Talking about art is hard. It has a huge vocabulary, it’s technical, and if you say the wrong thing there’s always some snarky expert ready to pounce. So here’s a tip: if you find yourself at an art thing talking about painting and you want to sound extra fancy, don’t talk about the medium (what it’s made of), talk about the “support.” The “support” refers to the material on which the paint is applied.

For example, Miss Dingo, whose latest solo show opened recently at Revision Space, has painted on meat cleavers, exploiting the blades’ rectangular, polished surfaces. A few of the meat cleavers are view, along with paintings, prints, and even the blocks used to make them. This is unconventional; blocks are normally retired to destroyed once their job is done. Painted in stunning gold and black and hung like paintings, these blocks take on a life of their own.

Miss Dingo A Sunday on the Monongahela Miss Dingo First Down


Otherwise the show is dominated by more traditional works: oil on wood panel. These smallish scenes are crowded with figures (wrestlers, hazmat guys, soldiers) in anonymous locations. A Sunday on the Monongahela shows a green field crowded with figures in medieval armor and regalia among a pack energetic of dogs. Are they playing? Fighting? Where is the Monongahela? Impossible to say. The activity seems both urgent and cryptic, a weird feeling familiar from dreams. In the sky, broad red stripes recall the American flag. In another wood panel painting, a deadly crush of football players and delicate whitetailed deer pile up precariously on the edge of a cliff. It’s darkly humorous. Such figures suggest topical concerns like epidemics, war, and the fraught attraction of sports entertainment but the paintings are never didactic. Like dreams, Miss Dingo’s paintings rely on each viewer to supply their own interpretation.

Miss Dingo L to R - Rock Paper Scissors - Last Place (print) - Last Place (woodblock) Miss Dingo Last Place Woodblock (detail)

Photo credit: All photos by Karen Lue.

Miss Dingo: Nice but Mean is up at Revision Space through March 22.