Under normal circumstances this piece would have appeared in the “On the Town” section of Big RED & Shiny because I didn’t intend to review the work when I arrived (or even when I left) the show. I couldn’t do this, however because it raised several important questions that needed to be addressed.
First, at what point does an artist’s work deserve critical attention? The obvious answer would be “when it’s good,” but of course it’s not that simple. As artists subject themselves to the rigors of their educations you have to wonder at what point they actually become artists. After they graduate? When they receive an MFA? That’s ridiculous. Post & Roast is a student show but there’s no reason a reviewer should feel beholden to that fact and put the work in another category – one just for “student” art. You’re an artist when you say you are and deserve critical attention when you ask for it.
The works in Post & Roast had a theme that could loosely be described as urban, though that certainly wouldn’t tell you much about it. I’d describe it more as a feel than anything. James Canales enormous paintings with silver and gold guns were humorously over the top, Kory Yates’ photographs and video piece “Soccer in the Streets” were well composed and executed, if in a somewhat conventionally unconventional way. Garrett Munski’s pieces had a unusual graphic quality that fit beautifully into the basement environment. Enzo Moscarella’s sketchbooks in particular were lovely – what I always imagine artists’ sketchbooks ought to look like.
I’m not nearly as interested in the work as I am in the event itself, which was kickass. The invitation described that the show would “feature the paintings and photography of a unique group of artists [who]will display their artwork in a Boston basement, while a live band plays on the balcony above.” An emcee accompanied the band and a potluck barbecue rounded things out. Now, I don’t tend to like emcee’d music, and I’m not even much of a barbecue person, but these people got a space (or cleaned one out, anyway), made an event and put up some fucking art. To my knowledge (and I would be happy to be corrected on this), there is no community gallery in Boston. It’s not easy to find space even to rent. These artists wanted to show their work and made it happen. If more people were so motivated maybe we wouldn’t hear so many complaints about the lack of a scene here in Boston.
“Post & Roast” was on view the evening of April 28th.
Images by Rachel Gepner appear courtesy of the artists.