by Jen Graves
on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Courtesy Greg Kucera Gallery
Salt Lick, 2012, oil on canvas, 16 by 16 inches, by William Burton Binnie.
A painting like this one looks antiquated and Dutch, but it was made by a young man, born at the tail end of 1985, named William Burton Binnie. So the painting must be ironic. Except that he's from Dallas. Well, why didn't you say Texas before? Now this meatfest is starting to make some sense as a gen-u-ine tribute to good old sweaty succulent flesh food. Except...he's a vegetarian.
Back and forth, back and forth, the whiplash is what I like about the art of William Burton Binnie, showing at Greg Kucera Gallery. In addition to two meat paintings, he's showing two big landscapes. They picture vast and empty locations, one on Mars, the other an ice shelf. Binnie put an enormous effort into bringing these fictional places into fruition, painstakingly painting rocks and sea and ice and sky, making them perfect, making them as pretty as possible. Then, as a last gesture, he painted a tiny colored flag in each place, planting it in the distance as if someone had made a claim.
As a result, he said during a talk at the gallery, the people who'd have liked the paintings as landscapes would probably be mortified at these flags clogging up the pretty view. And the people who'd be drawn to the postcolonial commentary implied by the flags's arch appearances probably wouldn't want big, corny, painstakingly realistic landscape paintings on their walls. Binnie deliberately stranded his art in its own ontological DMZ.
Haiku: I like to make things that look like they are paintings: love songs for assholes.
Then there's the heavy metal side of Binnie. It comes out here in spider web drawings made in walnut ink. (As in: boil down walnut shells and voila.) They are hardcore. But ridiculous, too. Hardcore with a Schwarzenegger accent. See a landscape and a spider web drawing on the jump. See them for yourself through March 30.
All images courtesy Greg Kucera Gallery
Conquest (Mars), 2012, oil on canvas, 32 by 72 inches
Go to Sleep, 2013, walnut ink on paper, 15 by 20 inches.