was clearly the best. Not only did she have work up, but it was up in a group show at Centotto aka the apartment of Bushwick, renaissance man Paul D’Agostino. Not only was it photography in a hip apartment gallery, but it was pure photography, not photography as a means of sculpture, or as part of an installation piece, or documenting a performance, or in some way overly abstract or wacky so art people can tell that it is art, but straight-up, real photography. Drennan’s pictures create a compelling and versatile look into a waterfront working-class neighborhood. Mist filled waterscapes, still lives of curb-side trash and portraits, all pulled off with skill and a knowing eye creating an insider’s tour of a world very much different from Bushwick apartment shows.

Also in the show was the mighty Kerry Law and his life-size and often waterfront portraits. The work maintains a consistent creamy palate not unrelated to Alex Katz and in keeping with Law’s landscapes that were up at Parallel Art Space, and very much a break from his better-known Empire State Building paintings. It is fun to get so much a overtly narrative content from Law’s paintings, with subtle touches like a black cat at the foot of a women in white or an apparently pregnant woman in black that stand along lovely coastlines are drenched in foreboding.

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