What if Georges Seurat went beyond his Pointillism method of painting? Let’s say he worked in a bakery and had the innovative use of the pastry bag with its various tips – now what would his artwork be like? Wonder no more as AF came to the show, which typified that possibility through the unique works of Lisa Alonzo for Vanilla Scented Sovereignty that opened last March 27th. According to Alonzo, her work is shedding light to what is really going on especially on what the media is bombarding incessantly at us. The breadth of subjects and her method of application was a frothy representation that made the medicine go down – in the most delightful way.
The Yoga Mat featured a commercial perfect hamburger or Big Mac that is drool worthy. Her concise application of acrylic mixed with molding paste then deployed via pastry bag with various tips certainly went into the Neo-Seurat a la mode. It is the new “Pointillism” where her color pixels are just not dabs of paint but piped in and textured morsels that populate her canvas. How does the yoga mat tie in with a juicy burger? I got reminded of a lunchtime conversation when one co-worker chastised the other for their fast food choice by stating that their sandwich contained the same preservatives used in the making of yoga mats. It is not that tasty but in Alonzo’s world – that fact gets “sugar” coated with her luscious presentation.
War gets the confectionery treatment with The Neighborhood Watch – Bubblegum where a tank is in full frontal assault with its nozzle ready to fire away. Do we fear and run away from it? Not at all as Alonzo piped in rosettes in the background and even the gunmetal color cannot be more precious as the floral reliefs jump off to embed this icon of warfare. Media always has a spin with violence and war becomes just another day in the life. The tanks are just rolling in to keep the neighborhood watch. Alonzo cleverly piped in the flowers as a juxtaposition of symbolic ideals between war and the fragility of the situation that is rarely mentioned. Unsettling matters are whipped into confectionery frenzy so we get distracted from the awful truth. Ladies and gentlemen, ignore the mayhem and death toll later as we continue to spin your attention out of control.
Alonzo is clearly an artist with a flair for the subliminal saccharine made bare as evident in the meticulously piped on marvels that she has shown for this series. It is pop culture served in all its creamy goodness but better be careful of the center filled portion. At its very core, the truth is hard to take but with the way Alonzo baked it – it’s the sweet life as we know it.
Lisa Alonzo: Vanilla Scented Sovereignty / On View: March 27 – April 26, 2014
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10 am to 6 pm)
Claire Oliver Gallery. 513 West 26th Street. NYC, NY 10001
Art Review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
Select Art Images from Claire Oliver Gallery courtesy of the artist
Photography by: Jamie Martinez