This is the last weekend to see the superbly curated exhibit at the Creative Alliance, titled “Exposed: An Artscape Network exhibition.” Their upstairs gallery features many Maryland artists, a few of whom have held residences at the Creative Alliance, and whose work in some way evokes the question, “What makes us vulnerable?” It seems the answer to this question, for many of the artist in this show, is to hide, if only in plain sight.
The show is heavy on photography, which given the theme, “Exposed, ” makes sense. It is much easier for a subject to hide in paint or marble, than it is to hide in front of a lens. Yet the subjects do try. In Milana Braslavsky’s photographs, the models appear intentional oblivious to the peering eye of the camera. Instead of hiding from its sight the models hide from the knowledge of being seen by covering their eyes with their own hair and their bodies in the blanket of their clothes. They appear before you calm as Hindu cows, but their blind oblivion is unsettling if you peer at it for too long. They are looking directly at you though they don’t see you. Yet they are the ones who are calm. Upon reflection then, you, the viewer, must be the one hiding, with eyes wide open and in plain sight.
Sitting Buddha like on the floor just below Braslavsky’s photographs is the imposing but small marble sculpture by Sebastian Martorana, titled “Homeland Security Blanket.” The monkish figure sits head down, cross-legged and completely covered in cloth; the man or woman’s identity is hidden. This excellently carved sculpture exudes a demanding vulnerability that is difficult to ignore (an impression for which the irony of the title does it some injustice), and places the viewer in the shoes of this cowering, covered man’s overbearing captor. On the wall behind him are the muted yet violent oil paintings by Magnolia Laurie, reminiscent of a battlefield, an expressionistic wasteland.
To see this exhibit, which could not come more highly recommended, you will have to act quickly. It ends today, Saturday, July 30th. Hurry.
Creative Alliance at The Patterson. 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore Maryland 21224. Phone: 410-276-1651