LONG STORY SHORT, Trestle Gallery, Curated By Karin Bravin
Todd Vienvenu, Nicholas Borelli, Katherine Bradford, Hilary Doyle, Kenny Rivero, Halley Zien

Ben Sutton, Hyperallergic

The paintings in this exhibition are on the brink of quenching our thirst for a tale. They suggest, prompt, and hint, ultimately leaving the viewer to unfold the narrative. Whether painting a setting, small detail, or fuller scenario, these six artists wake up the storyteller in all of us. Todd Bienvenu’s work focuses on the dark and hilarious side of Americana tempered with a deep understanding of art history and pop culture. He paints babes, boozers, buckets of blood, brawlers, and more. Katherine Bradford’s ambiguously narrative paintings hint at epic tales. Her extraordinary subjects have included ocean liners, superheroes, the sea, and most recently, outer space. Nicholas Borelli’s work draws from nature, biology, horror movies and science fiction. The figures he depicts struggle with the universal forces of entropy, loneliness, and anxiety. Fascinated by oftenunnoticed spaces, Hilary Doyle guides our eye to the evidence of others’ lives. Each detail is a clue to an imagined narrative: a paper cup from a lunch break, a teenager’s wad of gum, graffiti ghosts left by mysterious midnight cleaning crews. Through playful replication of surface texture, she draws us closer to the extraordinary aspects the banal. Kenny Rivero’s vignettes possess complex identities and specific historical auras. Rivero excavates, but he also builds. Most often there is a specific narrative within each work, a story layered with affiliations, loyalties, psycho-social histories, and personal as well as shared iconography. Made from collage and paint, Halley Zien’s densely populated surfaces suggest claustrophobic interior spaces packed with feverishly active, expressive figures. Her paintings, packed with manic characters, drag you into a world of psychodrama and tension.