An article from The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Friday, November 15, 2002

The Startling and the Simple

By MAX HALPEREN, Correspondent

The Tire Shop

Raleigh artist Nancy Baker, who runs The Tire Shop
Gallery, says that she wondered why more artists had not
reacted to what she sees as the Bush administration's,
and especially John Ashcroft's, effort to stifle dissent. So
she invited 12 local artists to submit work to a show
dealing with the political climate. Some strong pieces ask
for a visit, but the show as a whole is mixed and suggests
that artists may be no more adept at expressing political
dissent than the more inarticulate among us.

The most intriguing and sharply focused work has been
supplied by Baker, Victor Faccinto of Winston-Salem and
Kathleen Rieder of Raleigh. With Ashcroft's Terrorism
Information and Prevention System in mind, a program
inviting citizens to spy on one another, Baker has placed
three found objects -- gently smiling male mannequins
on a wall, titling the ensemble "They're Watching."

Two delightful digital fantasies by Faccinto, drawn from his
"Battle of the Sexes" series, are superb comments on the
fear some Arabs express about the women they see as
destroyers of their peace of mind, the very Arabs we take
holding a machine gun in one hand and a woman in the
other finds himself surrounded by a host of women in
various stages of undress, women pointing bazookas and
rifles at him. One is hacking at his leg with a machete.

In "Forbidden World," a number of women in thin
miniskirts and wearing helmets and carrying rifles stand on
guard above rounded pink billows that suggest (to the
fearful mind) the contours of women. To make sure that
we see the "forbidden world" as existing in Arabian minds,
Faccinto has several women entirely veiled in white
emerging from pink hollows.