Monday, April 5, 2010

Youth Vernacular

I recently took the time to visit the Bristol Historical Society and look at artist Joe Keo's show, Youth Vernacular. Wow. It's really good!
I like all kinds of art, but sometimes I am really puzzled by some contemporary work. Joe's work appears simple from looking at it, but it's really quite deep. I was lucky to be there when Joe was there and he gave a little artist tour of the work. His explanations made the work make sense to me and I thought it was great. I'm not sure I would have had the same level of appreciation if I didn't have the benefit of hearing him talk about it.

I'm going to go back to read the little cards on the walls that he wrote for each work. I didn't have the time to do that then, and after all, I had the real deal giving me the explanation, so maybe they would help quite a bit.

A lot of his show is quite clever and all of it involves playing with words, except for the portraits of Joe's beautiful family. Those are just portrait paintings, and they're well done.
Joe was born and raised in Bristol and still lives here. He's a graduate of Bristol Eastern High School and the University of Hartford art school, where he earned top honors in sculpture. He's a smart, talented and funny guy. He's also a very nice young man. The photo is from his first year at art school.

The historical society is worth your support, too, by the way, and the Young Artist series there is really terrific. I hope you take the time to check it out.

The Bristol Historical Society Museum, at 98 Summer St., is open from 10-2 on Wednesdays and noon to 4 on Saturdays. It's free, but give them a few bucks to keep the lights on, never mind keep up the building. It's the only historical society Bristol has, so give a hand if you can.

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