‘Rising Stars 3’
Studio 107's "Rising Stars 3" features uniquely sculptural prints by Adreon Henry, appealing photos of rust by Fernando Lafuente, and powerfully honest portraits by Alonso Rey
Reviewed by Rachel Koper, Fri., Feb. 9, 2007
"Rising Stars 3"
Studio 107, through Feb. 17
The select group in "Rising Stars 3," curated by Till Richter for Studio 107, features the local musician and print-based artist Adreon Henry, the young UT photography graduate Fernando Lafuente, and the figurative oil painter Alonso Rey. Henry's woven, plaidlike print series is uniquely sculptural and 2-D glossy at the same time. He weaves together brightly silk-screened vinyl strips, then stretches them like a canvas. The final surface, while bricklike from the side, is treated with the squeegee tool; creatively, colors are wiped into the cracks and faded. Lafuente's straightforward photos of rust and scratches are fairly predictable, yet I like the palette of oxidized steel colors. Lafuente photographed this series from the inside of Austin trash bins, which must be a humorous and enlightening antistudio experience.
Peruvian Alonso Rey has recently learned how to coax well-lighted flesh tones out of a classical, dark green atmosphere. The narrative clarity exercised in his portraits tells Jungian stories of the subconscious. They are brutally honest, sometimes painfully so. In one painting, his highly dramatic Si Dices Que Me Amos. Porque Queres Matarme?, a gorgeously painted arm reaches across the canvas, pointing a knife that tickles a stretched neck. It's a beautiful self-portrait but not exactly relaxing; it's about suffering and words that cut, leaving sadness. Rey says his paintings are real therapy for him; to feel an emotion 100%, he broadly examines his inner desires and urges. In Yo y Mi Diabla, a prim, trim nude sits back scowling at a horned, voluptuous, leather-adorned woman. Rey says it's about the denial of the devil/bodily urges within us all; it's about pretending one is perfect. He also paints his father with a condor and an attorney with house cats. His expressionistic use of animals, theatrical posing, and emotional honesty combine into a powerhouse of information. Rey is available for portrait commissions.