Franklin Einspruch

Writing Archive

A thin line: Rocket Projects' Drawing Conclusions 2 is a lot like last year's show. Just not as good.

Street Miami, July 9, 2004

Drawing Conclusions 2 at Rocket Projects is this year's version of what the gallery says will be an annual affair: a drawing show in which the very definition of drawing is up for grabs. The first version put 34 artists into a vacant Dacra Realty space last year -- and put Rocket proprietress Nina Arias on the map as a curator. The second installment, featuring 23 artists' work hanging salon-style in the gallery, is more modest. Its success is more modest, too: Despite the frenzy of activity, many of the artists can't make Neo-Pop style fly.

Rafael Melendez's drawings of floppy hats inscribed with epithets like ''Mr. Ego'' are creatively limp, self-conscious, and forced in their naiveté. The decals that Diego Singh applies to his sensitively drawn formations of rocks, owls, and antelope heads, entitled Self Portrait (Tapestry), are its weakest elements. Giles Lyon's bumpy lumps squirting blood and bile at each other derive from Zap Comix, but have none of their panache.

The stronger works in the show include Hairy Mask by Sara Stites; a furry black Rorshach blot equipped with limp feet and hands, the piece dominates the room as a fearful presence. GunPeace, a video by Francie Bishop Good, captures politically-centrist anxieties about modern peace and war with rough, hand-drawn, black-and-white animations. Geoff Chadsey depicts a strange-looking group of urban kids -- the children have all been rendered in cross-contours to produce an unnerving sculptural effect -- gathered around someone in a pig costume at a water park.

These and a handful of other works are worth seeing in a show that otherwise doesn't make a case for its repetition.

Word count: 273

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