Tom Huck: 'Hillbilly Kama Sutra'
Raise a jug of moonshine to printmaker Huck for his exquisite care in depicting backwoods redneck sex
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Sept. 28, 2012
Tom Huck: 'Hillbilly Kama Sutra'Slugfest Gallery, 1906 Miriam, 477-7204
Through Oct. 7
A motley bunch of backwoods rednecks generally carrying on and specifically exploring the possibilities of fornication under carnal knowledge: Who'd come up with something like that? Thomas Kinkade's evil twin?
Hell, no. From what we're made to understand by the proprietors of Slugfest Gallery, where this exhibition is on display, people who know the St. Louis-based printmaker Tom Huck are unsurprised that he's the man behind this series of incredibly detailed linoleum-cut prints. As boasted on the artist's own Evil Prints website, Huck has been "disgusting the masses since 1995."
Well, disgusting the masses, maybe, with the low-brow subject matter he tends to truck in – but also invariably impressing the fingers off the printerly cognoscenti with his draftsmanship and painstaking process. Huck's work isn't in the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum because he's slept with the board chairman's daughter, after all (although we're not confirming or denying any allegations here). And these latest black-on-white prints, illustrating the diverse shenanigans of happy horny hicks preparing to bump uglies or already in flagrante delicto, are more evidence for the case of the man's ink-stained mettle. You're not likely to see modern pen-and-ink drawings of such intricacy and precision, pop-culture tableaux of such detailed balance and impact, outside the coveted notebooks of, say, Robert Crumb or Jim Rugg – and yet these pieces are printed from carved 16" by 16" linoleum panels. The physical effort itself is comparable to the excellent composition and initial rendering of these boondocky sexcapades, Huck's first portfolio of prints since 1998's "2 Weeks in August: 14 Rural Absurdities."
This new suite of 14 prints on display on the walls of Slugfest's intimate gallery are available in a limited edition of 20, presented in a black, velvet-lined portfolio made of paneling and duct tape. It's the first portfolio we've seen – and probably the last – that has a glory hole built into the cover (!). Reckon it's time for a hand-rolled cigarette and a swig of moonshine up in here, before giving this wild collection another lingering look-see ...
No PHOTO CREDIT