The L&TM5K has always prided itself on its depth of coverage of the art scene among people that Michael5000 knows personally, but we have to admit that hitherto there has been a strong parochial City-of-Roses bias to our arts reporting. There's no need for this! Michael5000 knows many people who do not live in the City of Roses.
Painter Ann Piper, for instance, lives in central Pennsylvania, where she professes art at Susquehanna University and has, apparently, been enjoying some success in the garden.
Ann works in a variety of media, but I still think of large-scale oil canvases as central to her ouvre. These are often life size -- I have a painting somewhere of the artist, who is not a towering figure, standing with obvious habitual ease on gallon paint cans to as to be able to reach the top of her canvas.
The "typical" Ann Piper painting features Ann Piper herself in a vaguely disturbing situation or scenario.
And although it would be hard to tie her too too closely to le surréalisme, her canvases often have more than a touch of the surreal or absurd about them.
Sometimes it may take a moment or two to sink in, as was the case for me in this painting, a favorite:
The girl knows her art history, of course, and ain't afraid to use it. (I owe my initial interest and education in art history and theory to Professor Piper. Thanks Ann!)
She is never afraid to disturb and unsettle people, especially those of us who know and love her...
This is one of my (and her, too, if I remember right) favorites:
Interested in more art by Ann Piper? Well, obviously there's a website, but before you surf over there at work or during mass or whatever, I should mention that I've left out a very common trope of the Ann Piper ouvre, which is nakedness. Often vaguely disturbing nakedness! So, check it out yourself before you, I don't know, suggest to your priest that he needs some Ann Piper hanging in the vestry. Also, if you are Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, you are only allowed to check out Ann's paintings for purposes of artistic appreciation.