In Justin Vining's painting "Don't Park on the Curb," the rhythmic swirl of a cloud - half-gray, half white - sits in the center of a painting, a simplified form of a farmhouse perched on one end of the cloud, a city skyline on the other.
Vining, who went to school to become a lawyer and wound up painting instead, painted this scene over pages of legal text used as a canvas. The rural setting of this painting is also somewhat autobiographical. His family's farm, located in Northern Indiana, was auctioned off during his senior year in high school. So there's pathos mixed in with the whimsy here.
The only splashes of color in the composition are the blue door and the blue water droplets - or tears - dripping from the drooping tall buildings. The gray in the cloudscape approximates hills, and the white approximates a road. Similar motifs pop up throughout much of Vining's current work: lonely houses on windswept hills, distant cityscapes, dripping clouds substituting for landmasses.
You might see a little Grant Wood here, a little Tim Burton there in this work, but nothing really feels arbitrary or derivative. Vining is well down the road to developing a style all his own.Through June 26 at Earth House
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