Mind Games

 

Day off and such a freaking great one. We have already had more summer than all of last year.

 

I rode downtown to visit the International Gallery of Contemporary Art. I had read Don Decker’s review in the ADN. Wow, .50 an artist. Not sure about that. Then I called up Duke. He was hot, as in pissed off. 

 

Going to see the art after the celebration of the opening. I can only guess at the tension in the gallery that night. Decker’s review started with the money. Juror Sean Licka may not have thought .50 was an insult. But I’m sure some of the artists took it that way.

 

The jurors statement started with…well I’m not sure what he’s starting with. Personal taste? Personal acceptance or rejection of any one object de art? The 19th century? Then we get the college talk of art. Boring if you haven’t read the same books he has. Then back to the money. 

 

So how about the art? How about the art that was not for sale? Art that is worth more to the artist than money?

 

Running the show. I’m so sorry I didn’t write down the name of the artist. My apologies.

 

A bronze human heart, a little over life sized pierced with nails hug from a cross that is parallel to the ground. Nicely done bronze with the heart ripped open so you can see the chambers inside. Cool enough that I didn’t notice the cross right away. Or is that cross the stick of the puppet master?  Who’s pain is here? The artist’s? the artist’s God? Pain valuable enough that it is not for sale.

 

What do you say.  Karen Helton.

 

A collage. But it is 3-D enough that it could be a found object box. Just almost, with feather and turquoise bear fetish. It’s interesting that two points of color/contrast are blue-purple. The bear fetish and a pendent of grapes against the dark silhouette of a woman. Not two things I’d would have put together. This and an image of Merguerite Higgins  as produced in a US stamp. I looked her up. She was an African-American journalist. What do you say? I’m sure Ms. Higgins had much to say about identity and the fractured people that slavery made.

 

Self Portrait in Stone. Jeff Bennett.

 

A man in search of a solid? For sure not for sale.

 

Mark Hanson in the Guest Room. 

 

Super cool drawings of mechanical animals, live plant-artificial light work and gothic illustrations of the alphabet. I fucking love Al’s Honest Coffins and Cafe.

 

None of it for sale. I didn’t even see an artists statement. Just there, art in a room.

Dude, you rock.

 

All this not for sale art. I don’t think I’ve met any of these artists. I’d like to. I think they make art for one of the reasons I do. Because we have to. To do otherwise is a denial of self. We will make art till we die.

 

Artists are not isolated from the core of United States Capitalism. I’m not immune from this ether. My $5,000 Rasmuson project grant bought me time, pride and some respect. From every one, not just fellow artists. Welcome to America. 

 

So Sean, if it about equity in monetary rewards – why didn’t you just buy some beer and wine for the opening? That’s equal and would have been more fun. Cus you can’t even buy a bag of weed for 37.50. 

 

Support local artists! Go See the Show!

***If any one has links to the above artists, let me know in the comments. Thanks, Ang.***

5.19.09

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One Response to “Mind Games”

  1. The Austin Art Museum is hosting (for just one week more) the works of Lourdy Rodriguez. The detail in his work is mind boggling – to the point I know my fingers could never sustain the effort involved.

    Talking to the guys at the desk, they had only one complaint about the display; one older gentleman who stated the cliched “my grandchild can scribble better than this!” Art is highly subjective in all its forms. Very few people find the works of Da Vinci to be … pedestrian believe it or not. Granted, an art critic should have enough self restraint and awareness to realize this – and not subject his personal opinion to the masses… but eh who listens to critics anyway?

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