Fred Scruton likens roadside carnivals-or at least, the “illusory escape”
they provide-to virtual reality, thereby making a gambit for their contemporary
relevance. But Scruton’s color photographs at OK Harris Gallery-of deep-fried Oreo
vendors, thrill rides, prize-winning cows and the immaculately coiffed John J. Pecchio
(author of Hell Behind Prison Walls) - don’t need the technological zeitgeist for a leg up.
If anything, the work recalls the Renaissance in its exquisite
incident, super-saturated palette and attention to the telling detail: the
grandiloquent gesture of a ticket taker, say, or the beyond-her-years
pensiveness of a girl staring into space. Scruton’s connection to the American
vernacular is as palpable as the degree of chagrin it invites: Dispassion
this clarified could only have been fostered by love.
- Mario Naves
May 2009 issue of CityArts, NYPress