Sunday, May 15, 2011

Small Voices

by J.S. Holland

You're probably too young to remember this, but way back in 2004, I held an art exhibition called Small Voices: Microscopic Paintings at the Deatrick Gallery in Louisville.

These tiny paintings, though visible to the naked eye, required a magnifying glass or a microscope to see the details. Most were no bigger than a postage stamp. Others - such as Bug, Piggy Goes to Church, and Little Pink Clown - were only about the size of an aspirin. Among other half-inch-high masterpieces displayed that night: Boris Karloff Downtown, Skeleton on Telephone, Nude With Bowling Ball, Casper the Ghost Visiting His Own Grave, Drunk Detective, Clown Strangling Clown, Alien Pumping Gas and my personal favorite, Fred Flintstone in Hell.

The show is something of a paradox. It was very popular with the public, and the turnout was great (even though our opening night competed for attention with the Cinderblock's Rock Art exhibit opening right down the street, and I had a few pieces in that show too!) And yet, despite the popularity of the concept and despite the low, low prices, sales at this show were my weakest ever. Perhaps this was because no one knew quite what to do with a thumbnail-sized piece of artwork, or perhaps they felt they wanted something more tangible - some of the patrons at this show would eventually go on to purchase full-size paintings from me for considerable sums.

Nevertheless, I said back in 2004 that I would "soon" be doing further exhibitions of miniatures. Since I live on "Creeps Time" this might be a slightly more recombinant and possibly geological sense of "soon" than you are accustomed to, but sooner or later everything that's supposed to happen does. All in time.

So here we are now in a chaotic future, on the cusp of a new civilization, and I do believe it's miniature-painting time again. Watch my blogs for announcements of new original Jeffrey Scott Holland mini-paintings, coming, uh, soon. One good thing: in 2004 I didn't have a digital camera with a decent macro-mode for taking good close-up photos of the works; now I do. What few photos exist of the Small Voices pieces are not of the greatest quality in terms of picture focus or file size.

In the artist's statement for the 2004 show, I commented that it was my fondest hope that these miniscule paintings would someday end up hanging on the walls of the radioactive mutated intelligent cockroaches that inherit the Earth. I was half-joking then; it's not so much a joke anymore, is it?

Be seeing you.

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