Author: John Connelly and Tony Just --- Date: 02/29/96 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Ricci Albenda

80 Green Street, NYC
Thru March 9th

An installation of black and white paintings, all of the same word -"people". Albenda uses the empirical criteria of his own sight to almost indistinguishably vary the paintings according to the distance they are painted and the discrepancies between his left and right eyes. Albenda seems to be questioning the essence of visual language and the dichotomy between objectivity and subjectivity . The effect is to turn painting inside out and to cause a forced subjective reverie on the many facets of the word as a reaction to their controlled construction. See below...

When I see the word people I hear gossip, shouting, conversations, and whispers. I see crowds, audiences, riots and fans.

Sometimes when I glance across a crowded room I fall in love, surrounded by noise, I'll stare until I become bored. Unwilling to break the ice, I leave exausted by all the people.

While starring at Ricci Albenda's "people" I see afterimages floating and slowly rising away from and around the canvas, and then back again. I begin to see curved bottoms to p's, slanted o's and tilted e's. All arranged around a perfect "people".

When I'm talking to myself I often repeat "People are stupid." As I get older my blanket generalizations, prejudices and dislikes often take on sound and slip out of my mouth. The representation of the word people with Ricci's optical perceptions induces both a paranoia and a euphoria experienced in the midst of a crowded room. More so than pictures, these works solicit my eyes subjectivity and they sharpen my sight.

-John Connelly and Tony Just

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