‘The Art of Fun’
calls for humor in the details
Keri Guten Cohen,
Detroit Free Press, Sunday September 7th, 2003
What better way to start the fall art season than with a big dose of
That's what Birmingham Artist Ron Pavsner thought when he proposed
“The Art of Fun,” now at the Birmingham Bloomfield
Art Center. Pavsner joined three other well-known local artists —
Jim Pallas of Grosse Pointe,
Jerome Ferretti of Detroit and
of Highland Park - for
“The Art of
full of concepts and references
that will make you smile.
Take, for instance,
Pavsner’s “Paint by Numbers"
outlined portrait, with each
space numbered for easy painting; next to
it is the finished piece, looking very much like a Francis Bacon
portrait. As if it were that easy.
Or how about Pallas’ talking
bust of Vincent van Gogh? Set atop a sunflower-yellow pedestal is a likeness
taken from van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait with Straw
One ear is missing, but the other is open
wide enough to receive monetary contributions,
which prompt Dutch-accented responses about art and life.
Maybe you prefer the chuckle
that comes from Goodfellow’s series
of three paintings featuring a man
bending down to pick up his dog’s poop. The first
is cartoon-like but realistic. The second is surrealistic
in a Bosch-like way, featuring a dog on wheels with snakes for its
head and a skeleton man with chicken features. A final panel
completes the metamorphosis; now there’s
a dog with a man’s face and a man with a dog’s face, still picking up
neo-primitive painting of an
urban backyard barbecue is full of movement, energy and comical characters
ready to party. One Cyclops-eyed woman may have had too
much already. The fun is in the detail.
Though humor is a
common de-nominator, each artist’s style is
Ferretti, using pastels effectively,
plays with facial features, exaggerating hair, faces and especially eyes.
Pallas offers clever sculptural pieces. In one series, “Intellectual Power
Tools,” his tongue-in-cheek pieces combine actual tools with office
equipment to send a biting message as in “Bureaucratic Hatchet.”
Another series transforms books into poignant and humorous floor
Goodfellow’s precisely detailed, colorful paintings are done in “Primary
Micropointillism,” his own method that
uses yellow, blue and red paint combined with resistant blocks and water
washes to create mini-splatters of brilliant colors in all hues.
For this show, Pavsner is showing mostly
caricatures molded from hydrocal, a hard
plaster, or fiberglass. Images of Andy Warhol and thin-faced women
are embellished with hair, glasses, beads and more. The expressive pieces
are part of clever conceptual plans,
that parody, mock and pay tribute to art history and the world of
Though it’s definitely good for a laugh,
the art in this show is serious in its execution and intent.
Through October 10th, 9 -
5p.m. Monday - Saturday
Reception: September Friday 12th, 6 - 8PM
1516 S. Cranbrook Road,