25 April 2000

Losing Tickets, Gallery 19 - press

Odds-on favourite

Michael Hutak's ``tribute to the little punter'' is a cool reworking of the ``found'' object the artist's failed betting tickets. Exhibited in the genteel, poverty-stricken surrounds of Gallery 19, the visual gesture creates a kind of wallpaper, combusting high modernism and lowly craft. The art of the racetrack is one place where aristocracy and the herd meet, not only in Landseer's and Wallinger's world, where the racehorse is more inbred than bred, but in egalitarian Australia too, where 17 cents in the betting dollar is squirrelled by government. This mug punter's Losing Tickets are scanned, mounted laserprints. Their pristine surfaces resemble more the calligraphic registrations of Marinetti's speedy posters than any humble betting tabs. In the reprocessing of such objects, questions of ethics and more take turns, for Hutak was once a racing journalist. However, a nose for the track is not needed to rate this finely edged show. Phone 9212 4776. Until Saturday. The Galleries - Courtney Kidd, 2 May 2000, Sydney Morning Herald.



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Colourful racing identity

IF you spent five years trawling the racetracks of NSW and then found a job in the artworld, what would you do on weekends. Former Gadfly columnist Michael Hutak put to use his days spent scraping up the seamy side of the track by collecting bookmaker's betting tickets. He has blown them up, put them on a wall and that's art, baby, opening in an exhibition at Gallery 19, Haymarket, on Tuesday. Hutak says Losing Tickets is a ``tribute to all punters who have done their dough'', i.e. Australia. Candace Sutton, 23 April 2000, Sun Herald.


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