mixed feelings about protest art. Too often
it misses its mark by a wide margin — too easy to get lost
in the protest and loose track of the art.
I'm surprised by the
paucity of anti war expression. I know it takes half a
century to fold a particularly deadly war into
our historic understanding, and about the same time to make a decent,
realistic movie about it.
The lessons of Vietnam have been all but forgotten
in about that same time, and here we are a half century
after Dienbienphu doing pretty much the same stupid thing again.
Ruth González - The Dead
of the Media, 2004
mixed media, including multicultural newspapers
at the annuald Day of the Dead Show at the Bath House
Seems like anything so wearing on our collective conscience ought
to be coming out of our pores and eyeballs by now. But it isn't. Unless
we have someone over there or lost someone close, Americans are
cultural disconnect from the political idiocy in Iraq.
The schlock that followed 9-11 still foams, but a full-fledged
hardly seems to flick our outrage, let alone spark our creativity.
I thanked Rita for the piece when I first saw it, while
she was still installing. Took me three visits to get the
right photograph. And while there may be a sea of tiny print on
this piece — and a hand-out with even more — what better
Day of the Dead show, this at the Bath House
Cultural Center , to show her tribute in?
And how else but with long columns
of small print might one express the terrors of this terrorist
war on terrorism — all those war dead of ours and theirs?
Jason McPeak - Laid to Rest,
2004 (detail) - more info below
McPeak continues to amaze. This, dare I say, cutting
edge (Do those knives comprise a dragonfly, flower or face?) is
a shining example of mixed media in which the mediums actually
only shape contrast and blending here, no pigment fusing.
More strange gizmo-like
wood platform that makes me want to classify
this ornately bizarre piece as somewhere between Antonio Gaudy and
early James Crowe.
Jason McPeak - Laid to Rest, 2004
mixed media collage of found metal on untempered
hardboard framed in an old vanity dresser mirror frame
40 x 45 inches
Both subject and ground could almost be precisely cut
stained glass, meshing vertical rectangles below with rounded
above, but of course it isn't. It's paper and ink and utensils and
wires with metal objects and orange medallions
that seem completely out of place, except they're almost perfect right
where they are, well within the short color spectrum.
I can almost understand the body parts and display of
human systems around and beneath the central figure, but what's with
the psych study
little girl pics in the middle, and what in tarnation are those gold,
scissors-pincer devices splaying over the spiral darkness above?
I'm hooked. And now I have to go back yet again and study
this complex, exquisite and dark, window — into an artist's soul?
that seems to be about a lost child.
Kathy Boortz - White Bird
the most lyrical and interesting piece — among
a short hand-full of especially nice (I have to say that; one of
is there) lake-related artworks in the inaugural exhibition
in the new White Rock Lake Museum at the Bath House
and painted wood bird by Kathy
It's easy to see why I put Kathy B on the now mostly-forgotten
Worth Watching pages, and now I can't help thinking I should
put Jason McPeak on there, too. I'm eager to see what he comes up with
Mayse Craddock -
Minor Histories, 2003
embroidery on gauze and metal (detail)
72 x 73 x 44 inches
Kary insisted I visit Pan American
Gallery to catch up on their sculpture show. He
was adamant. So I went, and wow. I agree. Marvelous show for the
space and some amazing pieces of 3-D art.
I was blown away by Mayse Craddock's work in general,
and Minor Histories in very much particular. It's a surrealistically
realist bit of moving multi-media crossing Oat Willie and Betsy Ross.
Scrumptious colored loose wads of thread dripping from a long thin,
embroidered gauze flag. Mind-boggling in all the best ways.
Edward Kienholz - Spit in the
Ocean, Berlin, 1984
mixed media assemblage - 38 x 72 x 17 inches
Norm wanted me to experience was
this $75,000 Kienholz, and I can plainly see why. Not perhaps as intricate
as a contemporary Stella sculpture, of which it keeps reminding
me, thanks to its integrated arcs of objects and continuous
of events, each taking up where the last left off.
Nice just getting to visit something intricately integrated
yet sweepingly simple
this is aesthetically valuable, makes my mind wander with wonder.