Just some random shots I like that probably won’t find their way into any galleries. At least, not any time soon.
So, this bit of gorgeous graphicness right here is something I saw earlier this week, and am now finding time to share with all of you who haven’t seen it. It takes a moment to read, with the spokes representing emotions and the rings representing various cultures. And, I’m not convinced that white on that gray was such a hot idea for readability (it fails the W3C’s color contrast and luminosity readability guidelines miserably, at any rate), it’s a svelte looking and informative graph once you squint your way through parsing it.
What I’ve focused on so far isn’t where cultures differ, though those are obviously of interest, but instead where they agree. Evil, Passion, Purity, and Truce (OK, those last two include silver, but silver is the “white” metal, so, it’s the same, really) are all fairly universal, it seems. The rest, less so.
External: Information Is Beautiful
Categories: theory and philosophy Tags: color theory,culture
So, I see this work is making its works around the internet. And, while I was already going to blog about it myself after seeing it the first time (because it is a really striking piece), after seeing many posts about this particular self-portrait that don’t touch on the artist, her work, or this piece in relation to her work, I think I should probably spend a bit of time asking whether it’s OK or even helpful to have this picture being linked without any context or background in the rest of McMahon’s work.
First off, “Connect” here is a nice, striking piece. It’s colorful, and interesting, and distractingly sensual. But, I think it’s also a misleading way to represent McMahon, judging by the rest of her online portfolio. It’s not so much that it’s unique in her portfolio, she’s rather eclectic as is, so much as it’s got a rather more commercial, glossy production and message to it than most of her pieces. It’s not… subversive enough.
In an effort to pretend I’m not just making this all up, how about some examples? Come on, it’s the internet people, I know you like pictures.
So, pictures it is. Let’s start with “Virtual Squirrel,” which seems to exist here as a partial concept. Already, without even showing you a bigger shot or her statement on it, you can tell that there’s a bit more obviously going on in this. If you hop over to her site, you can see the monitors are all watching the tree, a la CCTV security systems. And that statement? Here’s part of it:
“The project is conceived as an immersive installation that visually and conceptually illustrates our diversion and separation from nature as we delve deeper into the technological realm. The experience will convey the idea that nature is becoming a spectacle versus being an intrinsic part of our environment, that nature’s presence is more novelty than norm. The installation will include sculptural elements and imagery that juxtapose organic natural forms and mechanized technology, highlighting the detachment many humans feel as a result of existing in a linear built world that is intrinsically different from our natural environment. The project is intended to express an underlying environmental theme while visually conveying the complex, delicate balance that exists in both our natural and technological worlds.”
All the stiff and formal art-speak aside (and, I do so detest art-speak, as you might have guessed by now), that’s some interesting and deep stuff there. Multi-faceted, and a bit surreal.
And, speak of surreal, how about the “Psycho Girlfriend” fashion line McMahon does in collaboration with Vanessa Bonet? Did you expect this skirt over here when looking at “Connect”? No? Neither did I, don’t worry.
So, don’t get me wrong, I rather like a lot of McMahon’s portfolio. She’s a bit out there, and a little subversive, and rather odd, and she has Ideas, and I love all that. But, do I think it’s bad to pass around a single work of art from an artist when it’s so divergent from the rest of their body, or at least so unrepresentative? Yeah, I do. It’s a neat piece, and I’m glad it went around and that she’s getting the attention. It certainly lead me to her. Do I think it’s a bit of bad journalism (again, on the internet? Bad journalism? Noooooo way!)? Yeah, yeah I do.
So, OK, I recently joined up with Midwest Emerging Artists. MEA (or, as I like to pronounce it, “mee-uh”), is a local Indianapolis-based council dedicated to promoting a ‘confluence of the arts.’ In less marketing-speak the idea is to find ways to let artists, visual and musical, perform and showcase their work at no cost to the artist. It’s really a pretty admirable goal. It certainly helped me out with my We Search For Another exhibit, which is part of why I didn’t hesitate to sign-up to help when they asked me.
As for where this is going to go, what it’s going to mean, what we’re going to do exactly, I still don’t know. MEA is currently still doing monthly shows at Urban Element, and having closing receptions for them. The show running from May and closing in June is a friend of mine, Emily Hughes, so I’ll of course be pulling some weight and blog time to give her some publicity. But, beyond that, here are the various MEA links I’ll be working on. I encourage you to add them to your bookmarks, to “Like” them on FB, and to follow us on Twitter. We’re trying to do something cool here, but like any grassroots movement we’ll only succeed if you guys are with us.
So, please, be with us.
So, not so very long ago when I was an art student, I had a painting professor named Scott Anderson who was rather influential to my way of thinking and working. And, one of the things I picked up from him was a notion that one should “live with” a piece for a while. Let it hang around, see it daily. Not in active work, mind you, not developing, just around. And then, once you’ve lived with it a while, you can decide it’s done, or better make changes after you’ve determined what bothers you.
The notion of living with a piece is one that iconographer Janet Jaime could possibly have done well to have followed, based on the reception of a crucifix she created recently for St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres, Oklahoma. The piece, pictured right there has apparently been viewed by some as having a really ginormous wang poking out of his loin cloth. Once it’s pointed out, it can’t be unseen even if you didn’t originally read the abdominal muscles that way. King among men indeed, sir.
Now, all this apparently happened this weekend while I was off having misadventures with bicycles and cavorting with interesting blondes, so the controversy is already over as Jaime has said she’ll modify it. But, I do get this awesome pull quote frm the local newspaper:
“She is very serious about her religion and wouldn’t in the slightest possibility ever imagine wanting to sneak a pee-pee on to Jesus.”
Gilmore, who helped Janet Jaime move the 10-foot tall crucifix out of her studio at her home near The Paseo Arts District before it was taken to the church, said it is difficult to tell while painting how contrast may appear from far away.
“She was maybe a foot away from it all the time she was painting it, and the only way you can see this is when it’s up and you’re 20 or 30 feet away, and then you get this gestalt of, ‘oh, look,’” Gilmore said.
The Holy Pee-Pee is something I could get behind. And, again people, live with your work and experience it from more than at your easel. Don’t just create, experience as a viewer will. It’s important. Sometimes more-so than others, apparently.