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a review by John Sunderland, Life Café Bushwick


Match One: In the left Corner Antoinette Johnson, in the right Mikki Nylund.
What is the Art Battle? It’s an interesting concept, female and male, one each side of our twenty two foot long wall at Life Café, Bushwick, actually not a wall any more but an arena.

Men are from Mars and women are from Venus, so said John Gray in his best selling book. So when I watched this show being put up this morning I wondered what would be the difference visualized; you know soft female fluffy sensitive stuff on one side and aggressive hard-on masculine muscle painting on the other?

Judge for yourselves, because that’s what this is about, an artistic battle of the sexes; a different gender based way of seeing the world? Interesting question, through looking at male and female produced art will we better understand each other and our sexuality and how it effects our vision of our world experience?

Personally, I found that the work displayed was the opposite of what might have been stereoscopically expected. Mikki’s work at first look is full of cats and cuddles,even if the cuddlers are a bit odd, even by Bushwick standards; a Chagall-esque dream world; softly disturbing, but not nightmarish; like dream images you would be happy to remember.

Antoinette’s paintings are she as she sees herself (my words), powerful, unique and fantastic, naked and armored; an Amazonian female capable of tearing herself to bits if required. There she is, tall and strong, like an alien princess come to earth, strutting as proudly as a dandy cock!

As I said, go judge for yourselves; the show is a lot of fun and the work is a summer fizz of delight.

The Art Battle between members of 950 Hart Gallery, continues throughout July atLife Café 983, Bushwick.