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[Published on November 12, 2014]

On the southern edge of Capitol Park, two huge geometric halves triggered nostalgia for an egg hunt with their exposed interiors greeting newcomers near the entrance of Passenger. Other sculptures stood prominently across the cement and white wall landscape while paintings, photographs and drawings created a charming atmosphere for a one-night presentation between the gallery and Detroit Creative Corridor Center, among other prominent proponents of Detroit’s scene of innovation.

Brian Barr curated Abstracticus, which opened in mid-October but Contemporary Abstraction offered a one-night multitude of visual and performance stimuli. Near the area designated for libations was a large amount of traffic where viewers gazed at two portraits by Tylonn J. Sawyer. His shadows, lighting and immeasurable detail made the subject’s face seem oily enough for a blotting sheet. Ceramics by Laith Karmo yielded a similar effect with his capacity to catapult fine sculpting into the public sphere.

Noah Stephens extended an opportunity to gaze into a fondness for exteriors and the night sky with his photographic lens. As Noah’s work emitted a brilliance often seen in motion pictures, he responded with much enthusiasm for the accidental creation of nightscapes resembling paintings and shots from a movie-making process.

While the evening encapsulated respective communications of form, aesthetics and contexts, the process of following each artist’s perception of reality proved tedious without a corresponding list outlining who created each piece on display. To the gallery's credit, there was a compilation of brief artist biographies but perhaps next time Passenger will be able to offer spectators an easier transition between interrogation and evaluation.

[Published on October 30, 2014]

As a gangrenous yet gorgeous Beetlejuice walked the opposite direction of Gallery 17, Jay Oscar Lee indulged an inclination for nicotine. The scene was a befitting first impression for Bad Habits, an experience at the gallery for which original pieces were crafted by Lee and Brian Lacey.

Both artists accomplished cycles at Red Bull House of Art and study at CCS but possess distinct journeys of honing talents. Lee chose from three dimensions to contribute to the highly celebrated 2013 Actual Size Biennial at Whitdel Arts and detroit contemporary. Lacey completed murals in Brooklyn and Detroit, contributed Lobby to Imago Mundi’s Biennale of 2013 and whipped up new advertising with four artists for Sierra Mist.

The collaborative energy transferred swimmingly to the collection for Bad Habits. Congregative moments took place in curious spaces while spectators moved from the independently and jointly painted statements. Subsidize by Lee and I Ran Contra by Lee and Lacey held several people’s attentions in the southeastern corner of the gallery. Sorbet, Denial and Denial pt. II heightened senses near the entrance but sparked the resemblance of a group tendency to plant itself within reach of libations.

With or without a beverage, steady traffic bore witness to visual stimulation by the dynamic duo and audio satisfaction from Justin Ngelhart. As the opening carried on, so too did a fashion show, traditional African drum experience as well as loads of makeup, muscle and masquerading in customary Russell fashion.

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