Wednesday, February 1, 2006

artLA glitter thread & cardboard

So, apologies for not having images....reading will be the mode of communication for you today. As usual. So much for art being visual.

I noticed some common threads, so to speak in the art that I saw on Saturday at artLA, literally & figuratively. The use of some particular mediums.
Thread, Glitter & cardboard.
Thread: used instead of pencil or paint.
More & more artists are using this industrial or craft product as a medium in their fine art. Many of them refer to their work as "thread paintings" or just paintings, or "thread drawings". Lisa Durow, whom I have shown in the past does lovely dainty thread drawings using - thread - & tiny beads on watercolor paper.
At artLA, some things that stood out are the work of Orly Cogan at Byron C. Cohen gallery from Kansas City, Missouri. I was chatting with the director, Toma, & we both went to school & studied Crafts. Both of us were talking about the excitement of seeing a craft medium in fine art galleries, not just in museums or craft galleries. There is a new heightened awareness & acceptance that seemed to make both of us feel like we got our just dues. When you are studying a genre that is not widely accepted as an art form & then, 13 years later see it where you knew it should be there all along, well, it jsut makes you feel something like "Finally" or "I knew it". I am sure with purists it is a debateable subject, but for contemporary galleries there is a buzz that comes with crossing bridges.
Orly Cogans' flirty, dirty, naughty & wonderfully ironic, pastoral & narrative images of ladies in sassy, sexy & natural poses are concise drawings in thread on vintage linens. Stories involve environs of flora, personal moments (such as taking a pee) or romping with toddlerfriendly versions of animals, such as the ones seen in vintage childrens' embroidery or storybooks. Sometimes there is a coy moment when the subject (Orly herself) is peekabooing. The workmanship is that not unlike the skill & labor involved in a painting or drawing & they are priced accordingly - $1000 - $3000 for larger works. (24" - 40")

other galleries that hade work in thread:
Sara Nightingale Gallery - these were pillows.
(she remarked that the food was bad too, & that the libation assortment was completely undesireable - as she nursed the warm beer that she acquired by other means than what was offered by the establishment.)

Lyons Wier Gallery - work by Mark Newport, "My Heroes" - Comic book covers with heroes done in embroidery & the artist is a guy.

Glitter: used instead of paint. Landscapes by Jamie Vasta
I went to these like a crow, "Shiny!!!! Sparkly!!!! Pretty!!!!"

There was also ink-blot glitter work to be had.
In addition to sixspace artist andrew southerland cardboard pieces, there was
cardboard used instead of clay by Scott Fife from Platform Gallery, Seattle. He has been doing these portrait head sculptures for 20 years - talk about getting your just dues.
I had a nice chat with Blake, one of the owners of platformgallery. They have their day jobs holding up the gallery - their labor of LOVE - & enjoy doing the shows because they have made some wonderful connections for their artists. The most endearing story was that they love it when they can call their artist with good news about a sale or connection & the artist cries tears of joy.

So many people "cry" over the tribulations of this industry - let's shed more tears of joy for glitter, thread, cardboard & good news, shall we?

  bookstore revisited: a curated bookstore of delightful and compelling things