Thursday, August 19, 2004

Glenn Dixon is back to his old self (I think) and is a bit more opinionated and sarcastic in these mini reviews in today's Post, although he mixes it up with a couple of plain, "descriptive" reviews as well. Dixon is at his best when he expresses an opinion and thus reveals his art personality in his writing.

J.T. Kirkland also has a few words on Dixon over at Thinking About Art.

I would like someone to email me and explain what Dixon means by a "mossback" when he writes:

"Like any summertime grab bag, Conner Contemporary's survey of work by local art grads is hit-or-miss. The scruffy portraiture of J. Jordan Bruns and the fluorescent-lit interiors of Matt Klos will gratify only mossbacks who feared the academy had stopped teaching academic painting. But video artist Annie Schap steals the show. In "Say It With Feeling," she stabs a can of Miller and effortfully sucks the beer out of the side of the can, capping her performance with a burped "I love you" that blurs the line between emotional and physical stress. "Love Hurts Hands," in which Nazareth's deathless power ballad is spelled out line by line across the artist's knuckles, biker-tattoo-style, is the best music video I've seen in five years. It analyzes the cynical, seductive language of pop in a way that only reinforces its hold on the imagination."
He's obviously disliking Bruns and Klos' works because they're well-done, representational work (and thus academic)... and that's his right as a critic and person to join the tired tradition of contemporary critics disliking representational paintings (or painting period), but he lost me with the adjective "mossback" to describe people who like a well executed painting.

Perhaps it is a quaint, local term? Or is the word's meaning the antonym of a "rolling stone gathers no moss" saying?

I think that I am a mossback, so I'd like to know what it means...

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