“Mile High, Red Hot” at Yellow Peril

Last week at Yellow Peril Gallery, García Sinclair and Nafis White opened their exhibition Mile High, Red Hot. If you’ve seen the promotional card for Mile High, Red Hot, it does NOT prepare you for the plentiful, confectionery free for all it entails. Amidst the exhibition of prints, digital, and mixed media is the Confiserie, an installation laden with an endless assortment of sweets. One can find any number of candies that will play on feelings of nostalgia from every era, though packets of Fun-Dip may be more geared towards those of my generation and beyond. This is the Willy Wonka’s factory of art exhibitions delighting all who wander into this space. Don’t believe me? Just go, see, and indulge.

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I could go on and describe the sheer decadence of the Confiserie more, but there was work on display and merits discussion. Sinclair and White have different bodies of work that play off one another here in Mile High, Red Hot. Nafis White explores the origins of sneaker sub-culture through collage in the series Past is Prologue. Using colorful thread and gold leaf to accentuate details on images of basketball players from the 1970-80’s, the work plays with motion and spectacle.

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Nafis White, “Past is Prologue 1”, collage, gold leaf, embroidery, 2014

Garcia Sinclair’s work comprises of colorful digital giclée prints that intertwine with the Confiserie. Each piece comes from renderings of geometrically abstract 3D shapes and the interplay with light and shadow on the surfaces of each. With some of these, as in the beauty of departures #109 & # 238, the aesthetic is more photographic with sharper detail and depth. Balancing these are prints with a painterly feel, subtler shifts in light, and confectionary coloring.

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Garcia Sinclair, “Cornelius at the Jubilee”, giclee print on arches paper, 2014

I wonder that perhaps the Confiserie provides too much distraction from the work on display, though that could be the intent. Sinclair states in the press release, “We are interested in how viewers will engage with the body of work as well as with each other within the installation,”. The Confiserie certainly provides a engaging experiment in socialization, comparing tasting notes with those around us. So often we approach work in the traditional manner (observe, judge, move on to the next), but breaking free of the status quo is a trend often found at Yellow Peril. While maybe I wish that there was a little less candy to distract my “normal” way of viewing the work, I can appreciate that I fought to see the work because I wanted to engage with it. Maybe again that’s part of it, playing the philosophical card, that we have to push past our immediate desires to get to what is at the heart of the matter.

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When you do go (and you must), I dare you to try the double salted licorice.

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