Exhibit: Wrinkles: Stephanie Rond and Dan Gerdeman

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

About four years ago, artists Stephanie Rond and Dan Gerdeman met at the CNote Art Show at Junctionview Studios, where she was volunteering and he had a workspace. They've been friends ever since, and they've appeared together in several group shows.

This month brings the first show for just the two of them, "Wrinkles," at Ray's Living Room. The artists are in other member groups together, but as Rond explained, curators "usually choose one of us."

"The really masculine work," Gerdeman said in a he-man voice.

"Or the really feminine work," said Rond, going for a Minnie Mouse pitch.

Gender imprinting notwithstanding, there's a clear bond between their bodies of work. Both artists deal in imagery balanced between light and dark, leaving the viewer to imprint a personal slant.

Gerdeman combines references to all manners of culture with his own cartoonish creatures: bald, big-toothed and rendered in thick strokes, sometimes wearing a spacey grin.

In one canvas, Abraham Lincoln flies over Van Gogh swirls in a Peter Pan pose, pulling two small creatures by the hand. In another, "This Is Not a Coincidence," figures at the top and bottom of the frame mirror each other. Each projects a different emotion in its facial expression, and the work can be hung one of two ways to project which of them best fits the artwork's owner.

Rond mixes the male-dominated medium of spray art with animal images and the frilly symbols of traditional femininity, such as richly layered backgrounds of lace stenciling. "Up in the Sky," which uses a collage of world maps as its foundation, presents silhouettes of birds and children. The scene can read as either a rescue or an attack.

"I think we're both sweeties with knives behind our back," Gerdeman said of their shared approach.

Rond added, "It's about realizing there's good and bad in humanity, but being witty about the bad part."


Through April 11

Ray's Living Room

17 Brickel St., Short North