If an art exhibit advertises its show by putting the artists’ high school senior pictures on the flyer, it’s got to be good. Autobiographies a new exhibit by artists Joel McDonald and Sarah Lyon features drawings, sculpture and photography by the pair and is currently showing at Zephyr Gallery.
Joel McDonald seems to be drawing what is happening on the inside of his brain and not surprisingly there’s a lot going on. His large-scale works comprised of individual 11x14 pieces of paper are strikingly complex. A mix of topography, enlarged sections of plant life, and the undercurrents of something darker are all in play. The pen hash marks he uses to fill in any empty space would be enough to make anyone go insane. Be sure to look closely at the modern Canopic jars. Cigarette packs and beer bottle caps float aimlessly in a brown liquid. Are these the preserved viscera of an artist? McDonald states, “My main theme is autobiography and identity through fiction. The story we create that defines us, how we view reality, and how we interact with the world.”
Joel McDonald, "Bog Taan"
Sarah Lyon’s large format photographs are always a pleasure to view. Included are three billboard landscapes that appear to deteriorate over time. The room of Lyon’s drawings appear to be abstract doodles until you come across the photo of a back of a woman in a bathtub looking at what looks like hair clusters. You know the ones that formulate around shower drains clinging in mass to avoid the murky depths of the sewer? She recreates these organic formulations with pen and paper and dolefully entitles them Beauty and Loss.
Sarah Lyon, "Beauty and Loss"
The opening reception for Autobiographies: Joel McDonald and Sarah Lyon will be during the First Friday Trolley Hop Jan. 6th from 5 to 9 p.m. The exhibit will be on view at Zephyr Gallery until February 11th.
Zephyr Gallery is located at 610 E. Market Street.