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Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 2… Fragility to Purpose

by Christopher Hutchinson

“Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 1” is here.

 

A certain fragility, shading into deliberate feebleness in the case of Elizabeth Peyton and Karen Kilminik, has been quite a trait of US painting in recent years. Ellen Gallagher has it too, if put to a quite different and much more serious end. But her intricate and ever-evolving aesthetic draws too much attention to itself. She has said that her work makes people “uncomfortable”. If only it had that power. –Laura Cumming  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/05/ellen-gallagher-axme-tate-review

 

Fragility, Feebleness & Woman

Cumming’s astute inclusion of Elizabeth Peyton and Karen Kilminik is a valid assessment of their work in relation to the current trend by painters to have this feeble aesthetic. It does appear that many women artists subscribe to this to notion of feebleness as representation of ephemerality and womanhood. There are a plethora of artists using this faux “folk-like” attempt at painting and claiming it to be an interest in the act of painting. Whatever the reason, it is ugly.

This ugliness may be the point. These anti-paint painters may be challenging the history of the Western canon by accessing one of the Feminist agendas denying the “object” comparison to women. That is possible. However that would still be an overarching narrative that has nothing to do with paint. That narrative would alleviate the fact that these are ugly paintings.

 

Neo-Primitivism

primitivism

  1. a recurrent theory or belief, as in philosophy or art, that the qualities of primitive or chronologically early cultures are superior to those of contemporary civilization.
  2. the state of being primitive : the primitivism of the Stone Age peoples.3.

the qualities or style characterizing primitive art. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/primitivism

This ugliness is akin to the Primitivism of the past in the west. Those initial primitivisms were interested in how to loosen up the rigid practice of painting. It was just as guilty of this faux primitive ugly aesthetic that went largely unchecked under the banner of investigating and appropriating other cultural practices without being accountable for the cultural authenticity of the work.

This apathetic trend towards painting over the last 30 years is contagious. It aligns itself with disingenuous legacy of primitivism. It also spurs legions of followers who are now identifying this lackluster trend with what it takes to be an artist. These artists then produce generations of students believing this is the type of commitment required to be an artist.

These faux paintings should never have been created in the first place. Why choose to cheat your pursuit as an artist by creating faux objects that requires icons, and narratives to squeak by as a possible art object.

 

Many are called

Why subject yourself to anything other than love? Everything has to feel, smell, taste–and measurements, whatever your rubric–must feel right in art-making process. Regardless of professors, classmates, wives, children, activism and whatever else that may be reasons to compromise that love. It takes time to recognize it, nurture it, and master it. One must hold that love closest to the breast.

Choosing to become an artist means this love is primary. No one has forced anyone to be an artist, painter, sculptor or whatever and one may naturally grow out of one discipline into the next. But to make work simple out of spite for a particular medium or topic is a waste of time. The only possible outcome is betrayal to your being. This trend of continuous cynicism and disdain of mastery in art is an attack at one’s core. These artists like Ellen Gallagher engage in this betrayal.

 

Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 1

by Christopher Hutchinson

 

The American artist Ellen Gallagher is admired to the point of reverence on the other side of the Atlantic. Her distinctive combination of politics and prettiness has been catnip for collectors and critics alike these last 20 years. For the latter, there is always so much to talk about – her range of references from Moby Dick and Sol LeWitt to Black Power and Detroit techno, her trademark restyling of 50s ads and 60s sci-fi movies, her evident if excessively elusive intellectualism – all appealingly couched, to collectors, in the delicate aesthetic of her paintings and prints.

It is worth knowing about this high regard when visiting Gallagher’s retrospective at Tate Modern. It helps to explain the sheer scale of the event: almost 100 works, many of them multi-part, accompanied by a catalogue of eulogies by some of America’s finest art writers, and all kicked off by a gigantic blown-up reprise of Man Ray’s famous photograph of Matisse sketching an odalisque in harem pants on a couch with Gallagher’s own face pasted on to the model and Sigmund Freud in the role of Matisse.https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/05/ellen-gallagher-axme-tate-review

 

 

Note1-Painter & Videographer

This investigation comes about after an Atlanta,GA based non-profit Smoke School of Art’s weekly homework assignment and is primarily based on the “Brilliant Ideas” video and the well written review of her retrospective by Laura Cummings. Cummings does an excellent job of sifting through the multiple layers of sentiment and projections heaped unto this mediocre artist that validates Gallagher as the “most recognized African American painter since the nineties”. These notes take the well-articulated points by Cummings and the fodder present in Gallagher’s dialogue and points out the inadequacies that are consistent through Gallagher’s career.

Gallagher’s work makes one think fondly on the kitsch-laiden work of Romare Bearden. Once again this cut and paste mediocre practice of collage is proven to be the breeding ground of knick knack collectibles.

The gridded, collaged canvases of Gallagher’s ’90s works deal in eyes and lips borrowed from American minstrelsy, repeated as patterns across canvas http://waaaat.welovead.com/upload/rss_download/20130622/600_0/201306220003272123.jpg

 

The gridded collage above, Gallagher’s breakthrough piece, is an indicator of her true interest which has nothing to do with painting. No painter’s painter would be satisfied with this attempt at painting. Collage does not operate on the interest of painters who enjoy painting. So why does Gallagher retain “reverence” status as a painter? Cummings answers this question with nods to minimalist artists such as Agnes Martin’s still abstract grid paintings. It is a stretch of the imagination to include this comparison as valid because the success of Martin’s work is due to the primacy of paint. Martin would never cut and paste these transitions.

That distinction may not seem like much of a distinction but Martin never felt the need to move to the violent act of cutting a canvas to apply such a coarse transition as Gallagher. When an artist feels the need to abandon the primacy of a medium to plop down texture it is an indicator of lack of mastery. It is an indicator of an obvious inadequacy. This inadequacy then begs to be overlooked relying heavily on sentiment and the projection of others to overcome it. Without mentioning “minstrels” are these paintings good? No.

 

Minimalism

  1. A school of abstract painting and sculpture that emphasizes extreme simplification of form, as by the use of basic shapes and monochromatic palettes of primary colors, objectivity, and anonymity of style. Also called ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, rejective art.
  2. Use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.
  3. Music A style of music marked by extreme simplification of rhythms, patterns, and harmonies, prolonged chordal or melodic repetitions, and often a trancelike effect. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Minimalist+art

Gallagher’s rough application is an aversion to minimalist practice, an aversion to Martin, Lewitt, and many others. Again, this comparison to these amount to nothing more than name dropping to force a conversation that is not there. Minimalist seeks to reduce and subtract mediums and ideas to its purest form. Gallagher’s laborious, often clumsy steps, amount to a contrived additive process where emphasis is placed on the quantity of labor not an interest in a stringent pursuit in her praxis.

Note 2.5-sentiment

Prior knowledge for this show. An entire gallery, for instance, is hung with numerous editions of what appear to be pretty much the same work: sheets of lined exercise paper glued to canvases, sometimes lacquered, sometimes painted fetching colours and sometimes featuring racial caricatures of big lips and bug-eyes. These mouths and eyes are always tiny and sometimes so faint as to be spectral, which carries its own meaning. Gallagher describes them as “the disembodied ephemera of minstrelsy”.https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/05/ellen-gallagher-axme-tate-review

Cumming’s articulates the above observation of Gallagher’s well. If Gallagher’s work requires prior knowledge of all sorts turns out to be a requisite to be received, then how can she be a great artist? A great resource maybe, like the Dewey decimal system–a way to access library books on several unrelated topics that have minute correlations to each other. Research should be a prominent part of every artist’s practice, but if it is a requirement for the viewer to do the same then that artist has not communicated properly, or it so generic and populous that everyone can create their own narrative. The sprinkling of buzzwords that are racially charged with advertising amounts those unimaginative juxtapositions of surrealists who exploited the indigenous primitive imagery to access their subconscious. This type of practice is just lazy.

 

This essay continues next month with “Postcolonial Thoughts: Notes on Ellen Gallagher, Part 2.”

 

Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

A Tame Goose Never Goes Wild

by Wal Keck

A ragtag bunch of statements that between them might be relevant:

Then

John Renshaw taught me (and others):

“You can tame a wild goose, but a tame goose never goes wild,” he said. “Don’t be in too much of a hurry to bring it under control.”

He looked at work and said “You were coming out from under the table and ‘oooooh,’ you’ve banged your head”

and walked away.

Another time he looked and said “You’re skating, lad. Skating. Oo – Thin ice”

and walked away.

All was metaphor and all, eventually, sank home.

He took some of the students, who had spent the previous two weeks in the printmaking department, outside to the yard and had them build a large framework, to which they were instructed to attach their previous two weeks’ work. He then set about setting fire to the frame, instructing the students to grab a piece of A1 paper and to start to draw as their efforts went up in smoke. Most students grabbed their work off the frame and ran. Those that grabbed their paper and drew, went on.

He talked in terms of mark making. He talked of lines. He talked of it all being about space. He packed us off to look at Velázquez.

He taught us to avoid being precious, to be prepared to overwork a picture to derive more from it. The next picture was the thing.

At the end of the year he brought in some of his own work. I was surprised, given the sort of things he encouraged us to do, at how small the paintings were. I said, “I thought they would be big paintings?” He said “They are big paintings, lad, they are big paintings.”

Now

I look at the work I produce 33 years later and wonder where, in all of the excessively tight control that an I-Pad gives me, lie the ripples of those lessons?

Process

My involvement with the process and its impact upon me are still what interest me most.

Working digitally, it is always possible to retreat in time and to follow a different seam.

I have always in my mind, somewhere, the thought that this is all leading up to “The Picture,” the image that, for me, stands head and shoulders above all others. The product of all of it. The outcome. The result. I hope that I never produce “The Picture” as it ends there.

Potential

I’ve always been more thrilled by potential than realization.

Looking

The images are subservient to the act of looking.

I cannot look at an image as well as I look through the process of cutting, reassembling and/or erasing that image.

I recall J.G. Ballard saying that he did not want his children to read his books as it was too intimate a relationship for them to have with him.

When I am erasing areas of old paintings it can also feel too intimate. I enter a room in the National Gallery and seeing one of ‘my’ renaissance paintings across the room, blush slightly with the feeling that others know.

Momentum

At full tilt I feel that were I to lay upon the cold wet morning grass then I would sizzle.

The loss of momentum brings the leaden drag of gravity.

Images

The images are diary entries that trigger a recollection of an experience and/or a sequence of thoughts.

Sometimes they are markers, or signposts, of another seam of ideas, sometimes of dead ends.

Mining

Like a hunter, I track images to use. I gather them together and then mine them until I have extracted all that I can currently use.

The potential of a newly struck seam can take years off.

Inevitably the slagheaps pile up around me, making it difficult to find anything and to choose only 15 images.

N.B. No canaries were harmed in the production of the work.

It is all just the act of looking and of being engaged with a process.

It is all process and the impact of the process on the act of looking.

I am not focussed on the images. They interest me, but not as much as the process and the act of looking that they involve.

I see my work as debris, as fall out from my involvement with a process. The pictures were always subservient to the process and the act of looking.

 

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wal-keck-self-portraitArtist: Wal Keck

See more of his work on Instagram: wal616.

 

 

 

 

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Romare Bearden & Kitsch

by Christopher Hutchinson

Romare Bearden is considered one of the most important American artists of the 20th century. He depicted aspects of black culture in a Cubist style….Born in North Carolina, he landed in New York City and studied with George Grosz. His early paintings were realistic with religous themes. Later, his works depict aspects of family culture in a semiabstract collage and Cubist style. He was also a songwriter and designed sets for the Alvin Ailey Company. http://www.biography.com/people/romare-bearden-40540#synopsis

 

Collage

col·lage noun 1. a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric onto a backing. https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

Romare Bearden has left a significant mark on the African American art community many years after he has gone. He is the most prolific semi-abstract collage artist to be recognized in the realm of art. His influence cannot be easily dismissed. This article will attempt to do just that.

Being the most prolific semi-abstract artist means absolutely nothing in the pursuit of art. Anyone can manufacture a ton of crap, but production is not the sum of what makes a great artist. If production alone were the criteria to be successful many artists would have met and exceed Bearden’s position in the “Black canon.” This article questions his status as the major influencer he is to the African American art community.

There is an argument that Bearden is in many ways the first abstract art introduced to the African American art community. That is simply not the case. Harlem Renaissance artists like Aaron Douglas’ s cubism preceded Bearden by decades and is certainly more an artist. The collage practice period is a gross attempt at creativity. To cut and paste imagery is an ugly mode of praxis.

Any artist who likes the foundation of the arts (drawing, painting, and 3-D works) could never appreciate such a practice void of artistry. Collage as a medium is an offense to these foundations. If this is an artist’s entry point these artists eventually will need to return to those foundations. Bearden’s accomplishment is the fact that he produced this collage farce for his entire career repeatedly with little to no change. The fact that he could dredge through this monotonous cutting and gluing speaks to a kind of attrition that has not to do with art, rather a kind of masochism.

 

Kitsch

Kitsch noun 1. art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way: “the lava lamp is an example of sixties kitsch” adjective 1. considered to be in poor taste but appreciated in an ironic or knowing way: “the front room is stuffed with kitsch knickknacks, little glass and gilt ornaments”https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/

Kitsch is a more appropriate discussion for Bearden’s prolific production. Knickknacks of African American culture scrapbooked on a large rectangle for consumption. The Harlem renaissance was not Kitsch. They were interested in realism. They used analytic and synthetic cubism to access an abstract realism. Those artists used their art to literally build a vernacular of tangible African American history not to be scrapbooked, rather a present lived moment. Bearden’s work subverts and erases the very foundation the Harlem renaissance built and reduced it to a postcard.

 

Bearden is used as a model for many artists to aspire to, and many artists succumb to his success as the rubric of their own practice. Many “Black galleries” are saturated with this dated knickknack art that only succeeds as a poor copy of an original consumable. These artists that choose to pick up the mantle of Bearden waste their lives never developing work for themselves. Why do “Black galleries” and collectors support this obvious cliché as the pinnacle of African American contribution? Especially when Bearden himself credits European study as his major source of influence, not the “Black canon.”

 

Collections
By Maynard Eaton

Jerry Thomas Jr. and Alan Avery may have engineered Atlanta’s single most significant black art exhibition ever this past weekend. Their unprecedented collaboration produced an historic cultural event for dozens of the city’s Who’s Who art aristocrats to admire and purchase rare original works by Romare Bearden, America’s preeminent African American artist.

The Lamp, by Romare Bearden

The Lamp, by Romare Bearden

“We are the first two art dealers – regardless of color – that have collaborated,” says Alan Avery, owner of the Alan Avery Art Company in Buckhead. “It doesn’t happen in Atlanta. But, I think it is even more significant that we are from different races and that we come from different backgrounds, but that we are collaborating for the strength of Atlanta, the Atlanta art scene and the Atlanta collector base.”

“Bearden is one of the all-time great artists,” adds Jerry Thomas, the owner and highly regarded impresario of Jerry Thomas Arts. “He would not only enjoy the prices that his works are bringing but also the mixed audience of both blacks and whites. I think that would have been very important to him. What makes it ever more significant is the collaboration between me and Alan Avery. Hopefully this will not only be the beginning of such collaborations, but will set a new mold for the country in terms of blacks and whites working together to produce more shows.”

Bearden’s work now commands a hefty price tag, with the pieces on display at Alan Avery’s gallery ranging from $40,000 to $400,000. It was an uptown show for an upscale cross-section of Atlanta’s elite, and the metro area’s sophisticated art connoisseurs. They didn’t blink at the prices. Six of Bearden’s prize pieces were sold the first day, and the exhibition continues through January. http://saportareport.com/romare-bearden-exhibition-the-tipping-point-of-atlantas-black-arts-renaissance/

From a financial standpoint $400,000 is a great investment, but at what cost. To train the next generation to replicate this means of production is appalling. An artist in 2017 doing a copy of Bearden, believing it to be a true representation of the African American community is beyond delusional yet many Black artists are doing just that. The stagnation located in the African American art community can be placed squarely at the feet of these collectors and galleries that praise the romanticized kitsch element present in all of Bearden’s production. There are many artists within the “Black canon” which would be more suitable as an entry point for African American artists.

 

Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

Flux

by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance

“Flux” is the third in the collaboration series “Teeth is Tears,” created by artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in his bio, “Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as.” Both artists’ works are informed by their lived experience of disability.

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Flux

Flux
Nothing is initiated
No points of origin
That aren’t reflections
That aren’t responses
To
The need to please
That rests at the core of I in absentia.

Flux
The pieces move to satisfy
The assumption
The predisposition toward
Vacancy
And the relegation of person
To the ownership of the itinerant
To the ownership of the dispenser that determines design.

There is no
I—she—he
No
Me—my—or mine
Only quantity
And the relevancy of pieces
At the time that the puzzle
Is aligned to confirm the presumption and assumption.

There is no need to know
Nothing to know
It moves to confirm
To confine itself to the affirmation of confirmation
So that they
Are free
To rub the head of the dying and the dead
In celebration of their insight.

Flux
Faces within faces
Faces upon faces
Without the complexity of identity
Without the confusion of consciousness
Or the need to be conscious
That this might not be as simple as
As simple as its allowed—as it required to be.

The red is essential
Rhythmic surges
Pulsations promising continuity
Promising the continuance of continuity
Irrespective
Of the passage of time
And the gentrification
Of the periodically human landscape.

The neck is essential
The pedestal and the pivot
The pillar of vulnerability
Should the illusion need to be terminated
The foundation
On which replacements can be made If
Too much time is taken
And history takes purchase and infects the moment.

The mouth is vaginal
Receptacle and deliverance of
Utterances
Raped—ravaged and reviled
Should the “ists” fail to convulse
Rapt in the afterglow
Of their urgent need to impose their hungers
Into gaping mouths before they forget to remain silent.

Flux
Freedom through depression and repression
The careful calculation of denied
Yet essential balances
Abuse
Use
Allowance
The careful writing of the fading promises of truce.

 

david-feingold-2Artist: David Feingold

David Feingold was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951.  Feingold works in the medium of digital art.  Much of his art is used in conjunction with his anti-stigma awareness campaigns to the lay public as well as professionals and academicians.

Feingold has a varied education and professional background, which along with his personal experience with bipolar disorder, influence much of his art: Bachelors in Art Education; Masters in Visual Design; Masters in Social Work; and a Doctorate in Disability Studies.

His work has been represented both nationally and internationally in both brick and mortar and online galleries. His ultimate purpose in creating “bipolar art” is to present the inner struggles of those with psychiatric disorders and through understanding and acceptance, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with all mental illness.

Feingold worked for 15 years as a visual designer and 15 years as a school social worker, when he had to take early retirement, due to advancing cognitive impairments stemming from a closed head injury from a hit-and-run accident in his teens. The closed head injury was the genesis of Feingold’s temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. He resides in rural Michigan in a simple, one room dwelling, complete with a wood burning stove and a pond in the back yard. Feingold states that his home provides a perfect environment in which to produce his artwork as well as a harmonious balance and stability in light of the unpredictable challenges associated with his diagnoses of bipolar and seizure disorders.

This is Feingold’s second art collaboration. His first collaboration was with a musician/composer, whose music was informed by his own seizure activity as well as Feingold’s art imagery.

Website: www.feinart.me

 

blog-hotsauceanddill-blogspot-comArtist: Michael Quaintance

How long has “depression” been a central part of your life experience? Before answering, I need to respond to the assumptions and preconceptions that haven’t be voiced, but have proven to be inherent in this kind of question.   “Depression” (for me) is a region of sight and insight that exists outside of the constraints of belonging and the constructs of being used to set the terms and conditions of normalcy.  I also need to add that I use the term “depression” for the sake of convenience, so that you and I can begin our conversation from a shared point, even though our interpretations will differ at the outset.

So, what is depression… for you? Depression is not—depression does not—depression will not.  Is, does and will, belong to form, formality and functionality; the need to assert, discern and determine.  What you call depression, I call imposition and the limitation of the unique by mandates of compliance that have little to no tolerance for difference, or that which cannot/will not be defined.

My work, my writing is motivated by this unfinished—recently began—lifelong discussion. Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as. The gift of isolation and aloneness over the past few years, has opened doorways and pathways that I’ve only begun to discover; and in word, design.

Ex-Dancer—Actor, Bachelors in Philosophy and Performing Arts, Masters in Education, presently completing a Doctorate in Disability Studies

Blog: hotsauceanddill.blogspot.com

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Basel 2016 Pilgrimage

by Christopher Hutchinson

Art Basel in America is a 4 days art fair that is being held from 01 December 2016, Thursday to 04 December 2016, Sunday. This art fair is being organized by M. C. H. Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Limited. The venue of this event is Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) which is situated in Miami Beach, Florida, United States of America. Art Basel in America 2016 will showcase a wide range of products and services related to art and collectibles sectors from the leading exhibitors, for example, premier paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, prints, photography, film, video, and digital art. Over 250 exhibitors are expected at this event to showcase their products and services. Over 70,000 visitors are expected at this art fair. Visitor profile of this event includes collectors, artists, dealers, curators, critics and art enthusiasts. The recurrence of Art Basel in America is annual. The first year of this art fair is 2002. https://tradeshowz.com/art-basel-miami-beach

 

Reaffirmation

 

It’s always good to go to Art Basel Miami. The first time one goes as an artist one is simply overwhelmed with the quantity and quality of the works only experienced before in books. The first year your feet hurt from actually trying to see everything. You come in contact with real artworks that had a profound influence on you and are curious to see if they still have the same impact.

The art fan comes out and you are transported back to when you were purely in love with every aspect of being an artist. While you are having these spiritual encounters, thousands of people are mobbing through these spaces and they are just as zealous as you to reaffirm and acquire the impact of these art works. And while your favorite pieces are bringing back that nostalgia, two feet away is a gaudy monstrosity that has a completely jarring effect that breaks nostalgia–until two seconds later when you fall again for another piece.

 

Confirmation

 

You could spend everyday for a week just at the main Art Basel convention center. But there is literally tons more art to see. At the satellite fairs like SCOPE, CONTEXT, ART MIAMI etc.

 

 

These Satellite fairs are where you actually begin to see your and your peers’ work and in whose galleries. These fairs also include many of the same works at the main Basel but, for example, may contain the drawings and paintings of Richard Serra versus an actual full-scale sculpture. There is a sense of confirmation that you are on the right path. You also see the total and complete embrace of technology and art. There is a lot of 3d printed work, super-slick experimental materials, and florescent colors. This also confirms that you don’t need any of that either.

 

Wynwood Walls

The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the renowned community revitalizor and placemaker Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential.

The Wynwood Walls became a major art statement with Tony’s commitment to graffiti and street art, a genre that he believes is under appreciated [sic] and not respected historically. He wanted to give the movement more attention and more respect: “By presenting it in a way that has not been done before, I was able to expose the public to something they had only seen peripherally.” Murals by renowned street artists have covered the walls of the Wynwood Walls complex since 2009, and to create more canvases and bring more artists to the project, Tony opened the Wynwood Doors in 2010 with 176 feet of roll-up storefront gates. The painted exteriors and interiors of the doors reveal a portrait gallery. Murals have also been commissioned for Outside the Walls through 2011, in key locations outside the park itself. http://wynwoodmiami.com/listing_details.php?id=82

 

The Wynwood Walls have changed in 2016. A couple years ago it was bouncing with grimy street/graffiti artists and the walls stayed open all night. This year there is evidence that commercialism has spread. The scene is much more conservative than years past. While you can still find graffiti artists still there doing work, it was more curated, as opposed to other years.

The Wynwood basel is on the other side, across the water from South beach. There is a definite push going all the way to little Haiti, Miami.

 

Prizm Art Fair

WESLEY CLARK My Big Black America 84” x 144” x 14” salvaged and stained wood 2011 http://www.prizmartfair.com/prizm-program

WESLEY CLARK
My Big Black America
84” x 144” x 14”
salvaged and stained wood
2011
http://www.prizmartfair.com/prizm-program

Curated by Mikhaile Solomon

 Prizm Art Fair presents the work of international emerging artists with a select focus on solo presentations by artists from the Global African Diaspora. The theme for the fourth edition will explore the global impact of Africa’s cultural DNA.

Alexandra Smith, Alexis Peskine, Allison Janae Hamilton, Alonzo Davis, Amber Robles-Gordon, Ariston Jacks, Asser Saint Val, Cleveland Dean, Cosmo Whyte, Deborah Jack, Duhirwe, Ezra Wube, Felandus Thames, Francks Deceus, Ify Chiejina, Jamal Ince, James A Rush, Jayson Keeling, LaToya Hobbs, MahlOt Sansosa, Morel Doucet, Marvin Toure, Maya Amina, Musa Hixson,  Nadia Huggins, Nyugen Smith, Olalekan Jeyifous, Sharon Norwood, Shaunte Gates, Shawn Theodore, Sheena Rose, T. Eliott Mansa, Terry Boddie, Vickie Pierre, Wesley Clark, Wole Lagunju http://www.prizmartfair.com/2016-schedule-of-events

 

Little Haiti is where you find the Prizm Art Fair 2016. Prizm is where you have to go to see your global African and African-American contemporaries in the same space. This means one has to travel from South Beach across the water to Wynwood and a few miles more. This still illustrates the gap between the Global African diaspora and the Western art canon. African art is still in the basement of many museums. This fact is a sobering reminder.

It was worth traveling across the water, through Wynwood, and a few miles more to see a common visual aesthetic shared by many African diaspora countries working in the same vein. The work could have been presented better but was worth it. The William Cordova curated space was especially interesting.

The most worthwhile were the panel discussions that got a little rowdy with opposing views on the actual state of the black arts movement, and a generational gap or lack there of, in that movement.

 

Rubell Family Collection

High Anxiety: New Acquisitions
November 30, 2016 — August 25, 2017

High Anxiety: New Acquisitions presents selections of artworks from 32 artists acquired since 2014, many of whom explore polarizing social and political concerns through a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practices. In gauging the output and energies of these artists we find creative currents that speak to our shared state of uncertainty, nervousness and pessimism. “Artists help us comprehend and grapple with the critical issues in our lives,” says Mera Rubell. https://rfc.museum/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/high-anxiety

 

The Rubell Family Collection consistently provides a challenging and pointed view every year. It’s a great space to cleanse the palette and reset after seeing so much art at Basel. The space and lighting are ideal to view the work. And the mob isn’t quite as pushy. Of all the artworks you remember in a year at Basel, the ones from RFC will be amongst them.

Basel is great to recharge your theory and practice. You get a chance to engage with your art inspirations as well as recognize what the current trends are. It’s a gathering of thousands of art minds. At Basel, art dialogue and methodology is the majority. Art lectures and talks are filled with genuine interest and responses. It is the equivalent of attending 50 museums and 20 artist talks in four days. You are able see trends from Denmark to Canada. That can be overwhelming so you learn to pace yourself the next year. Making the Basel pilgrimage is a mandatory.

 

Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

Mourning Light

by Holly Friesen

An exhibition of recent paintings by Holly Friesen
Les Mots Tremblant, Friday, Dec 16, 5 to 7 pm

The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you arrive there. ~Patti Smith

This exhibition is dedicated to Walt Pascoe, the love of my life, whose passing from the earth on the solstice of last year has been mourned in the sweetest light possible. The only way my heart could survive this loss was to paint my way through it. After having mourned his absence for a full year I find his presence in everything I see and touch.

I recently attended a month long artist residency program at the Vermont Studio Centre in Johnson, Vermont. This was a transformative experience. I was able to paint day and night in a gorgeous studio without interruptions or distractions. Meals were provided and the interaction with the 50 other attending writers and visual artists was inspiring and stimulating. The first thing I painted was “Good-Bye Kiss”. The reference photo I painted from was taken by a close photographer friend of mine who passed away three months after Walt. This painting allowed me to process a lot of sadness for the loss of both these dear souls. Once this painting was complete I felt released and lighter as though the studio had been blessed with a newfound radiance that was filled with love and gratitude.

 

holly friesen-good-bye kiss

 

To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
go,
to let it go.

~ Mary Oliver

I unrolled some large swaths of canvas from a roll that had belonged to Walt, stapled them to the wall and started to paint light filled landscapes of colour and joy. These paintings came bursting forth with a gratitude for life so large it was almost hard to contain it.

 

Unbound Joy / 84" X 70"

Unbound Joy / 84″ X 70″

Mysteries Too Marvellous to be Understood / 72" X 60"

Mysteries Too Marvellous to be Understood / 72″ X 60″

 

I intend to exhibit these pieces un-stretched and unframed, just as they were in the studio. I love the raw edges that seem to extend the painting into the room and allow their energy to spill out into the space around them. I want the viewer to experience the painting  as an expansive invitation to enter the painting with their own heart.

 

holly-friesen-paintings

 

Next I felt as though I was between stories, a liminal space. A story of presence and absence co-existing in one space. A tension filled existence of opposites; movement and stillness, light and dark, colour and neutrality. A space full of potential yet oddly empty. It was at this time I came across a photograph by friend and colleague Melissa Johnston I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I rarely paint from another person’s imagery as I find “image gathering” to be very personal but this one just wouldn’t stop
calling out to me. I contacted Melissa and she very generously gave me permission to use her sublime photo as reference for a painting. “Liminal Space” is the resulting painting and I am grateful for Melissa’s vision that resonated with my own at that moment in time and space.

 

Liminal Space / 36" X 48"

Liminal Space / 36″ X 48″

 

Then came a more subdued palette as I started on a new series of paintings. These works were more modest in size and inspired by a series of photos and memories from a 5 a.m. September morning paddle on Pink Pond in the Adirondacks. As my photographer friend and I waited for the fog to lift we were rewarded with some of the most sublime glimpses  of landscape revealed at whim from behind a shifting veil of mist. This ambiguous vision of the the horizon appearing and disappearing was poetic and dreamlike.

 

Infinite Possibilities / 48" X 36"

Infinite Possibilities / 48″ X 36″

Pink Pond #1 / 12" X 12"

Pink Pond #1 / 12″ X 12″

Morning Offering / 12" X 12"

Morning Offering / 12″ X 12″

Pink Pond #4 / 12" X 12"

Pink Pond #4 / 12″ X 12″

 

The following paintings are several that I have selected from this past year of searching, exploring and reaffirming the interconnectedness of our inner and outer landscapes. The present moment seems to intersect with the past and the future and linear time dissolves into a web of moments.

 

The Present Moment Becomes Long Ago / 24" X 48"

The Present Moment Becomes Long Ago / 24″ X 48″

Dark Water Cove / 24" X 48"

Dark Water Cove / 24″ X 48″

Field Flow

Field Flow

 

My painting practice continues as a form of deep prayer which reconnects me to that which is vital in this life and beyond. Painting teaches me what I need to learn. Like breath, painting has become intuitive and essential to my own survival. I am humbled and awed by this invitation to participate in the Great Mystery through moments of numinous beauty that I am gifted with on a daily basis.

 

Un Peu Perdu dans les Nuages / 16" X 20"

Un Peu Perdu dans les Nuages / 16″ X 20″

When Warmth Fell from the Sky / 24" X 30"

When Warmth Fell from the Sky / 24″ X 30″

Landscape in Motion / 36" X 48"

Landscape in Motion / 36″ X 48″

Yellow Pool of Light / 36" X 48"

Yellow Pool of Light / 36″ X 48″

 

 

holly-friesen-bio-picArtist: Holly Friesen

www.hollyfriesen.com

hollyfriesen@gmail.com

Holly Friesen was born in Saskatchewan, studied Visual Arts at John Abbott College in Montreal and painting at York University in Toronto. After many years of travel and study she settled in Mont-Tremblant, QC and opened ArtBeat Studio where she painted and taught for 15 years. Four summer seasons saw Holly as artistic director and curator of The Art Barn in Mont-Tremblant. In 2010 she was curator and project manager of Ateliers du Village, an artist run gallery in Mont-Tremblant village.  From 2012-13 she worked as the Montreal curator for an online art auction ArtBomb. The artist’s studio is currently based out of Montreal QC where she also works as artistic director and curator of E.K. Voland Art Gallery. Her paintings are collected internationally and part of both corporate and private collections. Holly’s passion is painting vibrant landscapes from the inside out while collaborating with other artists to make art more visible in our everyday world.

Artist Statement:  My work revolves around earth-honoring images that reflect and instill connection to local bio-regions. These images internalize a reverence for the earth and shift the intent from harming the world to living in a mutually life enhancing manner. I learn what I need to know by painting. The more I paint the less separation there is between inner and outer worlds. For me, painting is like deep prayer awakening an inner wilderness that reflects the earth’s landscape; the image is in you and you are in the image. Painting is my breath, beauty my compass and the earth is my body.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HollyFriesenArtist/?pnref=lhc

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hollyfriesenart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Holly59

Online Portfolio: https://www.artworkarchive.com/artwork/holly-friesen

 

Bruise

by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance

“Bruise” is the second in the collaboration series “Teeth is Tears,” created by artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in his bio, “Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as.” Both artists’ works are informed by their lived experience of disability.

david-feingold-bruise

 

Bruise

I blend
Not because I fit
But because I’ve learned to hide
Effectively
Allowing only select orifices to seep and bleed
Select thoughts to register
On a face well hidden
Beneath a face well-rehearsed.

Versed in verse
It’s all a matter of cadence not content
How rather than what
When rather than why,
Maintained for audience
My absence of authenticity
Goes unnoticed
And I am given name, place and a seat
At the table of bones.

I have loved
An agent provoking myself
Waiting for the moment when the mask will slip
And the effluvia of my other self seeps out
Onto her—never our sheets,
While the stench of my incarceration
Softly enters her pores
suffocating, debilitating all of the dreams shared
when my role was believed and played
So effectively.

That time is gone
So many twists
So many turns
Breaking bones, stretching muscles beyond points
Of endurance,
It’s only the bleeding that oils the engine of my continuance
It’s only the bleeding that softens the impact of each step
Taken
In an effort to belong.

The question I ask myself is why
Do I
After all these years
Bother,
Knowing that I seep when I sleep
That my voice is vacant
That the blindness of my left eye will one day
Be overtaken by the insight of my right,
Why do I
Play in a field of children afraid of monsters
When I am and have always been
The monster they and I were taught to fear?

Comfortable in dark rooms
Caressed by the arms and eyes of shadow
I am
Despite the absence of a name
Someone,
Distressed and bruised
A decayed semblance of the first step taken
I am story and truth
Memory
Without the need
Beyond the mandate
To lie to myself for the sake of everyone
Anyone
Else.

Home
I have no need for lock or key
As no one wants
To come here
My laughter—my tears
A commentary that no one wants to hear.

So why then do I bother
To be, simply not to be
To be seen, knowing that I am never seen
To exit
When I know that every entrance returns me
Here?

 

david-feingold-2Artist: David Feingold

David Feingold was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951.  Feingold works in the medium of digital art.  Much of his art is used in conjunction with his anti-stigma awareness campaigns to the lay public as well as professionals and academicians.

Feingold has a varied education and professional background, which along with his personal experience with bipolar disorder, influence much of his art: Bachelors in Art Education; Masters in Visual Design; Masters in Social Work; and a Doctorate in Disability Studies.

His work has been represented both nationally and internationally in both brick and mortar and online galleries. His ultimate purpose in creating “bipolar art” is to present the inner struggles of those with psychiatric disorders and through understanding and acceptance, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with all mental illness.

Feingold worked for 15 years as a visual designer and 15 years as a school social worker, when he had to take early retirement, due to advancing cognitive impairments stemming from a closed head injury from a hit-and-run accident in his teens. The closed head injury was the genesis of Feingold’s temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. He resides in rural Michigan in a simple, one room dwelling, complete with a wood burning stove and a pond in the back yard. Feingold states that his home provides a perfect environment in which to produce his artwork as well as a harmonious balance and stability in light of the unpredictable challenges associated with his diagnoses of bipolar and seizure disorders.

This is Feingold’s second art collaboration. His first collaboration was with a musician/composer, whose music was informed by his own seizure activity as well as Feingold’s art imagery.

Website: www.feinart.me

 

blog-hotsauceanddill-blogspot-comArtist: Michael Quaintance

How long has “depression” been a central part of your life experience? Before answering, I need to respond to the assumptions and preconceptions that haven’t be voiced, but have proven to be inherent in this kind of question.   “Depression” (for me) is a region of sight and insight that exists outside of the constraints of belonging and the constructs of being used to set the terms and conditions of normalcy.  I also need to add that I use the term “depression” for the sake of convenience, so that you and I can begin our conversation from a shared point, even though our interpretations will differ at the outset.

So, what is depression… for you? Depression is not—depression does not—depression will not.  Is, does and will, belong to form, formality and functionality; the need to assert, discern and determine.  What you call depression, I call imposition and the limitation of the unique by mandates of compliance that have little to no tolerance for difference, or that which cannot/will not be defined.

My work, my writing is motivated by this unfinished—recently began—lifelong discussion. Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as. The gift of isolation and aloneness over the past few years, has opened doorways and pathways that I’ve only begun to discover; and in word, design.

Ex-Dancer—Actor, Bachelors in Philosophy and Performing Arts, Masters in Education, presently completing a Doctorate in Disability Studies

Blog: hotsauceanddill.blogspot.com

 

Teeth is Tears: A Collaboration Series

by David Feingold and Michael Quaintance

“Teeth is Tears” is a collaboration series between artists David Feingold and Michael Quaintance. Michael writes poetry in response to David’s images. As Michael says in his bio, “Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as.” Both artists’ works are informed by their lived experience of disability. This is the first in a series of their collaborations to appear on Creative Thresholds.

David Feingold, Seeing the Light

David Feingold, Seeing the Light

 

Teeth is Tears

The first thing you learns
Before the silence and the shame
Is the high cost of suffering and the impudence of pain
That god’s gone a-callin’
and the devil’s home to stay
That the hurt gon’ hurt forever
But you bes’ laugh hard today.

The second thing you learns
Is you a ditch for irrigation
A furrow in the fields
So all the blood run fresh and free,
Wait, with yo’ legs spread
For the plow to split you open
Pray the Lord gon keep his promise
That you be free, one day, to flee.

My daddy was a teeth man
My granddaddy too
They smiled for Mr. Charlie’s
Number one and number two,
They tilted they heads backward
While they smiled and smiled and smiled
So they tears fell back behind they thoughts
And their rage got washed to ground.

My daddy was a teeth man
My mamma cried in pain
She told him it was sorrow
But he knew that it was shame,
That everythang he loved he’d lose
Get stripped and passed away
If they saw the fire in his eyes
If the laughter turned to rage.

My daddy died a toothless man
My granddaddy did too
He never brushed the stains away
Kept proof of their abuse,
He ate the rot
Day after day, felt the grit rough on his tongue
He kept his breath rank and stale
So they breathed in what they’d done.

The first thing you learn
Before the silence and the shame
Is the high cost of suffering and the impudence of pain,
So, our niggers, keep on smiling
Niggers new and niggers old
All our bent and limp and cracked and gimped
Made to stand out in the cold.

The second thing you learn
Is those yellowed teeth, are tears
Lines of carefully coded history
Passed down through generations
And ignored
year after year.

 

david-feingold-2Artist: David Feingold

David Feingold was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951.  Feingold works in the medium of digital art.  Much of his art is used in conjunction with his anti-stigma awareness campaigns to the lay public as well as professionals and academicians.

Feingold has a varied education and professional background, which along with his personal experience with bipolar disorder, influence much of his art: Bachelors in Art Education; Masters in Visual Design; Masters in Social Work; and a Doctorate in Disability Studies.

His work has been represented both nationally and internationally in both brick and mortar and online galleries. His ultimate purpose in creating “bipolar art” is to present the inner struggles of those with psychiatric disorders and through understanding and acceptance, reduce the stigma and prejudice associated with all mental illness.

Feingold worked for 15 years as a visual designer and 15 years as a school social worker, when he had to take early retirement, due to advancing cognitive impairments stemming from a closed head injury from a hit-and-run accident in his teens. The closed head injury was the genesis of Feingold’s temporal lobe epilepsy and bipolar disorder. He resides in rural Michigan in a simple, one room dwelling, complete with a wood burning stove and a pond in the back yard. Feingold states that his home provides a perfect environment in which to produce his artwork as well as a harmonious balance and stability in light of the unpredictable challenges associated with his diagnoses of bipolar and seizure disorders.

This is Feingold’s second art collaboration. His first collaboration was with a musician/composer, whose music was informed by his own seizure activity as well as Feingold’s art imagery.

Website: www.feinart.me

 

blog-hotsauceanddill-blogspot-comArtist: Michael Quaintance

How long has “depression” been a central part of your life experience? Before answering, I need to respond to the assumptions and preconceptions that haven’t be voiced, but have proven to be inherent in this kind of question.   “Depression” (for me) is a region of sight and insight that exists outside of the constraints of belonging and the constructs of being used to set the terms and conditions of normalcy.  I also need to add that I use the term “depression” for the sake of convenience, so that you and I can begin our conversation from a shared point, even though our interpretations will differ at the outset.

So, what is depression… for you? Depression is not—depression does not—depression will not.  Is, does and will, belong to form, formality and functionality; the need to assert, discern and determine.  What you call depression, I call imposition and the limitation of the unique by mandates of compliance that have little to no tolerance for difference, or that which cannot/will not be defined.

My work, my writing is motivated by this unfinished—recently began—lifelong discussion. Feingold’s images act as doorways, as pathways to those avenues of thought and feeling that have been sequestered in the corners of my efforts to belong and be seen… as. The gift of isolation and aloneness over the past few years, has opened doorways and pathways that I’ve only begun to discover; and in word, design.

Ex-Dancer—Actor, Bachelors in Philosophy and Performing Arts, Masters in Education, presently completing a Doctorate in Disability Studies

Blog: hotsauceanddill.blogspot.com

 

Postcolonial Thoughts: Thoughts on Pedagogy-the Apprentice

by Christopher Hutchinson

Note 8- the foundations are the foundations

 

Many students start off with a foundation course with the wrong intentions, perfection being one of them. This idea of being a perfectionist actually slows the learning process and sometimes renders that foundation course useless. The “perfectionist” student is having a philosophical debate about something that actually has linear steps to grow in art pedagogy. The steps of the foundation course cannot be skipped without proper understanding of the previous lesson.

The foundations are repetitive exercises to build the individual artist’s tool bag. Questioning these foundation steps confuses the “perfectionist” student, not the professor. The professor already knows how to accomplish these steps. The foundations are the foundations. These courses are arranged to crescendo based on the previous lessons learned. Foundation courses work much like learning your addition and subtraction math facts. Imagine trying to learn addition and they constantly challenge the previous fact learned. That is the difficulty with challenging the foundation classes, especially when there are so many facts to be learned before a true challenge to the art-making practice can be articulated. In the foundation courses you get the tips and tricks to make the steps easier and gain actual repeatable knowledge that becomes second nature.

 

 

Many of these “perfectionist” students may grasp one lesson and then have a hard time getting the next lesson. The classes crescendo. The stopping and starting, coming late, setup time, and flow of the class have a lot to do with grasping all the facts necessary to move on effectively. These students complete the course and move on to another art class only to run into the same “art facts” skipped in the previous course. These students are choosing to accept only the lessons they feel suit them. This then breeds an incomplete artist with limited experience and low-confidence to attempt things they feel to be too difficult. This person ends up not challenging anything, becomes super sensitive during critique, and ends up quitting or changing majors. Confidence begins with knowing as many foundation art facts as possible. Develop the patience and drive to achieve and exceed every lesson—that is the “perfectionist” that is a joy to teach.

 

Note 9-The Apprentice

apprentice

[uhpren-tis]

noun

1.a person who works for another in order to learn a trade: an apprentice to a plumber.
2.History/Historical. a person legally bound through indenture to amaster craftsman in order to learn a trade.
3.a learner; novice; tyro.
4.U.S. Navy. an enlisted person receiving specialized training.
5.a jockey with less than one year’s experience who has won fewer than40 races.verb (used with object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
6.to bind to or place with an employer, master craftsman, or the like, forinstruction in a trade.verb (used without object), apprenticed, apprenticing.
7.to serve as an apprentice: He apprenticed for 14 years under a master silversmith.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/apprentice

 

Today’s lack of work ethic, required of an apprentice, may derive from the success of postmodern ideals. Ideals that advocate the erasure of craft and praise celebrity rather than grueling art practice. This generation of students wants to completely skip the foundation process and go directly to postmodern conceptual practice.  A real artist would enjoy every bit of every mundane exercise presented in foundation courses.  Only in going through and mastering those exercises will the artist begin to develop a vocabulary that could articulate a postmodern discussion. Postmodernism and conceptual art are only two movements in the history of art already dated.

Once again one may want to have a discussion on postmodernism and conceptual practice but run into the same issues that were not mastered in their foundation.  If students do not achieve smooth transitions in their compositions of still lifes, their postmodern and conceptual ideas will certainly be rough as well.  An artist has to have had exhausted the foundations to begin their art theory practice.  One has to learn multiplication and division before being ready to solve for x or do calculus.  One has to practice communicating successfully before achieving the subtlety of irony.

 

Christopher Hutchinson 2Christopher Hutchinson is an accomplished Jamaican conceptual artist, professor and contributor to the art community as a writer, critic and founder of the nonprofit Smoke School of Art. He is a Professor of Art at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and has been featured as a lecturer including prestigious engagements at University of Alabama and the Auburn Avenue Research Library. For two decades, Chris has been a practicing artist. His works have been exhibited in internationally recognized institutions including City College New York (CUNY) and featured at the world’s leading international galleries such as Art Basel Miami. He has always had an innate passion for creating spaces where Africans and people of African descent contribute to an inclusive contemporary dialogue—ever evolving, not reflexive but pioneering. This requires challenging the rubric of the canon of art history, a systemic space of exclusion for the Other: women and non-Whites, and where necessary he rewrites it. He received his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

 

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