Hard Cry is a quality group show, but as is often the case, I was there for the photography, specifically the work of Ryan Oskin. I very much enjoy Oskin’s work, and the piece in Hard Cry could be my favorite. There is something very bleak about the harsh light bleaching out the rocks in the photograph that suggest a scenic overlook parking lot somewhere out west. A wonderful setting for a vibrantly green Sprite bottle floating in the air. It’s a spectacularly attractive picture and a great setup for Oskin’s interjection into the image by (I think) frosting the inside of the glass of his framed photograph, which obstructs the most stunning part of the image. I am not sure conceptually what that achieves, but it certainly points to the picture being an object that is separate from the moment it depicts. But what I tend to love is that it feels a little dickish. It is also brave to obstruct the best part of what for most photographers would be an excellent picture. The show also has a giant canvas by Tariku Shiferaw with a large orange spray painted “X” that seemed to reference construction sites wrapped in plastic. As in like Oskin’s piece, this robs the viewer of one of the base joys in painting, that is, of wallowing in surface.
Lubov (373 Broadway, #207, Btw. White & Franklin Sts.)