MacArthur b Arthur, “We All Float Down Here”

by admin on January 17, 2012

Cleverly opening on Friday the 13th, MacArthur b Arthur‘s “We All Float Down Here” is a collaborative venture between artists Alison OK Frost and Elwyn Palmerton that explore the themes and ideas of evil proposed by the 1990 television mini-series, “IT.”

Briefly contextualizing the show, MacArthur b Arthur writes the title phrase, “We all Float Down Here” is derived from the evil clown Pennywise in the 1990 television mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s novel “IT” who beckons to a young child from beneath a sewer grate: “Come down here, join us. Come to the dark side. We all float down here.”  The clown itself is ultimately revealed to be merely one face of a greater, pervasive evil in the town. Writes MacArthur b Arthur: “Everyone is somehow complicit with this dark force… the evil resides inside all of us.”

Alison OK Frost and Elwyn Palmerton venture together into the themes of the horror film, that inherent evil inside humankind, and explore the visuality it has been given throughout history, film, literature, and art. The artists also explore the manner in which it was defeated. In “IT,” it was the power of friendship, joined in common cause that defeated the evil. In parallel to this idea, Frost and Palmerton collaborated together to investigate the evil and dark forces by appropriating current events, art historical references and dark moments in American history as talismans to paradoxically defeat the diabolic forces. Material chosen by Frost or Palmerton was presented to the other to follow it into the darkness to see where it lead.

The result is a set of powerful works that complement each other’s styles and approach. Frost’s evocative subtle watercolors of such subject matter like a portrait of psychopath Charles Manson and the atrocities of mass lynchings and daily scenes of war counterbalances Palmerton’s graphite drawings, many with hard dense lines and color,expressive strokes, improvisational pictorial arrangements of difficult subject matter. This unique approach by each of the artists is exemplified by their bewildering portraits of the clown, Pennywise.

See “We All Float Down Here” at Macarthur b Arthur until January 29, 2012 on Sundays 1-5 or by appointment