Doughnuts and Beer at Scope International Contemporary Art

Walking into the Scope tent yesterday was like getting smacked in the face with an art stick. You know, in a good way. Inside, it was a visual sensory overload, with way too much for any normal, methamphetamine-free viewer to see in one trip. Riptide felt like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, rushing to cram in the best stuff before time ran out.

It didn't matter, though. We were sold before we even saw a single piece of work. How could we be so easy?

Even with all the food and schmooze, two artists stood out. The first was Brooklyn-based sculptor Dean Goelz, who showed creepy, lifelike molds of duck-human hybrids. Check out New Time's crackerjack blogger Kyle Munzenrieder's compilation of unexplained duck-art occurrences at Baselhere. (Seriously, what's up with that?)

Goelz's spokesperson,Lee Doran, explained that "people don't quite know how to take" the waddling creatures, but that kids always try to ride them in New York City. She added something about how humans "go with the flock."

Then there was Virginia-based artist Derick Melander, who used clothing as his figurative paintbrush. He erected a ten-foot statue made of layered garments, gathered mostly from church drives. Melander connects with people through inanimate objects, which could be a weird thing but is pretty cool coming from him. "I get a sense of who wore them," he says. "Sometimes the clothes still smell like cologne -- or have names on the tags."

It reminded Riptide of this one time we checked out a library book and someone had written exactly what we were thinking in the margins. If that makes any sense. At all.

Whatever, the art world isn't logical. Exhibit A: Beer and doughnuts for breakfast.

--Natalie O'Neill

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