Under the Influence

It's the wormwood that makes it good

Consumed by alcohol and Paris nightlife, bohemian artist Amedeo Modigliani often found himself piss-broke and doodling on cocktail napkins he swapped for absinthe. Jackson Pollock was a staple at New York’s famous Cedar Bar, where he would invariably end up, lit and brawling about art. Indeed “Jack the Dripper” met his sorry end at age 44 from driving his Caddy while toasted.

The myth of artists who sought inspiration in booze to break boundaries with their work and unleash powerful creative forces on culture is the theme of the show opening tonight at 7:00 at Faktura Gallery. “Spilt Over Sugar, Crushed Under Foot” features more than 50 postcard-size works by Anthony Mangicapra and Duane Hosein. The pieces explore concepts such as the image of artists like Modigliani who were beguiled by the green glow of absinthe, and the aura of the alcohol-driven -- and often deadly -- creative anxieties that gripped tragic figures like Pollock. “When artists drank, it was usually romanticized by society as a sign of unleashing the creative spirit as opposed to the average person who might be considered a lush when they abused alcohol,” says Jacquelyn Jackson Johnston, the gallery’s director. Mangicapra and Hosein are uncorking a series of paintings that delve into the evolution of the grape through the ages, flowing from the early Bacchanalian to current-day consumption of cheap Chablis at art openings, with a detour to the absinthe joints that pickled many a liver in between. Call 305-758-9005, or visit www.fakturagallery.com.
Fri., May 26

 
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