"Newton's Third" is F+ Gallery's Balancing Act

Categories: Art Review

Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly
Autumn Buck, 6ft. Above

Last weekend, F+ Gallery opened its newest art exhibition, "Newton's Third," an art show with the running theme of Sir Isaac Newton's third law of motion (you know, the one that says that if an object exerts force on another object, that second object will exert an equal and opposite reaction to that force blah blah blah). Without getting two heavy into science or physics, the show instead explored a cosmic interpretation of Newton's third law--balance, duality, and the connectivity between good and evil.

Curated by artist Jennie Cotterill, over thirty artists exhibited work, from illustration to sculpture to painting to multimedia. Here are some highlights of the show, which should really be observed in person while the show lasts, until October 26th.

Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly

Susanne Melanie Berry
Newton's Third

Poor Barbie! The choice to use instant film creates a snapshot quality to this piece, or perhaps adds another element of nostalgia. Childhood, benign and endearing, is under attack- but deeper still, two forms of femininity are pushing against each other; the imposed standards of beauty and body perfection characterized by a nude Barbie doll versus the grown, unwilling participant of these societal beauty standards, characterized by the black nail polish on the person's fingernails as she destroys Barbie's wholeness and perfection. It's a tale told time and time again, but Berry's piece brilliantly summarizes this tension under the gaze of photography in only three frames.

Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly

Mclean Fahnestock

Memory persists in the projected image of the sea, shown on a circular piece of glass held down by a single wire. Fahnestock's piece calls to attention the memories of things lost, and the vastness of time. With every slow rotation, the fragile circle of glass is threatened by the constant pull of two opposing forces- the wire and gravity. Yet, as the title of the work suggests, the feeling of lovesickness and heartache can best be summed up physically by the force of weight and heaviness inside the inner pit of your stomach. Ah, what fools we mortals be!

Aimee Murillo / OC Weekly

Fred Rose
During the week he made coffins and buried the dead. On weekends he planted trees. He used the same shovel.

I'm almost certain the title doesn't stem from a previous text, yet it still allows the viewer to piece together a narrative. Rose beautifully crafted and assembled together various types of trees such as Indian laurel fig, Irish bog oak, flake board, and creeping fig. The total formation symbolizes the circular process of life and death, which is as natural and longstanding as a tree. As your eye roves around each tiny object, you're reminded of those four seasonal eras of life- birth, youth, old age, death- while at the center of it all a person whose professions keep him grounded in the duality of life and death with a quiet dignity.

Autumn Buck (above)
6ft. Above

Buck's piece sits next to Fred Rose's piece above, and personally, I wouldn't have placed two similar artworks right next to each other, as they would really echo the same messages. There are a lot of pieces dealing with the binary of life and death, and this one screams it loud and clear. Still, on its own, Buck's piece seems like its questioning both concepts through its large, blaring letters. There is a difference between being alive and living- nature, symbolized by the live succubi embedded in the piece, performs its functions involuntarily and without question; its possible and common for human beings to do the same, performing necessary functions to survive without enjoying the fruits of labor. It's the worst kind of entrapment, next to that of a coffin.

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