Friday, November 28, 2008

inflatable street art

this is just magical. Such a cool idea! It looks like trash, its animated into something curious, endearing, enjoyable by something that happens anyway. It is free, it surprises, delights. It is shared. Its positive and innovative - it brings a smile to people, like a gift. A reminder that good things are possible? To me, it seems that way. No matter it is not rocket science, and we understand how it works - it shows us a new way of using the materials and the situation. For friendly fun. Fab.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

something completely different

Esther Pearl Watson
Before the landlord finds us

Acrylic, enamel & silver leaf on panel 48 x 48 inches

This is a large painting, given its outsider flavor. It has blown me away. Why?

It seems to connect with real life, and has a freedom about its expression that touches a chord in me. Esther Pearl has lived (apparently) life with an oddball family (Daddy built spaceships in the garage) and does not hesitate, riddled with doubt about her worthiness or worry about it being ridiculous to tell her story. There it is, in glorious home-made detail...but connecting a real sense of atmosphere and beauty (the sky is lavish, the fields stretch into the distant evening, and the dirt yard meltingly soft and beautiful) with the quirky childishness of folk art. Yet its about serious shit going on. I mean, running out on the rent...there is an urgency and a terribleness about it. Its not cosy, not safe, not pretty. We all understand the implications, and that is what gives this work its strength somehow. It is real, it connects to humans. On that note, I have to post another painting here...

Out of gas
acrylic on panel
8 x 10 inches

Here's (Dad?) racing across the highway with the (tiny) pint of gas that'll get them all out of there. The kids stand with their hair blowing as the cars whip by. Grit on the shoulder, exhaust, slip roads... and then that wonderful skyline and cloudscape. While all that is going on, someone (the artist - the artist in all of us) is looking around, seeing the world in all its fullness. It has the attention to seemingly irrelevant but telling detail that folk art has, and a lack of theorizing and paring down that in its directness, enriches the image.

Way to go Esther.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

chuck ramirez

Chuck Ramirez
Godiva 2, 2003
inkjet print 30 x 38 inches

Not exactly recent work, but interesting in the context of presentation. Trash that we usually throw away photographed and presented as an art object. Beautiful.

Footnotes to Duchamp, still? In a way. But I think there is more going on here. The urinal brought the pissoir into the gallery - low end brought high. Here we recognize that this object, though trash, exists/existed, was created, designed and manufactured to showcase a valuable product. Its golden rays suggesting a relationship to icons and religious paintings can't be coincidental. But it is trash. Why? Because we throw it away? Because it has no use? Because it is made of plastic? Because there are so many of them?

The reality is that this could be called beautiful. Because of what we know (all of the above comments) we do not value it. What other things are we dismissing?