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Review: 2011 Herron Undergrad Exhibition

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Anna Martinez, "I'll fuck you till you love me"
  • Anna Martinez, "I'll fuck you till you love me"

2011 Undergraduate Student Exhibition
Herron School of Art & Design; through Dec. 22

Two standouts in Herron's annual undergrad exhibition deal with architecture as a subject. Marna Shopoff’s painting “Sears, Roebuck & Co. Where Dreams are Made” (oil on canvas) portrays a complex of bluish white buildings, as luminous as the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz and against a sepia/gray background. And then there’s Matthew Osborn’s “Hotel & Parking Garage” (cherry, hickory, and glass), which could work equally well as a coffee table or as an architecturally-inspired piece of art.

Anna Martinez’s oil painting “I’ll fuck you till you love me” and James Wolfarth’s “End of the Line” (charcoal on paper) are perhaps the most shocking works here. The former portrays a pussy cat, looking cute and vulnerable. But you know that there’s more than just surface in this particular painting, which seems to reveal, metaphorically, a sad truth about certain human relationships.

In “End of the Line,” however, what you see is what you get; you see a young man — the subject of the drawing — his pants down and his naked ass facing you. His face is turned towards you too, with an expression of shock, as if you've just surprised him while he was masturbating. The portrayal seems naturalistic enough (except for his hand that appears somewhat wooden). I was at first put off by this work. But haven’t we all been caught in situations like this, at one time or another?

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