I will admit a fascination with scribbles, drips, stains and cracks, so Roland Santana’s The Gum Beneath Your Shoe appeals on many fronts. On view by appointment at Baby Blue Gallery in Chicago, the installation is of paintings, bas reliefs and sculptures that isolate and aestheticize in deliciously pop colors what might otherwise be considered trash. I’m sad not to be seeing it in person, to get up close and personal with “Puma Punku” and its chunky blob of polystyrene painted hot shades of lemon, mint, chocolate and olive, nor the two elements of “Peel,” long strips of rose, white, cream and black wedged cozily into a corner. “Stay Up Forever 106,” an enormous canvas propped up on cinder blocks, scatalogically filled with dabs and doodles in all colors and textures, could conceivably have been Santana’s artist palette as he worked on the ten pieces in this show. Or it might be a blown-up version of one of those little scratch pads art stores have for trying out markers. It’s a knockout either way.
—Lori Waxman 2020-11-04 3:15 PM