“Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness,” Karen Joy Fowler wrote in Sarah Canary. Stave off the impending cabin fever and shake off January's grip by heading out of the house on the first Friday in February for a multitude of art openings and events that are anything but traditional landscapes and portraits. That divine winter madness has inspired some striking work in Albuquerque and now's your chance to take a close look at it and see your own madness reflected. Here's a preview of what First Friday, on Feb. 5, has to offer.
Reserve a spot on the docket early in the evening for the opening of Matthew Cohen's photography opening, Event Horizon, at Zendo. These photographs span years of Cohen's career, and in fact, some scenes are recreated 20 years apart. The silver gelatin printing lends the images deep contrasts and the imagery is evocative of your favorite film noir. Stop in from 6-8pm to meet Cohen and take in these unconventionally arranged and brilliantly printed photos.
While you're Downtown, stroll down Central to the OFFCenter Community Arts Projects work and gallery space to take in Doll Makeover, wherein artists “redo” Barbie, making the icon into the image they always wished she would've taken. The dolls on exhibition are the product not of Mattel's evil empire, but of a workshop hosted by Rainbow Artists and Apronistas Collective. The display is comprised of repurposed dolls made over in mixed media. The opening reception for the aptly named Doll Makeover runs from 5-8pm.
Discuss your thoughts on Event Horizon and Doll Makeover as you jog up the hill to Nob Hill and TAG Studio for their early Valentine's Day show 50 Shades of Cardboard, a name that resonates with me much more than 50 Shades of Gray. In 50 Shades of Cardboard, and Naughty Valentine, another show opening simultaneously, artist Lisa Zawadzki explores love through recycled, mixed media art. Zawadzki will be present at the open house as will other participating artists John Bumkens and Betty Temple. Catch them from 5-8pm.
From Nob Hill head east a few extra miles to Palette Contemporary Art & Craft in the Heights to get all wrapped up in Not Your Grandma's Quilt, a series of textile paintings by Katie Pasquini Masopust. Pasquini Masopust applies acrylic painting directly on to her finely stitched fabric pieces, creating massive, mixed media quilts that re-imagine what the canvas can be. The artist, from Santa Fe, will be present at this opening from 5-8pm.
If that's not enough to lift you out of winter's haze, remember that the days are getting longer by full minutes and the spring equinox lands on March 20 this year. Until then, enjoy the opportunity this season brings to stay inside, to create and to take in the offbeat and wonderful art that our city has to offer.