Posted by Rene Kindinger on 1/13/12
mixed-media, installation, conceptual, pop, graffiti/street-art, modern
Sticks + Stones Gallery
815 Broadway, Oakland , Ca 94607
December 2, 2011 - December 2, 2011
Though the recent showing of Ernest Doty seemed to correlate with the end of the occupy movement here in Oakland, I, like my fellow art patrons, was kind of hoping that Doty's art would stand on it's own-without the need to justify the art with the movement. It seemed, however, that because Doty was so involved and distracted with the movement that it inhibited the material he showed. That is not to say that the pieces he selected were half-assed, they were simply lacking: lacking in the quantity and in the variation between pieces. The show featured 6 full scale paintings, some revived consumer products, and a sculptural box piece. Two of the pieces were a homage to Native American suffrage over the US government's seizure of tribal land; the remaining pieces contain different popular corporate logos (the McDonald's "M", the KFC colonel, and the Bank of America flag). Though these societal critiques are highly relevant this past year, more than ever, I have to wonder if Doty's simple and blatant stylization of the pieces was to make us (the viewer) think solely about the issue and not the artistic flare OR if the pieces were rushed into production in order to make the start of the show. I have seen Doty's prior work and was very excited to see him at Sticks + Stones but this show left me unimpressed and unfulfilled, like going home and finding out one of your roommates ate the last piece of your pie. I knew there was greatness at one time but was forced to dissapointment. The light at the end of the tunnel? There's always another pie at another time. Maybe the next time Doty shows, he will have poured more of the spirit that has come to define his work back into making it spectacular.