18 April 2015


Opening today, Saturday, April 18 at 7 pm slt, at Holtwaye Art Space, is Rock'n'Roll, a exhibition of recent works by Molly Bloom. In traditional Western pictorial art, the frame serves to create an illusion, allowing the two-dimensional image within to establish on a space of its own, but Molly's work playfully breaks down that barrier by having elements that ought to be contained by the screen push through it — sometimes with the additional of an actual three-dimensional object added to the image. In this series of twenty-one objects, the iconic look of rock and roll is treated with both passion and humor, and with exemplary skill. Each of the works is available for purchase.

It's quite unfortunate that the opening of this exhibition was delayed by an hour at the last moment. As Molly stated, "The band hired — 'the follow' — backed out 4 hours before saying they would not play with nudity in the art, nor around gay people at the event."

Holter, the curator of Holtwaye, provided me with this statement: "I have loved the follow and especially their manager Jenna Dirval. I was just gobsmacked when one of the band members visited the gallery a few hours before the show, saying that I need to remove two images from Molly's show, they were offensive nudity, and one of them was demonic. Now mind you, Molly Bloom's images are not erotic and sexual — they might read into them that way, but they are not the centerpiece of her art And I don't think one of them is 'demonic' — it's just a figure with horns, I mean if that's what you see — a demon, then good on you, that is what art is all about.

"And how many centuries of artists before Molly Bloom have used the female body for art, and not for eroticism or sexual reasons? So I refused to remove them — I spent seven hours curating this installation, because I love to get inside the art, and into the head of the artist, trying to find a configuration that helps the art 'bloom.' Of course I'm not going to compromise an artist's show because a musician says to, just as the follow would not approve of Molly Bloom reviewing their song list, and reworking it to her standards. That's really not fair.

"So in the end, I just wish the follow had done the show that they agreed to, and weighed the benefits of doing the show rather than canceling at the last minute — for the sake of a great event coming together of artists and musicians. But instead their ban of 'nudity' and 'demons' curtailed the event. I know Molly Bloom was really offended by this reaction, and I understand her position. I try to be neutral as a curator, but honestly, I am disappointed. What a shame.

"I only asked the band member how he felt about homosexuals because I wondered if that was the real reason... I know now they won't play for an explicitly homosexual club, which he knows we are not, but Wayne and I created a gallery and artspace, and we represent many different types of creative people coming together, regardless of their background. I wish only the best for the follow and of course Jenna Dirval. Long live art and music!"

In any case, go and enjoy the show — nudity, demons and all.


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  2. As someone who has been active for a while in the art exhibition and performing arts communities, it shouldn't come as a surprise that creators (musical, graphical, or otherwise) are often passionate about their original works and want to have some degree of control in how it is presented.

    I would hope that people who can't agree on a mutually beneficial arrangement would simply handle their disagreement privately as professional adults. Public attempts to shame others and make personal differences of opinion into high internet drama are not the way to go.