slightly wonky


Feeling blue and eating blue…it’s all about excess…
March 15, 2013, 10:09 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts..., painting | Tags: , , , , , ,

On Tuesday, it was 54 degrees outside.  Today, it’s 19.  I’m moving to Florida.  (just kidding…not that there’s anything wrong with Florida…)

This has been one of those weeks where I have had no free time, and yet it’s unclear what I’ve accomplished.  I’ve done very little drawing, and my house is still a mess.  Hmm.  I think that I’m also going through a slight phase of S.A.D. (seasonal affected disorder.)  Maybe I need to up the wattage of our lightbulbs around the house?  Or maybe I just need more chocolate?  Does anyone else out there feel slightly blue right now?????

Sometimes, I think that keeping up with the news doesn’t  help.  I’m a worrier, and the news provides endless fodder for my neurotic brain to chew on.  Did you know that more and more small children are developing anorexia?  No joke.  I listened to it on NPR.  HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????  And it’s not those scary pageant queen mommies that are causing it.  Now, I’m analyzing what I say about food in front of my son.  Apparently, we shouldn’t say that there is “bad” food or “good” food.  WHAT??? Really???

WELL, pshaw…my mother recently bought THIS disturbing item for my son:

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Now, I ask you…is this not the POSTER CHILD of “bad” food?????  Actually, I’m not sure that it qualifies as food at all! Whew! (Thanks, mom…)  Perhaps I don’t have to worry about childhood anorexia when my son happily chews on sour gummi french fries??? Beyond gross.  So, here I am fretting about buying organic fruit and BPA free tupperware, and meanwhile my kid is eating a gummi hamburger, gummi pizza, and a side order of gummi fries.  Thank God it’s at least peanut and fat free… (They forgot to add “nutrition free” as well.  I might have to write and tell them that…)

The thing is, I would have TOTALLY wanted this as a kid too.  Actually, I had a tendency to choose anything colored blue: blue frosting, blue gum, blue italian ices.  Gross, right?  Well, in spite of my deviant dietary desires, I turned out “normal”, right?  Hmm.  Actually, SCRATCH THAT.  NO BLUE FOOD ALLOWED, lest my son become a neurotic worrier like his mom.

The gummi “lunch bag” is kind of beyond the pale…pure, dietary evil.

Okay enough about disgusting “food”…this week wasn’t a TOTAL waste.  I did go to the Decordova Museum.  That’s productive, right?  Their current show is called, “PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher.”  This was a pretty interesting show.  All of the works are definitely “beyond the stretcher,” as there was a lot of paint…but a dearth of canvas.  I really liked many things in the show.

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Kate Gilmore, Like This, Before, 2013

This piece is the remains of a performance/painting/sculptural work by Kate Gilmore.  In the performance (which you can see a video of adjacent to this piece), she is wearing a nondescript blouse, skirt and heels…typical office wear for women.  She begins by ascending the ladder on the right while carrying a large vase filled with white paint.  She walks across the top of the sculpture, sets down the vase, and climbs down a ladder on the left.  She repeats this until the entire top has a row of paint filled vases on it.  Then, one by one, she knocks over the vases (I think with her foot.)  As each vase falls, it shatters and spills paint down the channels below.  The paint runs through a hole at the bottom of each channel and fills another vase at the bottom.  FASCINATING.  I love that she’s wearing typical “office gal” clothes…and that she has to struggle to climb the ladder while carrying each vase…and that she has to carefully shimmy across the top without knocking down the other vases…and then she has to place her vase down and carefully climb down the other side.  I love the struggle, the exertion, the care, and the destruction she conveys.

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Steve Locke, Crossing Against, 2012

A very simple piece, but I loved what it does with form, light, and shadow.  The palette is almost primary colors, but they are tweaked a bit.  The face looks annoyed, but the leaning form implies a figure resting lazily against a wall.  I love the reflected neon yellow in the shadow…it makes me think of inner heat or turmoil.

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Mika Tajima, Furniture Art (series), 2011

These works are actually created with plexiglass box frames.  BRILLIANT!  I love how she has taken this totally mundane object and really played with it’s inherent characteristics and traditional role.  Detail:

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Mika Tajima, Furniture Art (detail), 2011

Aren’t the shadows amazing?  You can see an interesting video of her here.  I love how architectural a lot of her work is.  Next:

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Sarah Braman, In the Woods, 2012

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Sarah, Braman, 8pm, 2011

These works were an interesting blend of materials, color and form.  The lower piece, 8pm, actually has part of a camper in it.  I like the mix of prefabricated elements with paint and other more “raw” materials, and the limited color palette.  I also liked how she has painted In the Woods, as it almost has a three dimensional quality.  Next:

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Franklin Evans, paintthinks, 2013

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Franklin Evans, paintthinks (detail), 2013

I love the excess of this installation.  You can see in the detail photo the layer and layers of tape, colors, and photos.  Next:

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Katie Bell, Blind Impact, 2013

This was another interesting installation.  It looks as if the materials found at a collapsed house have gathered together to be reborn as a new entity.  Perhaps because of the geometry or how the piece creeps up the wall, there is a certain joy to this piece.  Here is a view from the front:

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Katie Bell, Blind Impact, 2013

No, the handrail at the bottom is not part of the piece.  Don’t you love the composition? Next:

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Claire Ashley, thing one / thing two, 2013

Amazing, right?  I apologize to the artist as there are two works in this photo, and I don’t know which is which.  The Decordova has this dramatically narrow and tall stairwell which often has incredible installation work.  The ENORMOUS piece that runs up the wall is astounding.  Claire Ashley seems to do these larger than life, bulging forms which both intimidate and excite.

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Claire Ashley, thing one / thing two, 2013

Isn’t that amazing?  I love the colors.  I love how these works have sort of infested the building, taking it over.  I wish she had had a solo show, as I’d love to see a whole gallery full of her art.  These pieces really do dwarf the viewer and gaze back with a disconcerting stare.  Next:

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Allison Schulnik, Video still from Mound, 2011

This is a still from the amazing animation by Allison Schulnik.  Her work is astounding.  Please visit her website here, and go to the “video” heading to actually see these works.  Plasticine figures erupt and morph into eerie creatures who are both engaging and disturbing.  Look at that image!  Don’t you love the starkness of the figure?  Don’t you love how it’s both fascinating and unsettling?  Please watch her videos.  You must.  I almost missed seeing them.  If you go to the Decordova, they are on view in a room behind the desk at the entry.  Go now.  You must.

So, this was not a week of “minimalism”, unless you count how much tangible work I got done.  Sigh.  I may have to resign myself to gnawing on a gummy hot dog while I mope about looking for sunlight and something blue to nibble on.  Send chocolate.  Please.

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The bag of junk food looks like it might be worthy of a painting!

Comment by dweinberg415

I know, right??? Actually, my artwork is often about food, so perhaps I need to do a series on gummi food… 🙂

Comment by slightlywonky

I love that your mom knows you guys eat mostly vegan and bought that! It’s all about balance.
PS. we have one of those SAD lamps and I recommend! Nothing like a shot of fake daylight first thing in the morning.

Comment by Caitlin

Oh, good call! Maybe that would be a good idea…hmmm. Sitting in front of a lamp is fewer calories than a pile of chocolate…good idea. 🙂

Comment by slightlywonky




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