The news continues to be a Dumpster fire on every front, but normalcy—or at least the illusion of it—is on full display at the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood. Even last year, following the first wave of COVID, the venue safely hosted its 12th annual “Exposed” exhibition and fundraiser, bringing together contributions from 80 Florida artists for a monthlong showcase, followed by a live raffle on closing night, in which every ticket buyer left home with an original artwork.
The 13th annual “Exposed,” which opened last weekend at the center near Young Circle, does not necessarily feel as though it is taking the collective temperature of the local art world, as it has in years past. Aside from a general slant toward nature-infused work, there are not enough shared themes to derive a capital-s Statement about South Florida art in the time of COVID; more works than not predate our present challenges.
But the exhibition remains, by its very nature, a balm for the soul, and a welcome return to the familiar. It’s the “Cheers” of art exhibitions, a gathering of regulars (and some newbies) allowing us to commune with a work of their choosing, to confirm that Jeanne Jaffe and Francie Bishop Good and Emanuel Tovar and Pablo Cano are still out there creating, kicking against the pricks in a time where art is more needed than ever.
With that, here are a few of my favorite pieces from “Exposed.”
“Lamp Study” by Kerry Phillips. In her latest found-object assemblage, the artist deconstructs the functionality of porcelain lamps by stringing them into an upside-down jumble, so they resemble defeated chess pawns.
“Nectar” by Boy Kong. This eye-catching acrylic on paper work is geometrically precise and evokes the 1950s primacy of color field painting.
“Super Diet Pill” by Tina La Porta. Like a pharmacologically “generic” revision of Warhol’s corporate-branded screen prints, La Porta’s version is a sardonic vaunting of a catchall miracle drug into the realm of fine art.
“Archaeology Series, Cell Phone #13” by Daniel Fiorda. The artist imagines a flip phone lodged in cement, as if unearthed from a dig, rendering this example of late 20th century homo sapiens technology as no different from an excavated Neanderthal’s tool.
“Pop Top” by PJ Mills. Here, we see a common object in a refreshing new way: The popped top of an aluminum can achieves an anthropomorphic personality, particularly when framed amid a golden slumber.
“Low Effort High Yield” by Laura Marsh. The four words in Marsh’s painting drift into the sky in the shape of a kite, echoing their elusive, too-good-to-be true nature and recalling the wry word art of Wayne White.
“Life” by Judy Polstra. A green ladderback chair becomes the canvas for a collage of repurposed watch faces frozen in time. I don’t know why I love this one so much, but I do.
“Swing Set” by Carmen Smith. With its bold primary colors and perfectly manicured suburban setting, this painting evokes the nostalgic simplicity of the way things looked to a child, where home was an idyll.
“Exposed” is on display through Sept. 24 at Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood. To participate in the closing-night raffle, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 24, tickets cost $375 for one artwork, $725 for two artworks and $1,000 for three artworks. To learn more, call 954/921-3274 or visit artandculturecenter.org.