The Pink Show at Creativity Explored
This piece was published as a “Critic’s Choice” column in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. It can be cited here as: Buckner, Clark. “The Pink Show at Creativity Explored,” www.clarkbuckner.com. Web. Day, Month, Year the post was accessed.
What is the meaning of pink? In the work of the artists in this exhibit at Creativity Explored, it is cheerful, affectionate, and fantastical.
Several artists responded to the invitation to explore the color by painting playful portraits, rich with the pleasure of companionship. In one of the gallery’s front windows, Gordon Shepard displayed a series of paintings of clowns, Pink Clown #1 – 10, only one of which is frowning. Sara O’ Sullivan presented drawings of women, including Shopping Lady, complete with purse in hand, and the series,
Pink Lady O – Q, with bright pink backgrounds and brown, white, blue, and
yellow in the women’s skin, hair, and dresses. They too are all smiling. Eric Boyaw installed a mixed media sculpture of Creativity Explored II, with the figure of a man surrounded by a house of cards built with portraits of the people who work at the studio. And inside Kelly Clark offered a series of print portraits of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, which trace their features and habits with soft, curved lines and depict them as beautiful, otherworldly creatures—which, in fact, they are. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence sponsored the show, and bought out Clark’s prints as gifts for one another.
Other artists responded to the invitation to work with pink by constructing fantastical vehicles. Marcus Cortez’s bright pink bi-plane, Pink Plane, flew through one of the gallery’s front windows with San Francisco behind it in a poster on the wall, and another sculpture by Cortez titled Pink Motorcycle, on the ground beneath it. Inside Steven Gin drew Pink Car, using lines and solid monochrome shapes to divide up the picture plane.
In a more mysterious and menacing tone, Eric Boysaw painted a Pink Soldier, lying with a gun by his side, staring up at the sky. Is he dead or dreaming? Are the pink circles on his body bullet holes or figures drawn into his uniform symbolizing playful possibilities for his life from which war has diverted him? And on a political note —perhaps in response to his use of “girly-man” as an epithet—Searcy Ryles painted a portrait of Arnold Schwarzenegger, simply titled, Pink Governor.