Also just shy of wacky are Alea Hurst’s portraits of modern-day saints wearing gold halos as they flip burgers at an outdoor barbecue or show off their tattooed torsos, and Charlie Watt’s Catherine Opie-esque image of a nude lady beekeeper sporting the tools of her trade. Meanwhile R. Andrew Munoz’s deceptively childlike cut paper collages contain undercurrents of violence: spilled bottles of wine and hockey-masked killers lurking outside suggest things are not as Colorforms as they seem. Amusing commentary on the overvaluing of our role as consumers and the sanctity of buying, Raoul Pacheco offers up clever gilt sales receipts.
There’s a subtle but palatable strain of black identity in “The New South II” that gives the show some heft and heart, from the straightforward but sweet photograph of a black father supporting his son on his shoulders in Stephen Philms’ “Shoulders of Hope” to Alex Christopher Williams’ image “Atlanta, GA” of a black barbershop decorated with affirmations of black masculinity in photographs of Muhammad Ali and LeBron James. There are Joe Dreher’s images “Madison” and “Red” of a black man and child, hands over heart, waving a tiny flag, draped in a stars and stripes bandanna, as if to assert the resilience of belief and loyalty despite all odds.
Jamaal Barber’s “Untamed/Free” linocut appears in the group show “The New South II.”
Jamaal Barber’s graphic, iconic linocut, “Untamed/Free,” and Mia Merlin’s watercolor “Southern Woman 3” are bookend works; portraits of empowered, assertive young black women.
There are some interesting formal experiments in “The New South II,” as well, notably Lynx Nguyen’s “Ultimate Heaven,” an oddly transcendent work considering its lowbrow medium: ballpoint pen worked over the paper surface so intensely it soaks into and ripples the paper, creating topographic ridges and gaps, or abrades it, in some places revealing the pulp beneath.
The Best of Atlanta video series continues with the Best Happy Hour in Atlanta
“The New South II”
Through June 2. Noon-6 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays; noon-5 p.m. Saturdays. Kai Lin Art, 999 Brady Ave. NW, Suite 7, Atlanta. 404-408-4248, www.kailinart.com.
Bottom line: There's much to recommend this large, diverse survey of Southeastern artists' works on paper.