Public Pool mans up with "Beer, Bacon and Bullets"

arts / Article

November 21, 2014 by Rosie Sharp

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Artist Alexander Buzzalini mounting his piece "Good Bye, Old Paint."

Public Pool hosted a playful investigation of several hallmarks of traditional masculinity with "Beer, Bacon and Bullets," a three-man show featuring the work of Alexander Buzzalini, Angelo Conti and Matthew Hunt.

"California Gold International Engine" by Matthew Hunt. "California Gold International Engine" by Matthew Hunt.

"Grand West Loop" by Matthew Hunt. "Grand West Loop" by Matthew Hunt.

Detail from "Bar (Drinking Beer with Friends)" which lists "residue" as one of its materials, presumably from a collaborative drinking process. Detail from "Bar (Drinking Beer with Friends)" which lists 'residue' as one of its materials, presumably from a collaborative drinking process.

Hunt was the primary contributor on the subject of beer, with multimedia pieces featuring live six packs (one of which was being emptied and carefully replaced by gallery manager Steve Hughes when I dropped by on Saturday, November 15th, to check out the show, which opened on November 8th), and wax castings of model trains. Hunt also had several wall pieces, including a beautiful abstract piece that reveals itself as a bar upon closer investigation, and a series of coasters with rings imprinted on them.

"Dreams of Flight" by Angelo Conti. "Dreams of Flight" by Angelo Conti.

"Sorcerer&squot;s Fat" by Angelo Conti. "Sorcerer's Fat" by Angelo Conti.

"Rods" by Angelo Conti. "Rods" by Angelo Conti.

The meat portion of the program fell to Conti, who filled the gallery with numerous aluminum castings of various meat products, bacon in packages or laid out in skillets, chicken bathing in a pot of disturbingly oily liquid, and "Fruition," a very manly wall arrangement featuring two cast aluminum apples and a long, baguette-like shape.

"Bottle Fold and Scotch" by Alexander Buzzolini. "Bottle Fold and Scotch" by Alexander Buzzolini.

"Box &squot;o&squot; Bullets" by Alexander Buzzolini. "Box 'o' Bullets" by Alexander Buzzolini.

The final piece of the trio, Alexander Buzzalini, tackled the subject matter both literally and slightly more figuratively, with pieces spinning out thematically around bullets, employed in several pieces as representative of the "cowboy" archetype and its relationship with traditional masculine identity. The oversized, slightly cartoonish execution of his piece "Box 'o' Bullets," as well as the ingenious 2D/3D piece "Bottle Fold and Scotch," are reminiscent of Red Grooms-style exaggeration of life into awkward set pieces.

"Beer and Bottle" by Alexander Buzzolini. "Beer and Bottle" by Alexander Buzzolini.

Buzzolini was on hand, posing mawkishly and goofing around the gallery, which demonstrated well the spirit of fun and camaraderie that permeates the whole installation. Perhaps this sense of slightly immature jokes and positive fraternity, more than any of the eponymous signifiers, is a vision of modern masculinity we can all enjoy.

Also on hand, the notably ladylike Jessica Frelinghausen, capturing audio fodder for her newest upcoming installation on miscommunication! Stay tuned for details! Also on hand, the notably ladylike Jessica Frelinghuysen, capturing audio fodder for her newest upcoming installation on miscommunication. Stay tuned for details.

"Beer, Bacon and Billets" will run Saturdays from 1-6 p.m. at Public Pool, through December 20th.

Public Pool: 3309 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-405-7665; apublicpool.com

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