Ah, those abstract nouns. Truth. Justice. Beauty. Hope.
Good. Bad. Whatever. They’re all so open to interpretation, and they’re all so meaningless
when designated as the theme for a group show.
Case in point: “VALUE,” now on display at FORUM Arts +
Four artists. Four interpretations on value. We get Nick Naughton’s
woodcuts of farm workers; James Jiron’s photos of wrecked cars and their rearview
mirrors; Kaletia Roberts’s photos of branded burritos; and Jesus Alvarado’s
religious imagery. Seems like the curator could’ve just called the show “A
Bunch of Stuff We Liked.”
But that’s not to say there isn’t some good stuff here.
Though they might be heavy-handed with their metaphors, the works of Jiron and
Roberts are particularly poignant. Roberts took a bunch of tortillas and
branded the word “fear” on them before rolling up some burritos (xenophobia,
anyone?),while Jiron’s reflections on (and of) bent metal and cracked glass are
proverbial iceberg tips – lives were changed by those accidents, no doubt.
All in all, it’s a nice little show. And yes, there is value
there. But isn’t it everywhere?