Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Dogs at Chaisson; Etchynpufe at Foundation

Who doesn't love dogs? They're the only creatures who actually like the earth's most deadly predators: humans. So we treat them like family and celebrate them in art works by George Rodrigue, William Wegman--and now Nola photographer, West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran, J.T. Blatty. This show features her dog, Cuba, whose "love of life" inspires her to produce twilight landscapes like Walking the Dead, pictured, in which an illuminated canine in motion appears as a colorful abstraction of light rays in a cemetery. I love animals but often find dog art baffling, and here I thought of  voodoo spirits--but that's unlikely since only cats, not dogs, ordinarily double as voodoo spirits, so let's take Blatty's word that these images reflect "the freedom within all of us." Note also that Basset Hound and German Shepherd rescue missions receive 10% of sales proceeds.

The Foundation Gallery has a dual mission to promote innovative art while financially supporting   social activism with the proceeds. This charmingly quirky Etchynpufe show curated by What Editions features copperplate etchings by four artists including Music Box collaborator Andrew Schrock--who makes sculptures from those very same copper etching plates, welding the seams and inflating them with compressed air so they puff up like pillows. Here an etching by Hugo Girl of a demonic flip-phone encircled by a serpent is echoed by Schrock's puffed copper sculpture Hydroform 2. Other works like Schrock's own etching of hands gesturing with cryptically tattooed fingers, or Summer Sandstorm's hallucinogenic, glitter-speckled etching of a pensive woman morphing into a diabolical clown, left, are no less intriguing. Perhaps most surprising
is Sarrah Danziger's stony-textured series of stricken, slack-jawed female facial expressions, left, and osseous looking male body parts. Etchynpufe is a wonderfully surprising show, and 25% of sale proceeds go to the New Orleans Community Print Shop's excellent Youth Program. ~Bookhardt /Happy Dogs: Photographs by J.T. Blatty, Through May 30, Martine Chaisson Gallery, 727 Camp St., 302-7942;  Etchynpufe: Work by Andrew Schrock, Hugo Girl, Sarrah Danziger and Spring Sandstorm, Through May 31, The Foundation Gallery, 1109 Royal St., 568-0955.