Saturday, April 28, 2007

Coffee Shop Tourism Part Deux

While you were out stalking Roosevelt High School's most fabulous Broadway star, I was continuing my coffee shop explorations here in Seattle. This time it was Joe Bar on Capitol Hill, just across from the Harvard Exit.

I love the Harvard Exit. Every time I look at that old brick building with it's green trim and the little ticket window on the side, I get a craving for real buttered popcorn and Market Spice tea. Do they still serve that in the lobby? I confess I haven't been there since Brokeback Mountain and I wasn't paying attention to tea at the time.

I'm not sure Joe Bar is the name I would have chosen for the cafe that sits across the street. It's sort-of a french little place, with a selection of crepes on the menu and bottles of Lillet and other beverages you might find in Paris tucked away on a low shelf. If it isn't the official coffee shop for Cornish College of the Arts, it sure seems to be, and there are lots of cute girls there who look like they would be played by Charlotte Gainsbourg in the movie version of their lives.

I was lured in by the fact that one of my favorite Seattle painters, Chris Crites, is now curating the little shows that get hung there.

Let me just confess that when I walked in the door I wasn't all that excited by the show. It looked a little naive and cartoony on first glance, and I was afraid of the collage element because that is such an easy thing for people to do badly. There was a short line for coffee, and I'm glad there was because it gave me a chance to stand with the pieces for a few minutes, just looking at them, and I quickly fell in love. The drawn elements of the pieces have a confidence to them that overcame that first impression, and the composition and colors of each piece gave them a satisfying balance, while the collage felt obsessively done, in that "I am possessed by my art" kind of way that I love. The best part was that each piece had a certain something that incorporated both a humor and vulnerability that I think is apparent in the piece above on the postcard for the show.

Okay, I'm no art critic, and I'm sure there are terms I've used here that would have some other meaning which I don't even begin to understand when used in the whole art critic world, but since that's not where this blog lives, and those of you who read this are not art critics, I hope what I've said gives you a little peek into what I liked about the show, and why, next time you're over here, you'll get a chance to see the piece called "Biter" for yourself.

No comments: