This exhibition's liveliness and variety engaged other gallerygoers. A young lady explained to several friends that the pink satin pooled under a piece of fur represented a killed animal's flesh. Another lady peered delightedly at Adrian Hatfield's paintings, remarking to her companion that she "just can't stop looking!"
My favorite works were Hatfield's set of twenty-six playful resin paintings. Some as small as a pack of cigarettes, some as large as a large window, the colorful works dwell on forms found in nature. Several have backgrounds formed from science or biology textbook pages daintily cut into elegant, baroque scrolls. Over these cavort birds and butterflies. Several depict marine life, with small portraits of squids attacking boats, a shark swimming through painted curlicues, and one work consisting of a tentacle ominously appearing in murky resin, swamp monster style. Stickers reappear here, with insects and flowers clustered thickly on some works and sprinkled sparingly over others. The use of stickers underlines an offhand comment by gallery co-manager Gloria Pritschet, that "pop culture and toys are blending with art."
That assertion can be explored at the gallery's next show, Heigh Ho, Hi-Lo, which explores the intersections of art, toys, and play. Eastside-Westside continues through Wednesday, June 8.
[Originally published in June, 2005.]