"Joe's new paintings are like razorblades to the eyeball. You don't even feel them and then—!"
That's what artist Jeffry Mitchell said to me last week about Joseph Park's new show at Roq La Rue Gallery, and it's true. Park's new paintings are finished with a fixant so glossy, they look like glass. They're mounted flush with their white frames, not contained or covered by anything, just slashing at the air, cool and sharp. It's almost creepy, this level of control.*
Below are two details I shot. The first is taken from a painting inspired by a 1937 photograph of a table setting by Paul Outerbridge (I couldn't find a link to the original photograph). The second is from a portrait of Carole Lombard (the fabulous). To see images of the paintings in full, go here.
*And Mitchell also exercises a level of control in his work, but it's usually covered over by the appearance of messy exuberance. A big new exhibition of his pieces, including the melancholy and little-seen Tomb of Club Z, opens Friday at the Henry Art Gallery, and he'll be giving a talk about it—sure to be full of gems like "razorblades to the eyeball"—on November 8.