Down and Dirty at Duck Creek Arts

Installation view, photo courtesy of Gary Mamay

Down and Dirty, recent works by Bonnie Rychlak and Jeanne Silverthorne on view at Duck Creek Arts in East Hampton, NY, is a vaudevillian collection of subtly crafted works that tickle our collective psyche. The narrative of banal objects formed largely from wax and rubber elicits empathy, provokes thought and causes laughter, a complex jumble visually and emotionally. Arranged on the floor in the massive wooden barn, rejecting the hierarchical placement of art on pedestals, the works address a child-sized viewer, or perhaps an imp. They deftly implicate our inner child. The worn wood panels and flooring of the barn are complicit with Rychlak’s and Silverthorne’s works, collaborating to generate an experience in which the “feeling” or “haptic” sense is awakened, enriching the viewing experience. That Down and Dirty also blurs the boundaries between the works of the two artists is gleefully conspiratorial, the word defined here as “to breathe together.” It is a feminist gesture which includes an actual collaborative work titled Grate of Unintentional Consequences.

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