Saturday, March 3, 2018

Scott Alario, Soft Landing @ Kristen Lorello

I love Scott Alario’s work. I always thought of myself as someone who would eventually be a father and my only reluctance was that I enjoyed my life and didn’t want to give it up for parenthood. Alario’s work holds out hope that parenting could be as rewarding as people say, but still allow for a fruitful artistic life. He has struck a delicate balance between a believable and romantic portrayal of parenting. He has taken the imaginary world of his children and manifested them photographically into something real. Having followed the work, I always assumed that Alario had one child, a girl, and was surprised to read in the press release that the current photographs were of his son. The amount of purple and pink and the lovely portrait of his child as Rey from Star Wars speaks to an open minded gender-neutral parenting. In his last two shows, Alario’s vantage point has shifted towards focusing more on the color and surface of the things that surround his children, with telling details like brightly colored patched pants, scribbled-on toys, and the touching of paintings that all speaks a progressive if not artsy parenting, a childhood that is more than familiar to me as the son of hippies.

The show also takes a step forward in marrying artistic practice and family with three detailed hallucinatory collaged landscapes that seem to be sourced from faded comic books by Alario and his wife Marguerite Keyes.

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