Paul Butler

Paul Butler so simple, using tape to cover words in found ads, block out certain aspects of perfect landscapes, and make slick general collages. Even the title of his show is ironic, My Mad Skillz, how much skill does it take to clip an ad and tape it up, its kindergarten project. But its also culture jamming, being aware of spaces imposed and using tools to co opt them, not with ugly sloganeering, but with something common, banal, overlooked and gorgeous.

The variations are what amazes. Taupe on Orange, Silver and Blue on Sunset Orange, Black on Black, Grey on Black, white on sea-foam. Tape in patterns like fall camouflage, winter groundcover and victorian cover. Even that sickly yellow of aging cellophane. Each one of them a careful working up of subject, a stripping way of all that extraneous until some kind of revelation occurs.

They are like Richard Prince, but with out the obvious jokes. He comes from Winnipeg, too–home of The Royal Art Lodge, Plug In Gallery and some of the most talked about art in Western Canada. I saw it in Calgary, a cold, boring corporate place, and perhaps the subversive joy that occurred was inversely proportional to the hegemony outside.