Editorial : Recommendations
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at Skotia Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
Recommendation by Kathryn M Davis

Continuing through January 31, 2011

With an intriguing title that suggests the inconsolable loneliness of being an artist as well as the joy of creation that only solitude can bring, "Insolitus" features three artists of the photorealist ilk. Too often, these types of paintings are commercial displays of technical virtuosity; here each body of work is polished but not bland. Even better, all three artists distinguish themselves with uniquely personal hallmarks, revealing a warmth and humor that is often lacking in this type of illusionist painting.

Alongside Rodrigo Cifuentes and Elliott Wall, the surprising standout proves to be Joshua Suda, whose unrelieved talent, on first glance, is without flaw. This lack of vulnerability can be off-putting in a painting, and Suda's work demands confrontation for the very reason of its seeming perfection. The act of standing eye to eye with a portrait by this artist is rewarded by the delight of discovery: Beyond their technical prowess they display a high degree of wit and intelligence. Suda knows his art history; without flaunting it through direct reference, he presents everything we know about Renaissance painting's "through-a-window" perspective and the illusions of dimensionality as nothing more than clever trompe l'oeil. Any good artist can do this, infers Suda, but it takes a pretty great one to make you appreciate the fact of its having been done.

Skotia Gallery

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