Above is one of the four photographs Monica Palma Narvaez has included in the radius250 show. Her four photos are all "surveillance" shots of unsuspecting passerby taken from the safety of home - through screens and between blinds. Here's another one from the series that is not included in the show.
Narvaez moved to Richmond from Mexico about eight months ago to join her boyfriend (now husband) and this work of an immigrant keeping tabs on Americans is an interesting twist. For me they also bring to mind the paranoid psychologist Dr. Fielding from Ann Sofi-Siden's Qm, I think I call her Qm as well as a summer a few years ago when my girlfriend and I sublet a place in Philadelphia. We were visiting from Japan and I know that she spent a lot of very bored afternoons looking out the window waiting for me to come home from work.
Radius250 is a grab-bag of a show, the work is all over the place. Juror John Ravenal said that he wasn't interested in pushing any one idea but instead wanted to highlight the diversity of work being made. Monica Palma Narvaez is my favorite of the show; some others include -
Althea Murphy-Price - she has made something that looks like an Afro-hat/helmet/teapot/wig. Here's an image but you can't get the hairiness of it. This is for a lady with long curling fingernails. I know a lady named Laverne who might want to wear this to church. Is it her hat? Is it her hair? Is it a wig? Laverne won't say! Oompa-loompa! This relates (for me) to Ellen Gallagher's plasticine hair stuff.
Robert Rainey - Robert is showing what appears to be a bland suburban family portrait of parents and son sitting on the front steps. Note the screaming little girl locked inside not allowed to take part in the photograph (very hard to see on the web). It gets a little creepier if you know gay Robert is posing as the father.
Beq - this painting is awkward good. Strange. Nice size and scale. Can't figure out if I like it or not or why. The calligraphy is distracting.
The show has gotten some press in both Style Weekly and the Richmond Times Dispatch but without making much mention of specific works. Does anybody have a favorite or least favorite they'd like to mention in the comments?