Glitter is king

All that glitters… is a new exhibit going up today at [email protected] gallery from local artist Blakely Dadson. The only way to describe Dadson’s work is awesome. Sure, his stuff may not be as blatantly brilliant as those other brainy types but it is at the very least fun and energetic.

All that glitters… is a new exhibit going up today at [email protected] gallery from local artist Blakely Dadson. The only way to describe Dadson’s work is awesome. Sure, his stuff may not be as blatantly brilliant as those other brainy types but it is at the very least fun and energetic.

Dadson is from San Jose, Calif. and was educated at the California College of the Arts, receiving his Master of Fine Arts later on at Texas Christian University. With only two other solo shows to date, Dadson is still up and coming in the art world. His work is sort of all over the place, dealing with subjects as diverse as reggae singers and a giant octopus dragging a guitar playing man into a fireplace, which he’s named Cosmic Nostalgia, The deliverance of Saint Paul.

This last piece reportedly took Dadson some six months to complete while living in a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y. Six months per piece is a turnaround time that would make actually working as an artist near impossible.

As a result, Dadson thought of other means of getting his art out there—T-shirts. His small T-shirt company called Land Of Immigrants makes a limited selection of prints that are intended to speak of the fusing of cultures in an eco-friendly manner by printing on fair-trade organic cotton.  

Dadson’s given himself the moniker Lord Blakely after “a coworker and fellow brother in the proletariat struggle bequeathed unto me the title of Lord,” he said. This title plays a part in describing Dadson’s work, with him writing “it reflects my propensity for appropriation and the amalgamation of discordant imagery and themes. Understanding this paradox will be quite instructive as we commence in scrutinizing the works of yours truly.”

His first solo show in Portland is all about the value of objects. What things do we value and why? It seems simple that one would say things like their bed, computer or a book but increasingly, market value tells us something different. Take bling for example—you know, that ridiculously gaudy jewelry that has somehow crept its way into the upper echelons of pop culture. Since bling has become one of the more valuable objects a consumer can purchase, Dadson now asks why.

The answer is personal for each of us, because it is based exclusively on what we individually value. The exhibit is not out to titillate your intellectual senses, but maybe get you to think about the objects in your life you’ve collected and ponder their relevance in your daily life.

In one piece, the head of Jesus is constructed entirely out of painted jewels dangling from a chain in front of a techno-colored background. The spectacular radiance of the scene is just enough to disguise the glittering tears that roll down the Jesus face as he glances at this crown of diamonds above.