Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How to Rob...Beaux Arts Edition

As Eric said to me last night: I'm in the wrong racket. There's no other way to explain it. I am ready to renounce poetry entirely and become a visual artist. I can certainly put together as good a show as the one I saw last night.

It was one of the worst shows I've seen in years. I've seen undergraduate thesis shows that were more interesting (and better executed) than this one was. Billed as a series of photocollage work, the show was nothing more than a series of photos (not all taken by the artist) juxtaposed with "found" "repurposed" items (any old junk she had lying around) "mounted" on 18" x 24" artist's paper (it's sad when paper size is the only thing you remember from the artist's statement...but there it is.)

It was obvious--a black and white picture of trees had a snarl of black thread coming down from the lowest margin of the photo; a black and white picture of a stone wall had little squares of tracing paper painted grey taped in a stack beneath the lowest margin of the photo. It was sloppy--tape was visible on several of these pieces and one of the framed works had a crisp short kinky hair trapped between the matte and the glass...yes...she hung a piece of art with a visible pube (and no it wasn't intentional..."pubic hair" wasn't mentioned in the list of mixed media.) Plus the frames were cheap. If you're asking that much money for "recycled" art, for fuck's sake, professionally frame that shit.

Look around your house...if you have a black and white photo and some black electrical tape, you can slap it on some paper and ask 1200.00 for it. Or maybe you have some old negatives and a spool of thread? That's also 1200.00. Tulle? Bubble wrap? Packing material? 900.00 and 1000.00!

I was glad Brian called me just a minute or so into her "lecture" (a series of obvious statements about fun, form (Do you know what I mean when I say formal qualities?) that lasted a scant 10 minutes. Had I stayed for the whole thing, I think I'd have had to cut the bitch.

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