Review: Winter wondering at Bruno David
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 4, 2012 - The current exhibits at Bruno David Gallery provide enjoyable viewing for the Winter season.
In the Front Room, Shawn Burkard presents "Ye Ol Saint Nick," a large photograph of a ghastly Santa, garbage bag in hand, pouring milk gleefully onto a crumpled skeleton. The demented take on the icon of Christmas giving and joy makes sense given the current economic crisis, in which all the wrong people are rewarded while the majority of us (I believe it's around 99 percent) are burdened with the fallout.
For "Life Saver" in the Main Gallery, Damon Freed has produced 20 square works of acrylic and Flashe on canvas, each featuring the artist's signature style of graphic abstraction and dazzling color contrasts. Forms project and recede and generally dance around their visual fields in sync with their own staccato rhythms. These works are utterly delightful candy for the brain and the eye.
The Project Room has a tidy show of works on paper by several of the gallery's artists, while a new video by Dickson Beall titled "Light Diet" is in the Media Room. The five-minute video juxtaposes layers of translucent footage and tracks of sound. According to the artist, the work is inspired by the "Reflections of the Buddha" exhibiti currently on view at the Pulitzer Foundation across the street. And while Buddha isn't literally present here, the video throbs with a meditative pulse, subtly interweaving themes of consciousness, sustenance, and the body.
Ivy Cooper is the Beacon visual arts reviewer and a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.