Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Lambeau Leap", splattered paint on paper, by E, Kansas

Scores of young artists have patterned their growing styles and (hopefully-growing) careers after the masters. Dimestore Picassos and Monets dot the halls of some of this country's finest budget hotels. Paint-by-number Rembrandts adorn physician waiting rooms in Scottsdale and Sioux City. Gutless Pollack-pretenders pop up in "hip" advertising agencies in Columbus and Pittsburgh. Yawn. Young E (Mahnattan, Kansas), on the other hand, has chosen a different, and somewhat surprising and to his credit somewhat refreshing, path. His master of choice? LeRoy Neiman. It speaks volumes about the humble nature of the midwesterner to graciously pattern his work safely in the low-rent district; lofty ambitions lead to monumental failures is a lesson that's taught from the cradle to the grave in America's heartland. Values aside, there is no mistaking the coarse but effective style Neiman made famous in E's work -- it's slightly above mainstream sports depictions, slightly below anything more than that is perhaps the least offensive way to put it. E's a little more free with the paint, letting his green and gold clad Packer crowd take shape more in the mind of the viewer than the canvas. The youngster isn't looking to force feed -- perhaps the one inkling that he may indeed shake free and outgrow the corn.

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