Los Angeles

Charles Garabedian

Ceeje Gallery

Among the younger painters who are unashamedly courting subject matter, Garabedian must be counted as one of the bravest. His icon-like fantasies have jettisoned the niceties of paint and drawing in favor of an enamel hardness and a sense of detail that is reminiscent of folk art. Painting is a harrowing business for a man who wishes to speak about the spirit in literary terms (what with illustration always lurking nearby) and this painter has found that the nonconsecutive images of the Early Renaissance offer a way of controlling subject matter. Christ Under the Cross makes use of a hieratic organization of separate images that combine to produce a powerful emotional tract. The various figures exist in a strange isolation and yet the will to unify the whole causes the parts to take on a strange overall meaning. Garabedian can exploit the same pictorial means in humorous ways. In I’m Going Back to the Renaissance he jams so many of the perspective tricks of the trade together in one package that some even appear on the frame. There are rough spots but very few dull spots. It is an invigorating and honest display.

Doug McClellan