Saturday, April 29, 2017

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Posted April 05, 2017in Art Pimp

Hottest medium ever

“Working Part Time at the Five & Dime” is the first thing that most visitors see entering Chris Vance’s latest show at Moberg Gallery. It is a painting of geometric diagrams on a black background. Yet it’s so unlike Des Moines’ most popular artist that some people check out the

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Posted March 01, 2017in Art Pimp

Art Center taps a vein

Many of the famous quotes about gold diminish it. “All that is gold does not glitter” (J.R.R. Tolkein); “Health is real wealth not gold.” (M.H. Gandhi); “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” (Democritus).” All those great thinkers and humanitarians lost the battle

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Posted February 01, 2017in Art Pimp

The strange beauty of Wild Life

Walter Hagen, who dominated golf in the early 20th century, was one of the most quotable athletes of all time. He’s credited for coining the phrases “No one remembers who finished second” and “Life’s short, don’t forget to smell the flowers along the way,” among other popular lines. I was

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Posted January 04, 2017in Art Pimp

Sex and violence, loud and ironic

Artist of the Year Larassa Kabel transcended Des Moines and her own work this year. She is best known for uber-realistic drawings and paintings — particularly of horses hit by 18-wheelers — and for being chosen to do a Christmas card for the Obama White House. In the last year,

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Posted November 30, 2016in Art Pimp

Dreamy textures and covered bridges

What a season it’s been. In one month’s time, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. In the spirit of unbelievable times, let’s move over

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Posted November 02, 2016in Art Pimp

A lot of good new shows

Gallery Night this fall drew big crowds. Most people credited the marvelous weather, but top-notch shows had something to do with it, too. Artisan Gallery 218 assembled a busy show that covered a range of media. John Evans is showing landscape pastels, Elizabeth Rhoads Read brings some interest paper sculptures.

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Posted October 05, 2016in Art Pimp

Streets, guns and artists

Three exhibitions at the Des Moines Art Center present intermingled insights on guns, streets, documentarians and artists. The shows are relatively unheralded. The main attraction featured a recently discovered dead nanny who hadn’t exhibited during her lifetime. Yet together they represent one of this museum’s great strengths — the ability

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Posted August 31, 2016in Art Pimp

Ladies’ month in the art scene

Perhaps because, as Picasso remarked, artists are children who never grow up, the art world marks time to a school year calendar. Summer is for vacation, frivolity and fairs. September returns the arts to more serious things. It is no different this year, although the better nature of this month’s

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Posted August 10, 2016in Art Pimp

American mirth

Things are looking a bit more like business as usual again at Steven Vail Fine Arts. The second-floor gallery in the Teachout Building was inaccessible for weeks because of crime scene barricades. Architect and building owner Kirk Blunck was found dead in front of Vail’s doorway, and it became a

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Posted July 27, 2016in Art Pimp

Still relevant

Jordan Weber is one of the lucky artists to whom the perfect time comes. His art had long been dealing with African-American stereotypes and subject matter before Ferguson, Baltimore, Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas inspired billionaire financier George Soros and Taco Bell heir Rob McKay to pour big money into

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