New Solo Exhibition of the Californian Artist
by Eve Jégou
with Bats, 2010, 90x120inches
When we push the door and step into the Mike Weiss
Gallery, there is a feeling of the austere, impersonal and unwelcoming,
which foreshadows the forbidding subtext of "Christian Vincent:
Tunnel Vision," the new solo exhibition of the California artist
The clicking of a computer keyboard and the muffled
voices of the gallery's team give rhythm to the visit, when silence
does not lend its own heavy atmosphere. My awareness of an opening
of the exhibition was heightened by the smell of fresh paint.
Vincent is a native of Santa Monica, California,
where he now lives after graduating from the Art Center College
of Design at Pasadena, California. In less than 20 years, his paintings
have become of interest to galleries all around the United States.
Night, 2010, 92 x 77 inches
"Tunnel Vision" has multiple meanings.
Each painting has an alarming and reassuring side. Depending on
our culture, the country where we grew up and our own personal experiences,
we can interpret "Boys with Bats" either as the preparation
of a baseball game between friends or as a group of young people
preparing to wreak havoc with their bats.
The paintings are all crowds of boys. Human individuality
gives way to the power of multiplicity. All the boys look the same;
not even a detail lets us know about their individual personalities.
We are struck with the strength of a group. They are as clones in
a movement, maybe at a holiday camp, a rock concert, a military
camp or a meeting for worship.
In "Red Night," the strong colors warn
of cosmic danger to a lineup of boys who might otherwise be bathing.
Vincent guides us with the saturation of his colors.
"Out of Touch" and "Cast Away" are the same
figures in different colors. In "Out of Touch," the pastel
hues make the scene dreamy and nonthreatening; it is pleasant to
witness thanks to the sweetness of its tints. "Cast Away,"
with lively and unrealistic colors, telegraphs danger. [Eve
of Touch, 2010, 92 x 77 inches
Away, 2010, 74 x 90 inches
The exhibition continues at the Mike Weiss Gallery,
520 West 24th Street, until February 12th, 2011. Hours are Tuesday
to Saturday, from 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.