Fosdick-Nelson Gallery – ‘Soft Core’

The Fosdick-Nelson Gallery at Alfred University featured the works of many artists, including Erin Riley and Mark Newport. Erin’s compositions the gallery consisted of a series of cotton tapestries which depict the scene of a car wreck, and it’s impact on the people involved. By naming one such tapestry, ‘Topless’, the artist deals with both the literal interpretation of a vehicle missing it’s roof, as well as the nature of macabre human curiosity. In the event of a wreckage, passersby find themselves compelled to investigate the bloody horrors of what has happened. There is a level of sensation that occurs here, which contrasts with the grim colors and composition of the tapestry. The choice of medium is interesting too, as the comforting and homemade look to the tapestry allows the viewer to form a personal connection with the event.


Another artist, Mark Newport, knits oversized costumes, most often of superheroes such as Batman or Mr. Fantastic, but one of his works, Every-Any-No Man, is notably not of any specific character. He is a collection of miscellaneous bands of non-matching colors, and seemingly he is attempting to represent a large variety of things, but in the end the man is nothing. He stands as a commentary on the ideal concept of a superhero. The stretched and skinny build of the costume conflicts with the perception of a muscular, idealistic body. Every-Any-No Man tries very hard to become emblematic of many things, but meaning does not exist within the costume, rather the actions that are made. ‘No Man’ is just a costume, and cannot take action. As such he is without meaning.


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