*Full disclosure- Kavin is a friend and colleague. Any perceived positive bias is intended*
According to ArtScene reviewer Roberta Carasso, Otis alum Kavin Buck sees himself as outsider artist in the sense that he "...grew up in a blue collar milieu in Orange County, is a white, straight, forty-something male, husband and father" who "...was never and still is not part of any social revolution."
It is in this context that Carasso weaves a theme of masculinity throughout the review of Kavin's current solo show at LA Contemporary Gallery. In some cases by using descriptors that one might associate as masculine traits- for instance in reference to some of the paintings she said they "...give the appearance of precision, deliberately measured and mathematical" or in regard to some of the sculpture she wrote "...his sculptures are built with precision tools, replete with right-angled configurations...in an architectural manner." Then there is the overt reference- "...his art involves male identity, particularly referencing a blue collar construction type of masculinity."
Whether these traits are more indicative of a male artist rather than a female one is obviously debatable. I did however appreciate the way in which it framed the discussion of Kavin's work. Especially when Carasso went on to deconstruct the image she set up- "The sculptures look incredibly heavy and yet are structurally fragile...the paintings appear controlled but are not. Looking more closely, nothing is precise. They have an off-beat rhythm, the results of a human hand pushing a paint roller." She finishes with her review with this- "...the exhibition implies that ultimately art's quality depends on the individual artist's perceptions and skill in bringing to fruition a profound and original idea. Certainly Buck's art proves this."
The exhibition continues through November 29.
24 October 2008
Image of "Pallet Glass" 2005-08 taken from Kavin Buck's Artsltant profile