Ben Beres, In God We Rust
Recommended by Emma (Marketing & Communications Manager):
"Beres' vitreograph strikes directly at the absurdity of America's supposed 'separation of church and state' with this interpretation of her official motto. The phrase sinks down into the rising darkness that threatens to envelope it, much like democracy decays when systemic oppression masquerades as Christian values."
John Grade, ParseRecommended by Sam (Gallery Owner & Director):
"This sculpture, made from planks salvaged from the historic lumber transport ship Wawona (finally taken apart in Lake Union after restoration attempts failed to find funding), tells so much about the source of his materials and the artist's interest in finding inspiration where initial utility was not the final condition for consideration. Look no farther than the artist's giant reconstructed tree currently installed at the Seattle Art Museum. Parse makes rich use of the bilge stained oak timbers from the hull and with the dowels or trunnels referencing the early marine construction methods. The graceful curve out from the wall suggests the curve of the former ship's hull. Grade honors the memory of the Wawona with a new life."
José Guadalupe Posada, La tronante calavera de las campanas modernas (The Thundering Skeleton of the Modern Bells)
Recommended by Paige (Collections Manager):
"I am interested in any work featuring skeletons and skulls, and Posada is renowned for his skulls (calaveras). He was known for political satire and bringing news to the general public of Mexico, especially the illiterate. La Tronante Calavera... features Posada's iconic calaveras with the bell of the new (at the time) Metropolitan Cathedral in Zócalo. The humor of the piece comes from the text columns at the right which detail the misdemeanors of different people and scolds them for their bad behavior, including Lupita who sold her customers soap water (agua de jabón) in place of horchata (a rice milk beverage). The piece is all at once a window into a time, a window into Posada's ludicrous humor, and wonderful to look at."
Robert Sargent Austin, The Letter
Recommended by Rebecca (Gallery Manager):
"The Letter is a lovely engraving by Austin. It showcases his exquisite line work and engraving technique. The sharpness and clarity of each line beautifully describes the scene. You can feel the texture of the rough wooden stairs, which transitions to the dark and draping fabric of her skirt, which is then contrasted by the soft and bright flowers. It feels as if the woman just had to sit down to read her letter right away, in whatever corner of the cottage she happened upon first. Austin captures a simple, sweet moment with care."
Wuon-Gean Ho, Devour V
Recommended by Nikki (Fine Print Photographer & Content Publisher):
"Wuon Gean Ho’s Devour V is from a series of intaglios she created in 2009. This series begins with a woman asleep, laying on top of a tiger. The cat awakes first and begins walking around until the woman also awakes and opens her feral-looking eyes. They separate from one another, and begin sizing each other up as they circle. They grapple, but do eventually come to terms with each other (tiger licks the woman’s face) before dissolving into each other and the landscape. Devour V illustrates the moment when the woman is fully awake to her struggle with full realization of her circumstances and is actively fighting. Part of being human is coming to terms with our own wild cats that can wake up in us. Eventually, there will be peace and acceptance, but we first have to face them. Ho makes this struggle look sensual and chaotic with her use of subtle plate tone wiping and overlapping hatch marks in the plate. She effectively captures how it can feel to be rolling about with one’s own demons in the intimate space of our own heads."