October 21 through December 7, 2013
Challenging the assumption that equates art’s quality with its beauty and with appealing imagery, Big Fat Scary Deal presents an exhibition of 20 contemporary artists whose work is dedicated to the edgy, weird, unsettling and scary. Attractive on a formal level and yet disturbing in realized subject matter, these works stretch and question the relevance of aesthetic beauty and our preconceived notions of “fitting” artistic subjects.
(FYI - there is an error in the handout. My apologies to Reagan Pufall who is referred to as "her" when he is in fact a man. I don't know where the assumption was made or shared amongst the curators, but I'm sorry it didn't occur to me to check before going to print. And I'm sorry we can't make a correction to the handout at this time, but I wanted to clarify this for anyone considering Reagan's work based upon the handout text. - Craig Martin, director)
Kristen Gallerneaux (San Diego, CA), Sentinels (Plaster Hounds), plaster, dirt from sites of alleged poltergeist cases, 1 x 3 x 1 ft.
Selections were made from nation-wide submissions by Elizabeth K. Mix, Associate Professor of Art History at Butler University, Indianapolis, IN; Tess Cortés, Coordinator of the Robert & Elaine Stein Galleries at Wright State University, Dayton OH; and Craig Martin, Director of Purdue University Galleries.
In her essay for the exhibition, Mix says that art has the ability to reveal our fears and address them, in many cases through laughter. “This need for fear to stimulate laughter is a staple in our contemporary culture, epitomized by the Scream movie franchise. We should not feel guilty when we laugh, though, for our laughter is “an involuntary response to situations which cannot be handled any other way, regardless of the sophistication of the audience.” (Geoffrey Harpham, “The Grotesque: First Principles,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 34 (1974)”