Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Paul Compton's Tender Things at Hand Held Gallery

Listening to: Bones, by The Killers, from Sam's Town

This afternoon I visited the relatively new (less than a year old) Hand Held Gallery in the city. It's an unexpected, small but well utilised space that's thoughtfully presented. The focus is on art that is small enough to hold in your hand. The staff are very friendly. There is a shop section of art for sale, a little bit like a mini version of what Craft Victoria does in a fraction of the space.

The current exhibition of Melbourne artist and writer, Paul Compton's book format zines and water colours was a delight to behold. Take the time to pop on the white cotton gloves and enjoy every page of his zines/'mooks' Fallacies on Parade and Everyday Tragedies. Compton's sense of humour is deliciously black. His artistic technique is perfectly matched to his prose.

Everyday Tragedies
reminded me a little bit of Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy through its small format, fine pen and brush work, look at morbity and social acceptance, and dark humour. This is not to say it's derivative at all. Rather, that if you enjoyed that you should enjoy this! Compton's prose is elegant and his art has a muted colour scheme, while Burton's poetry is more singsong with a loose drawing style, occasionally highlighted by acid bright colours.

Highly recommended. Seek this gallery out, it's worth it.

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