Not Yet TitledVenue | Banks Violette By Carrie Tucker
With Banks Violette's spring 2009 solo show at Team Gallery in NYC, what you see is not at all what you get.
With Banks Violette's spring 2009 solo show at Team Gallery in NYC, what you see is not at all what you get. In a surprising change of pace from past installations, Not Yet Titled consists mainly of Violette's drawings; the one lone sculpture of a bloodless upended motorcycle trailing its chain lords over the room with a ghostly presence, a tribute to artist Steven Parrino's deadly motorcycle crash that's in direct contrast to the rest of the exhibit. Violette's graphite drawings are transparent as negatives, both aesthetically and philosophically. These are deliberate: the drug-addled actor Bela Lugosi, famous for his role as immortal undead Count Dracula, portrayed as Jesus Christ; the Crimson Ghost with its human eyes; a torturous Vietnam War scene. Not subtle, and not quite the empty vessels that Violette's sculptures often are. But they're intriguing nonetheless, considering that Violette likes to traffic in "over-exhausted iconography" and "strip-mined" images, as he puts it, finding it fascinating to see what value people still place on them, if any. He proves once again that the only correct reaction to his work is the (occasionally visceral) one you experience yourself.