Following up on my post of art that I wanted to see in NY but didn’t and art I didn’t know I wanted to see in NY but was glad I did…
I present The List of Other Art Recently Appearing on My Radar, Most of Which I’ll Only Ever See Online:
The show at Irvine Contemporary groups Al Farrow with Shephard Fairey and Paul Miller (a.k.a. DJ Spooky). About which I have to say this: I admit that I do recognize the value that the semi-rare combination of blue chip and youth provides for a gallery mindful of its bottom line. Harrumph. Thing is, the now famous Obama poster included, Fairey’s work fits to a tee an assignment I used to give my students as an introduction to Adobe Illustrator. Fairey does his work better than most of my students, sure. (Paul Miller would probably have gotten an A-.) Point is, the concept is pretty easy. (I also thought the whole “artist” with a DJ name was so, like, early 2000’s.)
Farrow’s sculptures, on the other hand, appear to be so much richer, to give so much more to the viewer. Temples and religious monuments made from guns & ammo is pretty quick to a simple point. Far and above posters that appropriate quasi-Soviet propaganda aesthetic, though, it seems to me that Farrow makes good on Dave Hickey’s theory of beauty as persuasive device.
Next up: Ana Serrano
Found, with an interview with the artist, at Reuben Miller.
What fun, huh? It’s sort of like the big Hot Wheels thing I wanted for so long when I was a kid but that I could only ever play with at my superiorly toy-endowed cousin’s house. Cartonlandia seems to me to embrace and laugh with the gritty troubles of urban congestion – with a California accent. That, and I’m a sucker for bright colors.
And, speaking of bright colors and fun: Knitta Please
Discovered, uh, somewhere… but then linked through Deputy Dog as “The World’s Most Inoffensive Graffiti”, with great photos and a short video.
Knitta Please knits and installs covers on objects in urban settings. I chose an image of a knitted tree cover because it seemed the most impressive by virtue of complexity and ambition. Others, however, exhibit a much stronger contrast between urban grime and soft knit technicolor sweateriness. It represents so many of the positive arguments people put behind graffiti, minus the destructiveness. In some ways, Knitta Please’s installations seem like the opposite of the Liza Lou beadwork re-creations of chain link and razor wire that I mentioned yesterday. The contrast of humor to humorlessness, expensive White Cube to public installation, makes Knitta Please a lot more interesting to me than Lou’s recent work.
I suppose I’ll just have to wait for the crew to come to my hood.
First discovered on Conscientious (fast becoming my favorite photo focused blog), with an interview.
I’ll quote from Conscientious:
When my friend Richard Renaldi showed me the first images from the new series Touching Strangers I was just amazed. Asking two complete strangers to not only pose with each other, but to also touch each other while doing that… And this in a culture whose discomfort with touching someone you don’t know, or touching something that someone else might have touched still baffles me, even after having spent almost ten years in it!
The range of relationships, tensions, and openness between the paired up strangers is incredible. That both the yearnings for closeness and obvious efforts to keep homophobic reactions at bay come across so clearly in the images is even more impressive.
And, finally, something I’ll never put any effort into going to see. A thing that will probably make me laugh should I ever come across it, but that I’ll never think of at the same time that I say the words “good art”, the Sprinkle Brigade!
The Sprinkle Brigade is, apparently, a group that decorates and creates dioramas out of dog turds on sidewalks, then photographs them. Do I need to say more? (I will…) A few of their images are pretty clever, or at least a kind of witty. Some aren’t. It’s sort of like the most juvenile, least ambitious, lives in mom’s basement, spent all day playing Xbox, refuses to go out and find a job, version of the guerrilla knitting I linked to above. Still, it made me chuckle. And, sometimes my days can use a moment of childish humor.