Thursday, December 19th was the Third Thursday of the month, and I dropped in on Start Gallery for a chat with curator/owner Jason Reed about “TRUX,” a show that features a solo gallery that represents Reed’s debut collection. The work was very cohesive, created over a mere couple of weeks following a burst of inspiration triggered by Reed’s last-minute inclusion in one of the live painting events he regularly organizes. These events, which fall generally under the organization Motor City Art Machine (MCAM), take place all over the Detroit Metro area, including Ann Arbor, Birmingham, and of course within Detroit proper. This weekend will featured two MCAM throwdowns, “Dance Meditation Therapy” at the West Bloomfield Yoga Shelter, and Cirque Du Womp at the Majestic, both tonight, Friday, December 20th, as well as a live painting jam at St. Andrews on Saturday, December 21st.
Reed’s initial body of work draws upon his familiarity with woodworking, which he attributes to his UP roots. “Everyone in the UP does something with wood,” he says, “That’s all there is to do up there.” The collection works around a tightly centered palette, which Reed describes as key to the work, particularly the element of neon orange, which was a spontaneous choice on Reed’s part that made the initial piece really come to life. The result serves to magnify the different textures of the wood that acts as canvas, bringing it to the forefront in some cases, completely obscuring it in others.
In some ways, the collection met Reed’s expectations. “I always imagined my work would involved red, black, and white, and angular shapes, so there you go,” he said. In other ways, the work held surprises. “I felt like when I was going to do my first show, it would have to be planned forever. Like, two years of planning.” As Reed is beginning to experience both the vulnerability of putting work out there, he also acknowledges the killer rush of being part of the making, not just the facilitating.
“TRUX” opened on November 30th and will close tomorrow, December 21st.
Start Gallery: 206 E. Grand River, Detroit; 313-909-2845; https://www.facebook.com/startgallery
Motor City Art Machine: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Motor-City-Art-Machine/398343013593076