NOB HILL--If you have ever seen Tim Prythero's work you will remember it. It captures your attention. It draws you inside its Lilliputian world and makes your eyes open with wonder. Finally, after all the questions of "how did he do that?" and all the amazement at the incredible detail of each diorama...finally you ask, "Why?"
Not why did he spend so much time painstakingly recreating the mess in his neighbor's yard, but why is every detail important here. Is the artist telling a story? Is there something being said about life itself? How is this different from other miniaturizations of our existence...like model railroads?
Eventually I think I came to feel that all these objects were opaque. That is, they are what they are...period. And like a lot of things in life, you can look at that old trailer, call it an eyesore, and call county zoning...or you can say, "Yes, all that is true. It is an eyesore. But interesting nonetheless. It has the organic beauty of a caught moment: a guess at history, a hint of the future, but ultimately a nod to the present."
Well...probably you wouldn't ever say THAT, but you could. His pieces are artifacts that certainly remind one of the constant pressure of time. As Whitehead once said (somewhere), "Time is in fact a son of a bitch!" It is impossible to view these pieces without thinking about the past and present. As for the future...these items look as if the future is now.
I first saw one of his trailers in the wonderful Roswell Museum and Art Center. I saw another of his trailers in the Albuquerque Museum. That is how I was introduced to his work. Once you have seen one close up, you never forget it.
Prythero lives up in the north valley on 4th St., but shows mostly in New York City, so getting to see an exhibit like this is pretty special.
Exhibit/208 (208 Dartmouth SE) is showing several of Prythero's pieces in an exhibit entitled, "Used Cars." Go. You will not forget what his scuptures look like. The difficult thing about going is the gallery hours: 10 - 4 Saturdays or by appointment. The exhibit lasts until April 29th.