Cortile Gallery, 230 Commercial St.
At Cortile, Beth Donovan, a Provincetown local, admires Sunset Sail, painted by Ed Walsh.
“I’m pretty sure it’s a rendition of the schooner Hindu,” she says. “And it’s just a lovely piece. I like the shadows of it. I love the sails, I love the water, I love the water behind it and the water in front of it. I just love the way it feels. It makes me feel like I’ve come home, somehow or another, from somewhere else. I loved the Hindu when it was here. I’m sure it will come back again.”
Woodman/Shimko Gallery, 346 Commercial St.
Michael Martin lives in New York and is here for Bear Week in Provincetown. He’s an art lover and an art collector but says he works in real estate in his real life. At Woodman/Shimko, he gazes at Hiroki Otsuka’s Sumi Ink on Panel, part of the artist’s Men’s Series.
“It’s of a young man,” says Martin. “I would argue genderqueer, so maybe ‘man’ is not the right word to use. He’s in a three-quarter pose that is sort of a somber visage. The hands and the face are articulated much more clearly with a delicate, pointed stroke. The rest of it is a broader brush stroke. It’s lovely.
“We’re here in Provincetown,” he adds. “It is a gay town. There have been a lot of portraits of men in various states of dress. I think this portrait is offering something else. It’s something a little more subtle, a little more genderqueer. It’s something Asian — we don’t see a lot of depictions of Asian men.”
About the facial expression of the subject in the painting, Martin says, “Someone could look at that face and see a certain amount of discontentment, questioning.
“It’s clearly tapping back into a much older tradition of Japanese painting. I love the idea that the artist is, on the one hand, looking back at those previous styles, and on the other hand applying modern sensibilities.”
Four Eleven Gallery, 411 Commercial St.
Adam Golub is an artist and curator in Provincetown. He feels drawn to Mary Giammarino’s Mosaic of Love.
“I like the implication of things that are not the things,” he says. “I like houses and trees and skies and suns that aren’t those things but are those things, somehow. It makes me feel like I’m dreaming. It makes me wonder if I’m seeing the world as it really is, when I walk down the street.”
Pointing at the painting, he says “Maybe that’s the real world. Are those flowers? Is that a garden? Is that really the street or is it a river? Is it all grass? La vida es un sueño. Life is a dream.”
Treadwell Gallery, 170 Commercial St.
Shann Treadwell is the owner of Treadwell Gallery. He stands in front of Andrew Sedgwick Guth’s I Know Nothing About You as You Slide Inside Me.
“It’s part of an embroidery-painting series that he’s been doing for at least three years now,” says Treadwell. “This is what most people know him for. He has this really heavy-duty art paper that he uses and then he embroiders all of the details into that.”
Treadwell considers the piece, which is large and bright. “It’s very gay and sexual imagery,” says Treadwell, “but it portrays the sweetness of gay sexuality, not just the ‘punch-in-the-face’ shock reaction to it. He’s using felt and embroidery floss, and so they’re softer. He’s putting in flowers and sparkles, which could be read as psychedelic, or the feeling that you get when you’re on something, or euphoric with somebody.”
Gallery 444, 444 Commercial St.
Zoë Lewis has lived in Provincetown for 30 years. She’s a local musician and performer.
“When my mom died in England,” she says, “I found a whole box of old postcards, really old postcards. Instead of throwing them away I brought them to Siân Robertson, and she incorporated them into one of her pieces. At this very moment, she just said a lady bought it!”
The piece is part of Robertson’s Around the World in 366 Boxes. It rests on the space labeled “December 25.”
“She used my mom’s postcard that said, ‘I’m homesick on December 25,’ ” says Lewis. She describes the postcard, which, as with the other 365 postcard-boxes, Robertson has cut and collaged into a tiny scene and framed in a small box.
“It’s got the old coaches, the old buses,” she says. “My mum and dad weren’t very fancy. They conserved their money and used to go on coach tours in England, all around, to see the different parts. So that’s why I found a whole stack of these old cards. You know, it’s like my childhood: the cars, there’s an old Jaguar, I think, and there’s an old lorry, and an old bus. There are some ladies, who are looking very proper wearing raincoats, ’cause it rains a lot there.”
Lewis smiles fondly at the constructed scene: “It’s nostalgic, and I’m all about the nostalgia.”