If you have occasion in the next two months to wander by Public Pool art gallery in Hamtramck, chances are good you will see collage artist George Rahme hard at work in the pop-up studio space he has established there, which opened this Saturday, September 15th.
Rahme’s work is generally large in scale and insanely detailed, with two walls of the gallery dominated by massive pieces comprised of meticulously layered found materials. The method behind the application of these materials is deceptively simple at first, but the longer one observes a piece, the more details emerge, and the less sense it seems to make. Lines intersect and overlap in defiance of perspective, disrupting any coherent rules about foreground and background objects. Lines that appear to hover above the surface of the canvas are abruptly dropped behind an entirely separate plane. Incidentally, all of Rahme’s large works are rendered on huge pieces of canvas, reinforcing his position that collage falls squarely within fine art as a discipline. The detail and concentration he applies to the medium certainly make a strong case for its inclusion in the realm of fine art.
Aside from the three large works, there is a wall of smaller pieces and source materials, fenced off from close inspection by the opening night DJ set-up, but likely easier to observe up close if you stop by during studio hours. There are also a series of album covers made by Rahme, on sale to benefit Public Pool, with shapes emerging from a field of thick eggshell blue paint that obscures most of the cover area. Taken together, they form a visually striking point of interest above the doorway, and individually they range from poignant, to playful, to hilarious.
Best of all, by working directly in the gallery, Rahme offers interested patrons and practitioners of the arts an opportunity to step inside his process. You can learn more about him here, and are invited to come and observe his work over the next two months, with open studio hours typically taking place daily after 11 a.m.
Public Pool Art Space: 3309 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-405-7665; apublicpool.com