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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

For UMass Artists the Capstone is a Gem in Their Crown, part 2

Theodora Kamenidis, Sirens 2
Theodora Kamenidis, “Sirens 2”

Two artists that really stood out in the end of the year Capstone Show at the Harbor Art Gallery were “Ejaculation Project” by Lindsay Connors and “Sirens” a series by Theodora Kamenidis. The thing that makes these paintings work so well is that their solidarity and originality.

Kamenidis’ series, “Sirens” looks at feminine stereotypes manifested in fashion magazines. Her paintings have an attention to composition reminiscent of Jasper Johns, who is also a obscure social commentator.

“These are not my masterpieces,” Kamenidis was quick to point out, however her intentions are refined, and she has the rare and important quality among artists, that she can converse about her art and philosophical questions like the death of painting. Kamenidis said that in “Sirens” she wanted to juxtapose silhouette with portraiture; her paintings also juxtapose modernist blocks of color with the graceful beauty of fashonistas.

Art as we know it is all about juxtaposition and emphasis on paradoxes. In this pursuit, Connors truly blows me out of the water. Her series of three paintings evoke wild abandon within geometric confines. Each painting has a black and white checkerboard pattern splashed with gobs of black and white. The effect is startling and its presentation, pristine.

Keith Hubert’s installation, “There’s Still Liquid in the Glass Sir I just Wouldn’t Drink It” injects some much needed political discourse into the realm of arts. The bottles, filled with water and India ink represent Bush’s soaring and plummeting approval rating. Hubert’s art gives us a visual representation of larger social constructs in easy to swallow doses. What is particularly impressive about this project is its pertinence and currentness.