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Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Avenues Meet Balls

Art Review

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Stanley Ryan Jones has mounted three shows in hip Bay View, and what's hipper than exhibiting at Café Lulu, Bar Lulu, and to the north (starting Sept.1) at Hi-Fi Café.

Since 1975 he's dodged the art scene radar, but folks notice talent, for example, the Milwaukee Art Museum accepted 83 of his prints for their permanent collection. He says it was always his dream to have his work at MAM, but success hasn't spoiled him. His Wily Coyote/Lone Wolf world doesn't include a cell-phone, a car, or Facebook, however, he is listed in our local phone book.

His method of flipping the bird at oil on linen works pretentiously framed, is very blue-collar. He uses caulk. Odd paint. One of them (it glows in the dark) will be exhibited in the ladies' restroom at Lulu. This is Stanley's style since he decided to become a “recovering photographer,” but hey, his black and white photographs will be at Café Lulu until he decides they shouldn't be. Don't expect wimpy-ness. Did I mention that once-upon-a-time he was a bona-fide “smoke jumper,” or that he has been photographed by the likes of Frank Ford, and Shimon and Lindemann.

So OK, he uses junk materials and found objects to fashion some of his stuff, but so what? Does that make him a great artist? No, it's the years of experimentation, re-invention and determination, that make Stanley tick, plus he understands what makes art tick. The word I'm seeking here is “balls.” Bodacious. Beautiful. Begin where three avenues, (Kinnickinnic, Lincoln, and Howell) meet. Now until who knows when….