You may not leave the 2020 Louisiana Contemporary exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art clicking your heels and whistling a happy tune. That’s for sure.
Many of the Bayou State artists whose work is included used the exhibit to express angst over society’s woes, from gun violence to racism to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pain I gleaned from these works is palpable,” wrote guest juror Rene Morales, chief curator of the Perez Art Museum in Miami.
The annual Louisiana Contemporary is a very democratic show. All resident artists were welcome to submit works, which were then winnowed down from 363 applicants to 55 acceptees by Morales.
There’s a world more to mention in the 2020 Louisiana Contemporary: Karen Ocker’s miniportrait of Fats Domino painted on an antique Philco radio; Luis Cruz Azaceta’s painting "Crisis III" that manages to be simultaneously jaunty and jagged; Monica Zeringue's psychological portrait "Steady, Now" in which a women's six hands search frantically for stability; and Nic Brierre Aziz’s sardonic video “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy (White Barbies)," and on and on. But there’s just too much art to discuss in detail.