Arthur Peña

October 15, 2013, 8:00am


It was hard looking at Stuckey’s paintings in his Highland Park studio and come to terms with the visual noise and muzzled whispers in the work. The paintings are horrible in their rampant tramping of imagery and id, intriguing for the same reasons; washed out and fuzzy details similar to staring at static snow on a television. Word association gets me to the vinyl copy of Television’s album Marquee Moon that hadn’t left the record player since I arrived at Stuckey’s LA apartment. Lyrics come to mind:

I spoke to a man down at the tracks

And I asked him how he don't go mad

He said "Look here junior, don't you be so happy

And for Heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"

Stuckey is the man down at the tracks and it is you/me who is asked to balance ourselves otherwise we will not make it through the abrupt narratives in front of us. The newest works offer a visual reference for the clouded mind. “Clouded” also points to Stuckey’s use of white, used not to obfuscate but rather to steady us the way ones foot must hover over the brakes while driving through dense fog, attention heightened.  In preparation for his solo show PRIMA MATERIA at Anat Ebgi in Culver City, Stuckey and I had a conversation. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Listed under: Interview

September 16, 2013, 8:30am



Located in the Dallas Design District, Circuit 12 is run by husband and wife team Dustin & Gina Orlando. The Orlando’s sharp and ever searching eye brings a national and international freshness to a sweltering  arts community that’s thirsty for a new flavor. What sets Circuit 12 apart is what could be thought of as the “cult of color” that the gallery presents.  The space offers a crisp, brash and theatrical flair to a community that, at times, treads lightly. The gallery extends invitations to curators for their Regional Quarterly series that opens the space to experimental exercises from Texas based artists, exposing work that might not otherwise make it to Dallas. For their current show, Circuit 12 mounted Tripper, a solo show from Chicago based artist Josh Reames. The paintings in Tripper flicker light and are full of an absent neon glow that references your local corner stores cheap beer signage. Unlike the trap of a promised R&R scenario that those signs offer, Reames’ work never takes a break. It’s in constant motion and only interrupted by abrupt, painfully ordinary images. In their blatant dumbness the works beg to be dismissed as trite, formulaic approaches to painting. But Reames’ masterful sense of space and line pull these out of the naïve conversation. After recognizing their formal power, the paintings reminded me how Sean Penn’s understanding of his craft allowed for Spicoli to exist. Reames, like Spicoli challenging the oncoming wave, surfs abstraction; “Surfing's not a sport, it's a way of life, it's no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying, ‘Hey bud, let's party!’" Indeed. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Listed under: Interview

September 10, 2013, 5:02pm

A Conversation: Hilary Doyle

The monumental in one’s life is becoming less and less recognizable. When everything gets flattened, digitized and dispersed, how is one to determine what is truly remarkable from what is utterly banal? Yet still, what does it mean for an artist to recognize these parallel ideas in order to cull some sort of meaning from not only their medium but their whole damn life? More direct, at this point what role does painting play in the everyday? I didn’t intend for this introduction to have so many questions but the work of Hilary Doyle is full of existential pontifications and I can’t help but reflect that. Doyle’s work could not exist if it were not for the core question of not “Why am I here?” but rather “How do I know I am here?” Doyle’s recent solo show, Window Facing Inward, at NYC’s Active Space addresses this question and approaches notions of time, the everyday and the space in between yawn and awe. Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Hilary Doyle | Hand Drier, acrylic on canvas, 16” x 20”, 2013

Listed under: Interview

August 05, 2013, 10:00am

A Conversation: Samantha Bittman

In between the literal and the representational lies an oscillating, reverberating state of experience. When this is applied to painting, that experience is one of working through the visual tumult or engaging with your senses and letting your eyes play the part. What is it to just “see”, to meet a work on its terms and trust in its parts? Samantha Bittman (NAP #87 & #101)offers work that addresses this question while building paintings that visually vibrate. In her work, Bittman employs the process of weaving; interlocking material to create a surface, an image and a sense of optical splendor. Bittman’s recent two person show at Thomas Robertello Gallery in Chicago presented new work. We had a conversation about it. - Arthur Peña, Dallas Contributor

Samantha Bittman | Longest Distance, 2011, 15" x 12", acrylic on hand-woven textile

Listed under: Interview