Arts » Visual Arts

Review: Andy Chen's City Squared



4 stars

Kellar Mahaney Gallery, Zionsville.

I was told that the photos in Andy Chen's latest series, City Squared, were taken during breaks from his recent downtown "desk job" – he'd walk the Canal to escape the florescent lights and stretch his legs from tight cubicle quarters.

It’s a situation that many of us find ourselves in. Chen used these walks to explore the interplay between the art that we love and the life that we live. Tellingly, Chen's exploration takes shape in themes involving movement, opportunity and at times, dead ends: Paths, walls, doors and windows are the subjects of his journeys.

In “Tree,” a spindly tree sprouts triumphantly through urban streets — the digital print is saturated in a decaying blue tone, while a light from above shines down, illuminating the branches as a florescent light might do. “Path” is a photo of just that — a path — taken from above and looking directly down. At this angle, the viewer is unable to see the destination of the path that lays ahead. Autumn leaves litter the pathway and further crowd the route ahead.

“Fountain #1” features a dried up fountain that is peeling from age and weather. The image is gritty and dirty, but it holds promise, too – promise that the fountain might be replenished in the spring.

Through April 23.


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