Art professor's paintings featured in OKC through June 7 David Crismon will hold a gallery talk May 23 from 6-8 p.m.

May 18, 2018

The following story by John Bradenburg appeared in The Oklahoman on May 18. 

The paintings of David Crismon have a spliced and diced feel that can be jarring — and nearly as elegant as the originals they're based on.

Crismon's large oil and acrylic “Dislocated Histories” paintings on metal are on view through June 7 at Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE 3.

His “Misrepresentation of Electress Sophia of Hanover” is a case in point, with the round pearls in her necklace inspiring big pink polka dot decorative elements.

Making the point even better is Sophia's extra eye, lined up with the other two, and staring at us, from one of the work's long skinny pink rectangular inserts.

Two other female subjects are depicted in his “Spheres” and “Lady 1575.”

Two large round inserts seem to magnify the ornate hairdo of the woman in “Spheres,” while other round pink-lavender shapes seem to refract and divide lips, nose and eyes.

Both faces in his “Lady 1575” appear to look back at us thoughtfully, over her high lace collar, even as angular-rectangular shapes divide up her richly patterned dress.

Looking back at us much more severely over the gold braided shoulder on his brass-buttoned uniform is “Nikolas One,” part of whose mustache and eye are cut off or edited out.

Crismon takes on the still life in two more works, turning a red-and-white-striped tulip and other blossoms into “Punch Card Tulips” and lemons into “Lemon Strata.”

Subtle rectangular divisions in the sky mirror reflections of the “Grand Canal Facing Santa Croce” in a final working digital image and painting-in-progress by Crismon.

A longtime professor at Oklahoma Christian University, Crismon said the “purposely distorted” works in his series “show history being transformed into a kind of abstract data.”

“Systems, digital imagery, scans, photocopies and data glitches are a small part of larger strata of visual surveillance about ourselves and the world around us,” Crismon added.

“In the 21st century we are shaped by information. ... Technology renders history as something endlessly under construction,” the nationally and internationally shown artist said.

His solo show is highly recommended in the rest of its run, with a gallery talk by Crismon scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 23.