Lucid Culture


Art Review: Alex Dodge – Intelligent Design, At the Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, Brooklyn NY

Williamsburg artist Dodge is not completely at ease with technology, which is something of an understatement. This show features some recent work which is very thought-provoking, as well as some that is decidedly not. Several of Dodge’s graphite-and-oil paintings are considerably gripping, including one showing a person naked except for a pair of briefs, facedown, hands tied behind the back, a computer keyboard above. Another is a sunken scene, a lobster, reeds and debris along with a keyboard resting on a riverbed or sea floor. There’s also the portrayal of what looks like the Death Star from Star Wars, its surface comprising boats and a plane aimed at one of the World Trade towers. “It looks like barbecue sauce,” an artist from the Williamsburg scene remarked, pointing to the the brown, seemingly random smudges throughout the painting. But the best piece in the entire gallery is something different entirely: a large abstract oil ominously interspersing different shades and textures of black.

On a wall that can’t be seen from the street are also several separate pages taken from coloring books, colored with crayon (within the lines, of course), each with colorful plastic refrigerator-magnet letters affixed to the corners. These are for sale for $400 apiece. We emailed the gallery and asked them to let us know in the event that anyone buys any of them. If that happens – and at the rate the art world is going, it probably will – we will contact the buyer and see how much he or she is willing to pay us for a piece of used toilet paper. $500 seems fair to us.

February 16, 2008 - Posted by | Art, Reviews | , , , , , ,


  1. Ah ha! used toilet paper.. that’s a good one.. I know!.. what will these kids think of next. .. oh but then again I guess that being a pretend journalist means that you don’t have to even try to base what you write on facts. A few key rules to follow when trying to be an art critic: 1. Always read the press release 2. If you don’t know what something is you should always ask the gallery (instead of making uninformed guesses)

    It helps to at least make you not appear to be a moron.

    Comment by Arvin Ferrell | February 18, 2008 | Reply

  2. Ah, flame wars. Gotta love it. Just believe everything you read in the press release, or what the gallery tells you. Perish the thought that you might actually be able to see something and come up with an original opinion. No, it’s best not to think, not to question anything, otherwise people will call you a moron.

    Comment by delarue | February 18, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hey Kids, easy now. While I was sort of hoping that this show might generate some heated dialog -I sort of had something else in mind…. I suppose the creationists have been out to lunch or whatever else they do on the weekends.

    You both have valid points, though none that warrant personal attacks or name calling. I wouldn’t normally equate my work with things fecal, but you know if I could sell used toilet paper I totally would….. one of my favorite artists Piero Manzoni canned his own shit and sold it for more than market value.

    On the other hand a press release and the info from a gallery is never definitive, while they are sometimes useful I think a phenomenological approach is the best starting point.

    BUT – On the other other hand, just to clarify which is the neat thing about blogs because I can; those coloring book drawings are not pages taken from real coloring books, but are drawings that I made to look like pages from real coloring books. I wish there were coloring books with supercomputers and rubik’s cubes. Also – as much as I would like to take credit for the large black painting, I can not. It’s by Pamela Jorden, a very talented artist from LA.

    Anyway, thank you very much for writing about the show. I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Alex Dodge | February 19, 2008 | Reply

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