Sleeping giants

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There was a brief moment yesterday when I toyed with the idea of live-blogging Human Giant’s 24-hour MTV marathon, which started at noon on Friday and is scheduled to wrap up at, um, noon today. And then I tuned in and realized – as much as I’m looking forward to seeing HG’s show for Theatre 99’s Piccolo Fringe at Charleston Ballet Theatre – a little MTV goes a loooooooong way for the Lowbrow, who left his early 20s behind him back when Kurt Cobain was still above ground. But I did decide to try again this morning and catch the final hour or so. Aziz Ansari, Paul Scheer, and Rob Huebel are still kicking, but sleep deprivation and the constant

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barrage of emo music seems to have taken its toll. It’s hard to be funny in slo-mo, when you’re mumbling and your eyes are closed. But god bless ‘em. It seems like just last year that Aziz was doing a standup routine for us at the American Theater during the Charleston Comedy Festival. Actually, it was just last year. So there you have it.

Instead of sofa surfing last night, I went to the opening reception of Fletcher Crossman’s invitational exhibit Illuminations in the Shadows at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Walking into the spacious, normally sunlit interior of that glassy gallery was like walking into a cave; all the wall-sized windows had been covered with canvas, and the interior lighting had been turned down to “candlelit.”

That’s apparently just what Crossman and curator Cat Heitz New wanted – the feeling of being in a cave, preferably one of those European ones with Neolithic pedigrees. Crossman’s supersized realist paintings weren’t all portraits of gazelle and water buffalo (though there is one bison), but the pop-art sensibilities of his huge portrait-and-text acrylics are muted and given a somber resonance by the fact that he uses only deep, rich earth tones in them, just as those early cave painters did tens of thousands of years ago. “I wanted to do something really weird with the show, hang it in a forest or something,” the artist mentioned in a brief, entertaining address to the assembled wine sippers. Office of Cultural Affairs maharishi Ellen Dressler Moryl said she was on board with the cave paintings idea from the get-go: “I thought it would be a great idea to darken the gallery and do a guided tour with lighted torches. But the Fire Marshall wouldn’t go for that.” (Hey, it was at least as funny as what Human Giant’s bringing on the tube right now.)

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