Whether cruising grocery meat departments or urban mean streets, art is where you find it – and at the Nan Rae Gallery on the Woodbury campus, two local painters pose the question, “What’s More Real Than Flesh?,” an exhibition, curated by Sue Spaid, that opens on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
The exhibition pairs recent paintings by Angelenos Victoria Reynolds and Michael Alvarez, two artists whose styles and subject matter diverge, but who are drawn to similar situations – the fleshy bodies of animals inhabiting their immediate environment. Reynolds prowls supermarket meat departments and the meat cases of grocery store butchers, while Alvarez strolls through urban milieus in search of intimate scenes from his everyday life.
Prior to the opening reception, from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., philosophers Sue Spaid and Woodbury Professor Rossen Ventzislavov will lace up the gloves for “Boxing Philosophical: Artistic Practice and its Discontents,” their second debate on the nature of art appreciation and a follow-up to last year’s forum on curation. Moderated by artist Vincent Johnson, Spaid and Professor Ventzislavov will address artistic freedom in the context of recent examples of public outcry and the removal and/or destruction of art objects.
Reynolds received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting/Drawing from the University of Nevada/Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Oklahoma. Recent solo exhibitions include 2017’s “Medaillons de Corpos (Flesh Medallions),” Bert Green Fine Art in Chicago and 2014’s “Where Flesh Meets Flora,” at the Laguna College of Art & Design Gallery in Laguna Beach.
Alvarez received his BFA from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design in 2007. His work has been showcased in solo exhibitions at the Riverside Art Museum (2019), Marlborough Contemporary NY in 2017, and Mars LA in 2016, among others.
Spaid has curated more than a hundred exhibitions and biennials in the U.S. and Europe. Among her most recent exhibitions: “De Wind Deed Het” at Windowbox in Mechelen, Belgium, and “Ecovention Europe: Art to Transform Ecologies, 1957-2017” at De Domijnen Hegendaagse Kunst in Sittard, Netherlands. Her 2013 doctoral dissertation Work and World: On the Philosophy of Curatorial Practice built on 25 years experience as a critic, gallerist, curator and museum director. She is currently Associate Editor of Aesthetic Investigations, the journal of the Dutch Association for Aesthetics.
Professor Ventzislavov is a philosopher and cultural critic focusing on aesthetics, architectural theory, literature, popular music, and performance art. His work has appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Deleuze Studies, Contemporary Aesthetics, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies.
Johnson, debate moderator, received his MFA from Art Center College of Design and his BFA from SAIC. A 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, he was selected for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007, the Art Matters grant in 2008, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship in 2009. In 2016 Johnson was selected to be the first Artist in Residence at the Broodthaers Society of America.