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|BO JOSEPH + WILLIAM BETTS
at McClain Gallery through June 23
by Todd Camplin
When I first walked into McClain Gallery, I ran into the work by Bo Joseph. On
first impression, I was mixed with excitement and disappointment. After walking
around, I discovered the galleries in the back had a good grouping of Williams
Betts paintings. His work is always mesmerizing in pointillist like technique that so
reflects our digital pixelated age.
|Bo Joseph - A Lexicon of Persistent Absence: Eaten by Ideologies
acrylic and transfer on paper mounted canvas
29.5 x 22.125 inches
by Todd Camplin
|Bo Joseph has some impressive one color or black line drawings on white joined papers. The
paper is worked over with expressive brush strokes matched well with the combine lines made
from connection of paper. I got lost in the thick lines that seem to be overlapping with outlined
images. I could imagine several interwoven stories being told in each piece. This made for very
complex work that drew you into each nook and cranny of each piece. It seems Bo Joseph
also attempted the same complexity with his overlapping silhouette paintings, but in
comparison to this drawings, something was lost. The work flattens out and even the variety
of shapes and colors inside the connected images was not enough of a distraction for an
easy read. Still the paintings had an otherworldly appeal I found charming. Bo Joseph
seems to be mixing and matching cultural symbols into a new-tribal art style. It seems to
me that both bodies of work would have been better served if exhibited separately.
|79.5 x 56.5 inches - 2011
|little dots of paint feel heavy and important. The detail of each dot helps to generate an
image like a computer screen or television monitor. I often look over my shoulder to see
if I am being watched when in front of his work. I think Betts’ paintings breed a feeling
of paranoia, but also inspire talk about weightier topics. Issues of privacy and ownership
of your own image seem to come up in conversation around his work.