Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review of Camilla Taylor Exhibition by Jesse Cook

Jesse Cook
Exhibition Review
I was excited to visit the opening of Camilla Taylor's show at the Art Walk of downtown Santa Ana on none other than Cinco de Mayo, 2012.  I'd been to the Santora art building there before and had enjoyed the galleries showcasing the work of local artists; but I had never had the pleasure of visiting the scene during an Art Walk.

It was especially popping that night due to the holiday, and there were festivities, food, carnival rides, crafts and of course, fine art.  I visited the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) for the first time and was impressed with some of skilled works on display.

When I arrived at Taylor's show, the first thing that caught my attention was that everything in the exhibition, both the prints and the sculptural pieces, were all done in flat black colors and were all strongly related.  The "print" that first caught my eye was of a character who reminded me of a hybrid between Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum and Humpty Dumpty.  His head was egg-shaped and his extremities poured onto the floor.

The show was bustling with visitors, and a group was taking pictures next to the work. The prints were all of a large nature and done with the same tonal qualities.  Their was a strong unity to the show's theme.  The imagery was dark and the fabric sculptures looked as though some of the wall prints had come to life in three dimensions.  The sculptural pieces reminded me of flat black sofa pillows that had grown four spiderly legs and crawled into the floorspace.  One of the creatures even had shiny black buttons sewn onto the body and legs.  The creatures and the prints had a morbid quality to them.

I was interested in the show and the quality of the printwork, as well as the bustle of the art lovers and the festivities of the Art Walk.  I celebrated the holiday with my friends by ordering local carne asada tacos and Mexican "chongo" ice cream (which tastes like cinammon cake batter and is now one of my favorites).  The whole experience made for a very interesting and very festive evening out on Cinco de Mayo--one I won't soon forget.

*Note from RS - These photos of headless four-leggeds are actually ones I took during Camilla's MFA exhibition opening at CSULB. I included a shot with Carol Shaw-Sutton, who (in addition to providing Camilla with excellent guidance on her committee) helps to provide a sense of scale for the ambitious work. 

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