How does an artist stand out from the crowd? By developing a very special skill set, for one. The pair of exceptional shows now at Howard House showcase two such artists: Sean Johnson, who constructs balancing acts with old furniture, and Mark Takamichi Miller, a master of layered, sculpted, and textured paint. Here to discuss these two exhibitions is KUOW art critic, Gary Faigin.
There’s a gee-whiz factor to the gravity-defying sculptures of Sean Johnson, and that’s both an advantage and a disadvantage. The upside, of course, is that they immediately grab our attention and engage our emotions. Johnson’s balancing acts are so precarious looking that we hardly need the “Do Not Touch” signs the gallery has thoughtfully provided to keep us at a safe distance – we half expect them to collapse at any moment, and perhaps they will; I’m told the artist checks in on a nearly daily basis.