TONY JAMES – New Paintings at Ironton Gallery, Denver / by Monique Crine

Please join me for a beer and  celebrate the opening reception for TONY JAMES at Ironton Studios. This show is a culmination of paintings completed this past year of the wonderful Tony James, an infantryman with the US Army based out of Fort Carson, specializing as a combat engineer in route clearance. There will be a lot to drink and some awesome tunes, so please stop by!

About the show:

Anyone familiar with American Westerns will find the depictions in Monique Crine’s “Tony James” oddly familiar. Crine make use of certain tropes within the North American popular imagination, particularly those images of the West we have received through films such as John Ford’s The Searchers, or Martin Ritt’s 1963 film, Hud. In the paintings Crine produced for this series we see Tony, a young soldier who has just returned from Iraq, spending his time in fleeting pleasures – a beer in hand, smoking a cigarette, the passing light of an afternoon sun. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself. He looks nervous, sour, and sad. Given our current economic crisis and the American wars abroad, these moments of leisurely consumption can be read as reminders that the forms of freedom this Marlboro Man once represented now contain as much substance and promise as the glare of sunlight on a camera lens, or a passing cloud of exhaled smoke.