Fight the Power: New work by Mr. Mustart & Dr. Distorto
Cassieopia Gallery at Northern Soul, Hoboken NJ. Mar. 5 - Mar. 31
There comes a time in every artist’s life when they must consider if their work is truly contributing something to the world. Are they creating art just for themselves or for the people? Art has the power to change a person’s mind, so it must have the power to change the world. The works by Mr. Mustart and Dr. Distorto challenge exactly that.
Following an artist like Mr. Mustart for such a long time, adds a distinct, almost entitled feeling, because there’s an acquired experience and exposure to that individual’s style, patterns, and ideas. I’ve known Mustart’s work for several years now, and the work is as strong as ever. Each canvas is a collage loaded with imagery and signage juxtaposed in a way that escalates your mind to truly, thoroughly analyze the way things are and how they are run. By spontaneous use of familiar words and images, sometimes from pop culture or original interpretations, Mustart creates layers and layers of original ideas through these juxtapositions. Even the smallest canvas is over-flowing with thought-provoking images. To call Mustart’s work intense is an understatement.
Not to put the work of Dr. Distorto to the side, because the art is true and in league with Mustart’s. Distorto’s visuals create a dark and ethereal atmosphere through the layers and juxtapositions of images, characters, and colors. While his process differs from Mustart’s, Distorto’s use of layers summons a different feeling than that of Mustart’s. Distorto’s layered, labored process demands an attention to detail, and it is not lost on any viewing of his work. While one’s attention may be immediately drawn to characters not enveloped by the glossy resin surface that seizes most of the canvas, the true tension is in fact in the areas that are trapped by the applied, glaring film on the surface. While most commonly a darker imagery, Distorto’s chosen backgrounds challenge the viewer to look past the superficiality of the immediately visual characters on his paintings and deeper into the idea he’s communicating, and in a sense, past the superficial aspects of life.
Thoughts of the mind are what spark the engine of the artist. Ideas are what make the world work. Ideas are also what makes the world destroy, build, and destroy. The artists, Dr. Distorto and Mr. Mustart, have the viewer in the palm of their hands for a few fleeting moments, and that’s worth all the time in the world if they can influence a person’s mind for change or for the better.
-Narciso Espiritu Jr.
Mr. Mustart - http://www.flickr.com/operation_art