He Has Visions

What happens to prodigies? Whether you find the phenomenon intriguing or tired, the extremely talented young always have a weird row to hoe. Yisrael K. Feldsott was the first undergraduate to be fast-tracked to graduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts), back in the 1970s. He became a major artist rather immediately, with solo gallery shows and Museum of Modern Art exhibits, and then — here's the weird part — he chucked the whole scene and moved to various jungle countries. He became an indigenously inspired shamanistic health activist, which, somewhat surprisingly, only improved his art. (We got nothing against indigenous shamans! But we sure have seen a lot of bad art inspired by them.) At "Visions," an exhibit of new work, Feldsott shows fantastically messy canvases, with intense strokes of overheated color surrounding dappled water-based patterns. He seems to have Picasso's eye for South American animal iconography, and favors thickly drawn birds in profile and vagina-forward human figures, interspersed with antimilitaristic political pieces.
Sept. 13-Oct. 5, 2008

 
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