an open letter to jacin giordano
Post #441 • December 30, 2004, 11:19 AM • 44 Comments
First of all, sorry for not reviewing your show at Snitzer while it was still up. My show was going on at the same time and I was a little wiped out. I got to see it, though. I stand behind my assessment of your talents - you continue to be one of the stronger painters in town.
This last show at Snitzer didn't surpass the previous one. I think it came in under, in fact. Your technique for handling acrylics continues to look inventive and bold. But two things seem to be tripping you up, one compositional, the other cultural.
You're using a landscape-type composition in your work that differs from the more two-dimensional, truly abstract approach of your previous work, and it's not helping. You went bigger, and big paintings demand strong compositional devices - a landscape motif probably seemed like just the thing. But they're contrived and unadventurous by comparison. Your work goes better when you think of it like a map rather than like a landscape.
I also see the influence of Laura Owens on your more recent work. I know you're a big fan of Owens, but I'll tell you again - you're a better painter than she is. Flee her vibrations. She's trying to set up faux-naif dioramas, whereas you ought to be maximizing your snappy colors and strange textures. You could almost forget about making pictures and probably come out ahead.
That brings me to the second problem - you caught the Cute Bug. The Cute Bug is going around down here in Miami. Even I'm occasionally tempted to make a cute painting. Don't go cute - go ugly. Your best work in the last show made me think, Lordamercy, this looks like a genetic accident involving a hand-knitted afghan and an athletic sock. It worked, even while looking scary, which is great. As it is, you look a little like Greg Kucia trying to redo Piet Mondrian. (You're a better painter than Greg Kucia, too.) Kill everything that looks winsome in your work. Lose the installations of blankets - we already know where you're coming from. Bear down on getting each corner of your paintings to work with the same strength as the center. You can do it, man.
Fondly, I remain
Your endless-running font of unsolicited advice,