Pin It
Favorite

Review: Treasure Things at Soren Christensen Gallery 

Collage, installations and works on paper by Audra Kohout

click to enlarge art_rec-1.jpg

Astrology is an approximate science that relies on poetic license, but its art world parallels are striking. Scorpio is identified with the mysteries of the psyche, and many of the most psychologically intense artists, including Pablo Picasso, Rene Magritte and Francis Bacon, were born under the Halloween sign. Audra Kohout can be added to that list. Her Treasure Things expo extends her role as a visionary of dark fairy tales for mature audiences, a talent facilitated by her way with visual innuendo. Her subjects initially can recall storybook characters, but then draw viewers into their complex little worlds and may reappear in their dreams. Typically cobbled from vintage doll parts and derelict objects — things once coveted but then cast aside — they live in the shadow realms of the psyche, where they radiate the wayward electricity of unrelated objects suddenly united into unlikely new creatures.

  We see this in works like Chariot, where sled dogs with doll heads pull the skeletal husk of a carriage bearing an armless but militant woman in a spiked helmet. Twin figures are common in Voodoo, but Kohout's protagonists often reflect the more northern European sensibilities seen in Sibling Rivalry (pictured), where youthful Nordic royals in bizarre horned helmets stare quizzically at a world they no longer recognize. Similarly, Jezebel is a bust of a haughty fairy tale stepmother whose toxic sense of entitlement epitomizes everyone inclined to blame the victim — here perhaps The Woodman, a nearby sculpture of a downcast paraplegic lad with animal ears and antlers. A collar and chain enable him to be dragged around on his wheeled dolly, and his Celtic aura is a reminder that the English once dominated the Irish before branching into Africa, Asia and the Americas. But most of these works deal with the subtler dualities of human nature and the tendency of some to dominate others, benignly or not, for reasons that remain elusive, paradoxical and mysterious if not eternal.

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in Art Review

More by D. Eric Bookhardt

Spotlight Events

  • Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue @ Ashe Power House
    1731 Baronne St. http://www.ashecac.org

    • Thursdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Jan. 29
  • Sea of Common Catastrophe @ University of New Orleans
    Robert E. Nims Theatre, Performing Arts Center, St. Anthony Drive off of 2000 Lakeshore Drive http://www.theatre.uno.edu

    • Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 28
  • White Rabbit Red Rabbit @ St. Charles Ave. Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
    583 Broadway St.

    • Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m. Continues through Jan. 27
    • Buy Tickets
  • Ronald K. Brown, Evidence @ NOCCA Riverfront Lupin Hall
    2800 Chartres St. http://www.nocca.com

    • Fri., Jan. 27, 8 p.m., Sat., Jan. 28, 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 29, 2 p.m.
  • Jelly's Last Jam @ Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
    616 St. Peter St. http://www.lepetittheatre.com

    • Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 3 p.m., Wed., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m., Thu., Feb. 2, 7:30 p.m. and Thu., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Feb. 12

© 2017 Gambit
Powered by Foundation