Monday, November 17, 2008

Add the Soto-Chacon Show to your list

Add the Soto-Chacon Show to your list of must-see art shows. The Chicago Reader has recommended it and I concur. Noah Berlatsky wrote a fine review, stating, "Identity art tends to be repetitively earnest -- my ethnicity is spiritual! my people have suffered! -- but Edra Soto realizes that putting your tongue in your cheek can stimulate your brain."

Stimulate your brain is a good way of putting it. Edra Soto's gorgeous, complex gouache paintings at Rowland Contemporary Gallery blur the division between the artist and her muse Iris Chacon. Soto celebrates yet examines Chacon's untamed sexuality, and questions the male response to female power.

Two more recent Soto additions to the Chacon repertoire were also on view last weekend, as part of the Associate Degree in Science exhibit at Finch Gallery. Here Chacon wears an outdated and confining robot/skull mask, suggesting the limitations posed on society through technology. The friendly dog in the background -- "a great companion" -- represents a last refuge of humanity in a dehumanizing world?

The Chacon-Soto Show: Featuring the Greatest Companions runs at Rowland Contemporary Gallery until December 13.

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