Hank Fuseler's reception was small but nice. His parents are easily the best part of the evening. They are delightful and totally supportive of their son's art. Hank has no formal art training. He really only started producing work six or so years ago, about the time I started creating work (also without university training!) Hank has been in a few local shows and a few in Asheville. He moved there a year ago. He's mounted four solo exhibitions at Gallery 80808, so I've had the opportunity to see his work evolve.
His first three show sold wildly. Almost everything hanging sported a red dot. His work was different, small, crusty, and quite affordable (average price $150). Most of his pieces were textural and painted (better pieces) and just a few had photographic transfers (not as successful). This time, most of the work had transfers and the painting style changed drastically. His work is much more minimal. He included digital prints. His average price is now about $250. Only two pieces sold.
His brother's three-person band played for the reception. They were excellent. His dad showed me images still stored in his camera of a show in Tryon, NC in which Hank took part. Steve came to the show and we looked at all the work together. It's always hilarious to go to an art opening with Steve, especially when the work is significantly abstracted or non-objective or in a minimalist vain. Steve hates all of it but does his best to be polite. It is fun to listen to him try and say complimentary words without actually referring to the work! We had a nice conversation with Jeff Donovan and Marcelo Novo though.
Personally, I think Hank's work is pretty interesting. I like seeing the changes over time. Price did affect the speed at which his earlier work sold but I think they would still have been purchased for more money. The new work, however, requires a particular buyer, someone who appreciates subtly. What I liked best was the colors. Too many young artists use dark colors in order to appear serious. Hank's palette is much brighter, whiter, and pleasant.