As published on burnaway.org by Rachel P. Kreiter.
The success of Meta Gary’s Animal Instinct at Emily Amy Gallery is due to the pervasive flatness of the artwork. The subject matter is animals in human spaces: a raccoon in the foyer, crows on power lines, a three-quarter profile view of a rooster’s bust donning a crisp blue oxford sport coat. These things are presented on neat wooden boxes in acrylic and pencil. The palette is alternating neon and pastel, often in the same work. The effect is that the flatness of the paint and the texture of the wood and graphite create a kind of visual richness in their juxtaposition. The scenes in these paintings are straightforward, not terribly deep — but to the artist’s credit, often amusing and pleasant.
It’s the intelligence of design that makes Gary’s stuff stand out. To be clear, it’s good stuff. While DIY culture has been expanding (and commercializing) over the past five to 10 years, the thin line between art and craft is wavering. Animal Instincts is what happens when the cloying tweeness of DIY crafting is polished and refined.
Incidentally, leftovers from Emily Amy’s last show — origami spaceships by Nate Moore — linger in the back of the gallery and near the front desk. The precision grids of Moore’s spaceship compositions and their neat trajectories along the wall are an excellent complement to Gary’s two-dimensional harnessing of fauna.
Courtesy of burnaway.org