[Originally published in The Dallas Morning News]
Kirk Hopper Fine Art is featuring a show by Roger Winter, “Collages: 1968-2012, Portraits: 2013.” It’s a mash-up of works that include painting, collage and — the greatest of these — photomontage. While the other works are interesting, the latter will seize your attention more fully with their complex strategy of odd juxtapositions and dreamlike sensibility.
Bulldog is one example. A white dog is charging the viewer from the foreground, ostensibly chasing a ball through a grassy sward. In the upper-left corner, a crouched figure appears to be eerily frozen in time, perpetually waiting for a pet that may opt to “fetch” and acquiesce to his master’s bidding. A tree and frame house are sepia-toned and suggest that the world of domesticity is both part of the black-and-white action as well as oddly separate from it. The tree floats above the ground and contributes even more to the dreamlike quality. It’s discomfiting — and perhaps that is the point.
Meanwhile, A Child’s Story delivers images that smack of haunted-house tales. In the left foreground, a scruffy hedge and makeshift bench loom toward the viewer and a broken picket fence drifts off into nowhere. It dissolves into a psychic blandness that intimates that the whole world is out of kilter and canted toward strangeness. Even smoke rising from a chimney has none of the usual cheeriness associated with homey connotations of fireplaces and crackling warmth. However, the real capper is a little girl in period dress, oddly posed and made to look as if she’s leaning on a surface to which we are not privy. A lopped-off tree adds still more dark import to the scene and, when examined closely, it threatens psychological eeriness with such tenacity that we long to look away.
The show is hardly an uplifting lyric idyll — but it is definitely worth a look.
Copyright, Patricia Mora 2012