slightly wonky

To boldly go where you’re not wanted…
November 16, 2012, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , ,

Yes, I did that.  I sent a “press package” of my artwork to the ICA Boston.  Don’t laugh…I know.  WHAT WAS I THINKING???  This wasn’t my idea though.  The woman who is the gallery director at Wheelock College suggested that I do this.  BUT, I’m to blame for actually doing it.

To the ICA’s credit, they did mail me back my stuff with a nice rejection letter:

I thought that was quite kind of them!  Right now, I have my artwork up in two locations.  As a result, I have sent many harassing emails and press packets out to people.  I have received a response, both negative, from only two individuals/institutions: 1. The ICA, 2. Cate McQuaid of the Boston Globe.  On the plus side: even though they both had to say “no”, I do appreciate that they responded to me.  On the negative side: now, the ICA may have some kind of restraining order on me…or have put me on the “watch” list of crazy local artists.  No matter!  I was just happy to have a response, albeit a total form letter.  The ICA must know that crazy artists like attention.

I did go to the ICA this week, just to see what was going on there.  LUCKILY, they had JUST put up a new show and I got to see it because it was MEMBER PREVIEW DAY.  Brilliant!  (you can see, though, the slippery slope that is created with such things…those that can afford a membership get treated differently and some may mistakenly think that this makes them more “special” or “important” than non-members…)  I’m going to stop myself now from going on a political rant.  Here’s the ICA, for those of you who haven’t been:

It’s a lovely building by Diller +Scofidio (now, Diller Scofido+Renfro).  I realized that I wasn’t in the ‘burbs anymore when I saw this sign nearby:

Really?  This practically warrants an entire blog post, but I’ll spare you THAT nonsense.

The big show that the ICA has now is called: This Will Have Been: Art & Politics in the 1980sSebastian Smee, of the Boston Globe, has written a really insightful review of the show here.  Please read it.  Now, in an artfully planned juxtaposition, if you are interested in a NON-INSIGHTFUL review, read on!

I’ll show some images first:

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983

I love Basquiat.  I love his work because I am interested in both how it looks and what I think that it’s telling me.  I could stare at this all day (but the previously mentioned possible ICA restraining order may prevent that…)  I love how this work seems to me to capture Basquiat’s ruminations…with doodles, overlapping marks, lofty and banal thoughts…LOVE.IT.  Why can’t my doodles look this good?  I’ll bet he could make my angst laden grocery list look awesome.  Grocery lists aren’t edgy though, FYI.  Maybe Basquiat’s lists were?  I’ll bet that he didn’t go to Stop & Shop, though.

There is a lot of work on exhibit by many of the “heavy hitters” at that time: Richter, Koons, Mapplethorpe, etc.  Overall, this is a pretty cerebral show.  It seems to be capturing the spirit of that time, without trying to present the “highlights” of art during that period.  It’s a culturally centered show, rather than art centered.  (is that insulting?  I hope not.)  I enjoyed the show intellectually (if that’s possible for me to do considering my mild case of mommybrain,) but my general delight in the art itself wasn’t quite there. Probably my lack of cerebral-ness/cerebralosity was the cause.  (see? case in point.)  Here’s one that made me go, “hmm…”:

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (Cabbage, Pumpkin, Pitchers) #1, 1986

No, that is not one of my shelves at home.  Any shelf of mine would have more stuff on it.  Hmmm.  Who is this making fun of?  The art world?  The audience?  The bourgeoisie? (eh?)  Our capitalist culture?  Maybe it’s not making fun of anyone???  I kind of want that pumpkin.  I wonder where he got it from?  I actually like this piece better in retrospect.  I guess he’s tying these disparate consumer goods together through form and palette and elevating it to “Art”?  Hmm.  I’d like it even more if I could take that pumpkin home with me.  My take away from that piece of art is that I want that pumpkin.

From a drawing standpoint, I liked this:

Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Amerika VIII, 1986-87

I like the materials, the mix of flatness and depth, the weirdness…  This somehow feels less “80s” to me, but that’s because I remember the 80s as an excess of neon, boxy clothing and acid washed jeans.

Kinda like that.  What can you expect, though?  I was a kid in the 80s.  If I wasn’t cerebral then, I haven’t gotten any better on that account.  I still love neon, though.

Another show that they had that I REALLY liked was the work of Os Gemeos.

Os Gemeos, Back in the Days, 2008

I love the feel of these paintings.  I also love the space that is created inside that subway car.  Next:

Os Gemeos, Untitled, 2008

Do you know who owns that one?  Lance Armstrong!!!  I kid you not.  This could be the famous Lance Armstrong, or I suppose it could be some CPA in Hoboken.  I’m voting for it being the doping bike guy.

They also have sculptural works:


Os Gemeos, Os Musicos, 2008

I love that too! Apparently this piece can make sounds, but they only do that on occasion.  My membership did not also grant me a turn playing chopsticks on the keyboard.

I sometimes felt that the art looked like illustration to me, except that the content was usually a bit dark.  Can someone please explain the difference between art and illustration?  Perhaps that’s the difference?  Intent?  I like that the boundary between art and illustration isn’t clear to me in these works.  Yet again, the ICA brings the unexpected to view, and I’m reminded again of how there are no rules, and how the ones that do exist keep changing. (how’s that for nonsense?)

WHEW!  That’s enough thinking for one day!  Now, I have to go to Stop & Shop and search for a vegan dinner that somehow makes itself…(if you answered PBJ sandwich, you’ve just qualified yourself to be a domestic slacker too!  You are now a MEMBER of THIS most prestigious and venerable group of grocery store haters!  Welcome!  The receipt from your most recent pizza delivery constitutes your membership card, which, of course, has no expiration date.WOO HOO!!!!!!!!)


2 Comments so far
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Comment by Chemietoilette

Wow, thanks so much! Feel free to forward this blog to others! I’d love to hear from other people who love art and family, but struggle to do both.

Comment by slightlywonky

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