Thursday, August 14, 2014

Scott Alario, What We Conjure @ Kristen Lorello

Scott Alario’s work makes me very happy. As I get older and remain single, more and more people I know are pairing off and starting families. Some of these people I don't see all that much anymore or when I do it generally involves activities that focus on small children, which is fine, but kids do seem like a lot of work. I can’t help but wonder if I could be a parent and still do a lot of what I’ve built my life around. I am sure the lack of time to make art, or write about art, would be balanced out emotionally with the amazingly enriching experience of the love of a child and all, but a part of me worries that I would miss my current life. It is very comforting to see parenting as reflected in Alario’s work, where the world seems to have been turned into a more magical place. As if Alario is starting to see it through the eyes of his small child. Who is shown in a homemade mask on top of a trailer surrounded by smoke. Or standing in the darkness covered by a blanket decorated with a glowing constellation. The pictures exhibit a magic that is in no small part that of a skilled photographer using the camera to bend the world to his ends, where banal things like hanging laundry and walking the dog become transformative experiences. Not knowing Alario in the least bit, and going off the young man pictured, it seems that he has very much taken to family life. And is supported by an understanding wife who appears in a photograph holding a glowing orb above her head at night on a grassy field. The orb, I want to believe, is just a children’s toy that Alario has converted into some fantastic art. Despite a picture of who I assume is Alario holding his daughter while he pees on the side of a suburban home, the pictures are a rather magical celebration of family life. Work that makes it seem that one can pull a hell of productive life out of settling down.

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