Sunday, November 1, 2009

Voyage of Small Discoveries: Simon Kossoff at {:m Momentum Gallery. An exhibition review.

Lost Boy II
Lost Boy (II)

Bear, Lawrence, KS
Bear, Lawrence, KS

Wellsville, KS
Billboard, Wellsville, KS

Writer and artist Steve Brisendine wrote a review of my recent Running on Empty show for Re-View Magazine (Mid-America's Visual Arts Publication) as part of his excellent and energetic KC Art 365 column:

Simon Kossoff
Running on Empty

{:m Momentum Gallery
2014 Main Street
Kansas City, MO

Hours: First Fridays, 6-9 p.m., Monday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and by appointment.

"Not to sound the urgency alarm or anything, because Mondays exact a toll as it is, but if you don't get to the {:m Momentum Gallery today, you'll miss the second half of Simon Kossoff's Running on Empty and miss a chance to see this city, this region, this country through the eyes and lens of a recent arrival.

Kossoff, a native of England who now lives in Overland Park, came to the U.S. just in time to see history in the making. Not long after he got here, he started exploring the country.

Instead of presenting the landmarks of America, the things in which we take national pride, Kossoff captured images of kitsch (as in Hobby Lobby, Kansas, today's featured piece). He turned his lens toward our culture of disposability and the chase for easy money. He recorded all of it with an observer's dispassionate eye and an artist's gift for composition that elevates his subject matter above the commonplace.

This is not a show of "pretty pictures". Nor is it an exhibition of in-your-face images chosen for shock value. If there's confrontation in Kossoff's work, it's because he shows us as we are (which is not always how we want to see ourselves). And if there is beauty, and there is, it is not necessarily in the things Kossoff photographs, but in the lines and colors and light that define, outline and shape those things.

These are postcards not from an extended vacation, but from an ongoing quest. And if you get to the gallery before three this afternoon, you can go along for the ride.

By Steve Brisendine August 31, 2009

A link to the published review can be found here. Many thanks Steve. :
A slideshow of the Running on Empty series can be seen here:

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