Friday, July 16, 2010

artist talk roundup

Last night was all about encaustic when Taleen Batalian, Anne Cavanaugh, and Tracy Spadafora spoke about their work exhibited in Preserve. The event was well attended as the artists attracted past students, fans, friends, family, and general art appreciators.

Tracy Spadafora spoke about her current work incorporating DNA code - a new direction that evolved from past work using Big Dig blueprints. She spoke of her fascination with text as image - when strings of letters aren't read from left to right but absorbed as a pattern.

Taleen Batalian described her love for the conversation between medium and artist - the immediacy of heated wax, each layer demanding impulsive decisions.

Anne Cavanaugh compared her process to needlepoint, acknowledging an orderly personality, and describing herself hunched over a piece with a needle and magnifying glass laying poppy seeds down with care.

An audience member astutely pointed out that all three women started out as oil painters and later moved on to encaustic - whereas historically, encaustic was used only up until oil was discovered.

Encaustic attracts new fans, artists and art-appreciators alike, all the time. There's something seductive about its surface - the transparency, the depth. The way the medium almost speaks for itself, but lends itself to great manipulation.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

bravo's work of art - negating this male's gaze? no way

as some of you may have figured out, jimk is the intellectual in the family. that's why i'm always tickled when we sit down with dinner in our laps to a rollicking night of reality tv - i can hear the eye rolling from across the room.

dutifully though, the stereo goes off and the idiot box goes on. last night we were served bravo's "work of art" followed by "top chef: dc" - crits and quickfire challenges, the "gallery" and the judges' table - it's all basically the same and all kinda fun.

the artists, however, are quite unlike the clothing designers, drag divas or would-be pop stars. they're all a little bit too-cool-for-you and can barely work up a head of steam for the various challenges. watch them the next time they receive their assignments - you can practically see the crew poking them with cattle prods to force them to show the slightest bit of enthusiasm. perky they ain't.

jimk: "the winner is someone who's pleased the greatest number of people the most times - is that really any way for an artist to work?" well, no...but if you're going to be an artist, don't you sometimes have to be concerned with what else is out there? not to mention what's been done before? artists are constantly competing for wall space, buyers, prizes. from our end, curating is the name of the game.

what makes the show fun, i think, is that not everyone who thinks they're good at this stuff actually is. from the judges to the judged, it's really up to the guy with the remote contol to decide.

anyway, enough of that - i gotta run. bethenny is getting married!?