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Indepth Arts News:

"2001 Atlanta Biennal: When the Wind Blows"
2001-03-30 until 2001-06-02
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Atlanta, GA, USA United States of America

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center presents the 2001 Atlanta Biennial: When the Wind Blows featuring artwork from the playful and whimsical to the eerie and dreamlike all intertwining fantasy and reality. From lil' beasties to sugar, spice, snails and puppy dog tails to things that go bump in the night, this exhibition may prompt viewers to look in the closet and under the bed twice. Animated forms and child-like references permeate the work through simple line drawings, folded paper and padded objects in addition to videos and short films. Artists featured in the 2001 Atlanta Biennial: When the Wind Blows include Arge(GA), Ryan Berg (FL), Dreamspan (GA & CA), Didi Dunphy (GA), the collaborative duo, Mark Guilbeau and Rian Kerrane (NC), Mischo McKay (GA), Scott Murphy (GA), Samantha Simpson (PA), Robin Starbuck (GA), Angela Willcocks (GA) and Kathy Yancey (GA).

The Atlanta Biennial was initiated by Alan Sondheim in 1984 and was not limited to Atlanta artists. That stipulation occurred later and was maintained through 1999. In an attempt to lend some national presence to the Atlanta Biennial curator Teresa Bramlette decided to break free from the previously imposed dictum of featuring only local artists. The 2001 Atlanta Biennial consists of artists from cities within Georgia including Atlanta, Macon and Athens, as well as the states of North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and Alabama. With the opening of the 2001 Atlanta Biennial this exhibition will be representative of contemporary artwork throughout the United States.

Atlanta-based artists Kathy Yancey, Arge and Angela Willcocks evoke the playful and whimsical. Kathy Yancey displays drawings from her teenage years. She says she escaped otherwise sad circumstances by creating spaceships made from Easter egg foils, teenagers in Go Go boots to colonize Mars and butterfly cloaked paper dolls who were poised for flight. Arge's neo-pop cartoon style of painting echoes such Cartoon Network favorites as Power Puff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory, expressing his own fun-filled vision. Angela Willcocks presents wall drawings using everyday and traditional drawing media to create biomorphic creatures that float, hang or suspend, while exploring the micro and macro within her own universe.

Mischo McKay's, Ugly Little Doll project consists of a dark pen and ink drawing series of a monster that he relates to the ugly little doll in all of us, broken and searching for compassion. In collaboration with fellow Biennial exhibitors Dreamspan, McKay was able to place his renderings on line making it a multimedia project. Beth Hall Thrasher and Andy Schachtel founded Dreamspan.com in 1999 with the goal of providing serious filmmakers and artists with a virtual worldwide venue for their work. The Short Attention Span Film and Video Festival, the backbone of Dreamspanís talent now tours over 20 cities and 35 colleges throughout North America.

Scott Murphy's stencils and spray paint form his own graffiti language. Though more simply rendered than mainstream graffiti styles, the artist feels that these images would look as natural on a subway wall as they do on paper.

Didi Dunphy fabricates geometric design with embroidery floss and covers hard edge minimal sculptural forms with soft foam and wash n' wear fabric. By including cliche female activity such as quilting and embroidery in her work, Dunphy combines issues of traditional female identity and beauty with a colorful twist.

Ryan Berg's installation, Angel Finger is a recall of teenage emotions and fantasies in an exaggerated domestic landscape. Berg describes the characters as hybrids of rock and roll bravado and distorted sentimentality manifested into household lamps. In a similar sense collaborative duo Mark Guilbeau and Rian Kerrane explore their own philosophical concerns. Through a tableau of the creative process and a room full of objects they explore how one is responsible for creating their own world.

Samantha Simpson offers playful and colorful images while addressing identity construction and stylistic devices used in our mass culture. Simpson is interested in reclaiming the visual vocabulary that art education alienates working outside the boundaries that separate the art world from the rest of society. Robin Starbuck's graphite, watercolor and acrylic series Out of the Dollhouse: Words for Things also addresses issues of symbolic and language development in mass culture, specifically Western Culture. The primary focus of Starbuck's series lies in an investigation of Freud's theory of trauma via text from a childís instructional book. The focus of the work is on the relationship between the language and the reality of the image.

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