Loading your recommendations…

PAPERWORK: New Works by Michael Rank, Ron Liberti, and Kevin Dixon

Kevin Dixon, Michael Rank, and Ron Liberti are all longtime musicians from Orange County who are also visual artists. Michael Rank has spent the lion’s share of his life performing and recording as a singer-songwriter. With over twenty albums released of original compositions and a noted history of sharing the stage as an opening act for the likes of Iggy Pop, The Ramones, and Soundgarden to name just a few. More recently he immersed himself into an exploration of movement and choreography and was selected as one of the featured choreographers in the 2020/2021 season of Tobacco Road Dance Productions for his solo work “Vessels.” “The Orchard Knives” was selected and made its premiere at the 2020 Greensboro Fringe Festival, and additionally he was one of the choreographers chosen to create a ‘micro-dance’ work for the 2020/2021 NC Dance Festival Season and his solo “Hymnal” was the result of that invitation.

PS118’s exhibit “Paperwork” now marks the debut gallery showing of his graphic work.

“With this collection I strived to create a body of work that at its essence felt both primitive and sacred. As if excavated cave drawings rendered by screen print, xerox, hand stamping, and Letraset. Shards, mappings and measurements towards a coded mythology."

Kevin has performed with Mike and Ron in several different bands, but only Kevin and Ron have accidentally used the same toothbrush. (Kevin's fault) So it is fitting that Kevin and Ron's collaborative visual art should be a fantastic collision of styles and germs.

Kevin, with more germs in his background, enjoys painting abstract expressionist splatter fests. As a cartoonist, he cannot resist nudging his abstractions toward the realm of Dr. Seuss at his most surreal. Multiple levels of inside out creatures and impressionistic graffiti landscapes emerge from the swirl.

For every printed design Ron creates, there are test prints made, so the final product measures up to Ron's rigid quality standards. These preliminary prints stack up on top of each other and veer into Dada territory. Blocks of bold text lose their meaning as they are repeated, flipped every which way, and absorbed into other layers. Color separations blur into random shapes and forms, suggesting completely different images than they were intended to.

If you imagine infinite layers of Ron's rugged, hard edged yet still so sharp and crisp you can read it on a telephone pole from a passing car screen printed poster esthetic, squished together with Kevin's splashy exploding cartoon character sensibilities, thrown in a blender, passed back and forth a few times, rendered meaningless through graphic obfuscation, then having meaning revived by scavenging through the gibberish to discover all the new meanings evolving there among the ruins, this is what you get.

As a cartoonist, Kevin is best known for his full length graphic novel rendition of The Epic of Gilgamesh, done in collaboration with his father.

You may also have seen castings of his sculptures and chess pieces, done in collaboration with his brother Laird, peeking out from corners of several bars and restaurants in and around Carrboro.

Friday and Saturday 12-8 until Dec 8; expanded holiday hours:
Weds/Thurs: 3–7pm, Dec.; 8/9, 15/16, 22/23, Sundays: Noon–4pm, Dec. 5,
12, 19