Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to eyeCONTACT, a forum built to encourage art reviews and critical discussion about the visual culture of Aotearoa New Zealand. I'm John Hurrell its editor, a New Zealand writer, artist and curator. While Creative New Zealand and other supporters are generously paying me and other contributors to review exhibitions over the following year, all expressed opinions are entirely our own.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Steve Carr: a Shot in the Dark
Michael Lett
13 August - 6 September 2008

Just two works in this Carr show, but they’re goodies. One is a beautifully carved, painted bearskin rug, intact with wooden head, positioned on the floor down towards the office. The other - on the wall by the front door - is a photograph of a somewhat hairy gentleman with his t-shirt lifted up, exposing his chest and pushed out, but moderately trim, paunch. Apparently (according to the invite's blurb for this show) he is pretending to be a moose, thereby giving this presentation thematic unity.

Ha! Don’t you believe it. Carr delights in clowning and slapstick gags and this is typical. He is shameless. It is just as likely to be ‘about’ the silliness of distended guts – though he could have found a more genuinely disgusting example. And it could also be a reference to mischievous women spontaneously flashing their tits. Or a meditation on hairy blokes, the patterns their frontal hirsute regions create. An exercise in abstraction, featuring a male pelt set in front of a beautiful plywood woodgrain, it's entitled 'The Bachelor'.

Thick bearskin rugs? Aren’t they meant to be used – alongside roaring midnight fires – as settings for romantic coital activity? Rolling around on this one with your beloved might be a little painful. It seems to allude to folk art, maybe that of Eastern Europe, but perhaps also the many carvings presented by Jeff Koons. It’s a clever idea and the two very funny works deserve your attention. Don’t miss them.

1 comment:

andrew said...

hardly a belly laugh truth its hard to bear.