Thursday, July 13, 2023

Scott Alan Evans Phones Home


Scott Alan Evans Phones Home

Alien Egg III


Chestburster (ALIEN)

Ack Ack Ack (Mars Attacks)

Blair Thing

Palmer Thing

By Tom Wachunas

“You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse.” – Ripley, from Alien

“Klaatu barada nikto.” – from The Day the Earth Stood Still 

EXHIBIT: Shock! Horror! Whizz! Bang! – Paintings by Scott Alan Evans / at Patina Arts Center / 324 Cleveland Avenue NW in downtown Canton, Ohio / Through July 29, 2023 / Gallery hours: Thursday Noon to 8p.m., Friday 7p.m. to 10p.m., Saturday Noon to 9p.m.

   Imagine, if you dare, watching the likes of Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon or Vincent van Gogh (and for that matter, a host of other expressionist paint pushers, living and dead, do come to mind here) pumped up on some sorta performance-enhancer (not that they really need it), and then executing a portrait.

 Well…they’re heeeere. Get a load of the spanking new works by Scott Alan Evans.

   So yes, the pictures in this exhibit are, for the most part, portraits. In this case, portraits of some iconic characters from Movie Land. To be precise, monsters, robots, and aliens you might love to hate or hate to love. As formal compositions, they’re uncomplicated, never too cute, and all at once simple, stark, halting, haunting.

   In as much as I’ve come to detest the woefully overused term ‘painterly’ as an adequate descriptor of artistic technique, for the moment I plead guilty to applying it. To be more specific, Evans’ acrylic paintings on canvas are ample proof of a very aggressive if not playful hand at work. His is a frenzied - and to some degree delightfully puerile - hand, given to spontaneous moments of laying down colors impasto-style, then quickly adding tonal variations that get unceremoniously smooshed, swiped or scraped. Call it a rude blending. And interestingly enough, these visceral surfaces don’t look so much like the liquid rubbery stuff of acrylic, but rather exude an unrefined, earthy sheen of oil paint. So…painterly it is after all.

   I can see how avid fans of kitschy sci-fi horror flicks, gripped as they may be by feverish nostalgia, could well find these works “charming” in some darker sense of the word. Some of the paintings are unabashedly lurid caricatures. Others have a genuine, humorous edge about them. Still others are truly frightening in their unfettered boldness.

   Whatever your tastes may be, I highly recommend coming to the gallery this coming Saturday, July 15, 7p.m. to 9p.m., to meet and talk with Scott Alan Evans as he discusses his inspiration and processes.

  While you’re there, be sure to ask him: Ack ack ack, klaatu barada niktu?

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