Jennifer and Matthew Guest: Doing Wrong Right
Mighty Fine Arts, Dallas
January 12 – February 24, 2013
Cracked Magazine, Garbage Pail Kids, and an ebullient colorful technique all come together as fine art in El Centro professor Matthew Guest’s paintings at Mighty Fine Arts in Oak Cliff this month.
Matthew’s style involves thousands of brush strokes on each canvas and color, color, and more color. His paintings are montages of all the things that interested us as boys – those things with which we could gross out girls or our mothers. He has a penchant for blood, weapons, dismembered body parts, rotten food, boils, comic book porn, spiders, decay, monsters, organs, skulls, brains, worms, and pus.
Sound ugly? Not at all! In Matthew’s world, these are bright and happy still life subjects all painted against circus-colored plaids and stripes. My favorite of these is “Short Stacked” – a painting with a sort of breakfast theme. You’ll find a short stack of pancakes for sure, but also rain, nails, boils, hair, a hatchet, intestines, sausage, and bacon. Oh, and an angry looking eagle with blood dripping from his beak. Delightful!
The show has some larger paintings on canvas and smaller ones on paper – all very reasonably priced.
Jennifer Guest, who is an MFA student at TCU, has three pieces in the show. Her style, while different from Matthew’s, still shows a wonderful sense of humor. My favorite is “Hair Pie.” Painted as if you’re looking out a window in your grandmother’s rose-covered wallpapered room, Jennifer works in a gentle realistic style that reminded me of vintage children’s book illustrations. In this painting, what’s outside the window is a Grant Wood-style pastoral scene with a huge puffy cotton ball cloud and … wigs on wig stands. Resting on the windowsill is a freshly baked pie with a lattice crust through which you can see stray strands of the hair baked inside.
This is a show for people who like a large dose of humor with their art – if that’s you, head down to Mighty Fine Arts in Oak Cliff to enjoy.