Princess, by Alyssa Hansen.
Princess, by Alyssa Hansen.
Courtesy the artist, CAMH

Artists to Watch at "Perspectives 174: Re: Generation"

The set-up:

This biennial exhibition organized by the CAMH's Teen Council showcases the work of Houston-area teens.

The execution:

The flagship image of the show is Alyssa Hansen's digital photograph Princess, a closeup on a teenage girl's lower lip, which she reveals to be tattooed with a crown. It's a generational line in the sand, an example of a phenomenon that makes perfect sense to those of a certain age, and yet it represents total absurdity to their elders.

Another photograph, David Garrett Marsh's Fading Away, depicts an overweight girl sitting cross-legged at the side of a road, smoking. Next to her is a fuzzy gray cloud in the shape of another person, perhaps a friend. And the girl's face is strangely blurred--on closer inspection, her face is pixilated and raised off the surface of the paper.

Ava Barrett's Deconstructed Hymnal: Wall of Sound is a hanging matrix of hymnal pages that walks a line between provocative and reverent.

But Temin Adelaide Eng's Twilight doesn't pull punches on how it feels about its literary subject: Stephenie Meyer's series of vampire novels. Eng has constructed a miniature coffin, lined with pages from the novel, which she has burned. Its charred remains lie inside with only a portion of the cover and spine intact to identify it.

And continuing the impressive photography on display is Brittany Nichols's Strange Manners, a scene of macabre domestic violence. A man wearing a rabbit mask lies dead on a kitchen floor, apparently stabbed to death by a woman, also rabbit-masked and bloody-handed. It's a coolly composed, lit and staged piece of narrative photography.

The verdict:

"Perspectives 174: Re: Generation" features some wonderful stuff - you'll want to take down some names of artists to watch.

The exhibit runs through June 26 at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250.

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