Back when I was just a youth, cable television finally reached my home and after the free month of Cinemax and HBO ended, I was left to watch scrambled cable signals of late night weekend programing. My friend lifted magazines at the local quick stop gas station, but I was not that bold or foolish. So the static and broken images were the sum of my visual experience of nudity. The moment I saw John Pomara's unique inkjet prints at Barry Whistler Gallery, I was transported back to my adolescent desire to see this unattainable sexual imagery. I am sure youth today might feel a similar sensation when images from the internet don't fully download and they are left with a partial photograph and some digital degraded mess.
I have always thought that Pomara’s work was sexy, with the plastic glossy sheen and the way his marks have always implied speed. He is like the next generation of abstract Futurists that imply motion with every streak mark. I remember the show two years ago when he exhibited moments of intercourse in abstract form. The paintings looked as if they were thrusting and expelling fluid in a very sterile environment. None of the works in this show are about the act of sexual experience, but about the frustrated action of a voyeur; a viewer that is unconcerned or not mature enough to treat the subject as an individual with feelings and emotions. It seems that Pomara is tapping into to the darker tragic side of sexual experience, particularly from the male’s perspective.
However, works like “Off Key 11,” feel more removed from the content of the unique inkjet prints. They harken back a bit to the work from his 2006 show at Barry Whistler. When I see these works, I think about Painting with a capital “P” and the feeling of gravity pulling me down as I fall ever faster. And sometimes I am reminded of Gerhard Richter, because both Pomara and Richter use a squeegee on their works. Only John’s paintings are more minimal and feel as if a machine created his work with just one pass.
“Off Key 2,” the title of the show, to me implies something wrong with a computer, but you can’t deny the musicality of this work. There is a real feeling of rhythm to Pomara’s work with plenty of atonal dissonance to keep you guessing. Barry Whistler Gallery with have John Pomara’s work up until November 24th.
ModernDallas.net for more images.