By John Blee
Art Wrap The Georgetowner
November 7, 2002 p. 26
"Reprinted with permission from the Georgetowner"
The show of Tristan Schane at the Fraser Gallery (1054 31st St. NW, Tue. - Fri. 12-3, Sat. 12-6) is entitled "Subversive Realism" and you don't have to look twice to understand the connection with the visual explosions taking place in Schane's paintings.
In one picture a figure is holding an organ/body part that resembles a Henry Moore form as if painted by Salvador Dali. Within one of the holes in the form is a suspended ant. It is unsettling and remains so even when you are not looking at the picture.
In every painting there is literalness in the rawness and an edge of violence always beautifully painted. It is the hyperrealism that makes all more disturbing, and more challenging than if it were more abstracted in its rendering. You don't have to interpret the baby with a hole in its body; you see it all too clearly.
There are also two cast sculptures by this artist that attest to his mastery of this medium as well. They are cast from the clay originals and are life size. There is a man slouched in a pose reminiscent of Rodin's "Thinker" and a screaming woman pulling out her innards which do not for once resemble organs of the body.
All this is a very high wire act and the act of painting within the style of Dali invites a comparison, and to my eye Schane comes off very well in the contest. He is twenty-nine years old and is a veteran of Marvel comics. He is a brave young man.
The question in art like this is what is the challenge of this art for and what do you do with it? It is answered by the excellence of the technique and the inventive convolutions of composition that are highly resolved by Tristan Schane. He challenges us through challenging himself.
© Copyright 2002 The Georgetowner