The Mysterious Work That Is Frank X. Tolbert's Austin Motel, Room 133

The piece is called Lake Austin Motel, Room 133. But as soon as I hear the title, I think of Lake Austin Spa Resort. I imagine the reclining figure is taking a much needed break after taking Nia classes and kayaking in the lake all day long.

The black and white of the painting lend an air of mystery: The figure appears to be wearing a mask. She doesn't seem to know - or care - that she is being watched. She appears to be the watcher.

She turns her gaze, and enjoys a glass of wine. There is something all together relaxing about this piece. The figure is peaceful, snuggled in the linens which the artist invites the viewer to imagine as being plush and cozy. A painting of a plant hangs above the bed.

The lines and dots and shapes are loose and the edges are undefined. The result is a sense of ease and invitation to learn more. And the more you look, the harder it is not to know just what it is that she's looking at...

See Tolbert's work through December 3 at Kirk Hopper Fine Art.

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