Yesterday was a rainy Saturday. We had no plans, which is how I like it, as mentioned before. We had a small adventure yesterday, which is the category where I initially thought this post should go, but it soon turned into me blathering on about the art I liked at the 3 day art fair event Affair @ the Jupiter Hotel. At first I was a bit skeptical about even attending the event. Maybe I wasn't sure about going because the title was offputting, so cute in it's use of multiple double entendre's. Or maybe it was the fact that it was titled at all. Like the ongoing penchant for news stations (and the government for that matter) to title invasions into foreign lands or natural disasters or tragedies, as if they are some kind of communications strategy, rather than actual events with staggeringly real consequences to people, places and things...oh, wait, maybe that's exactly what they are...but I digress.
Suffice it to say that I wasn't even sure I wanted to go, synical, snotty person that I can be. But, in the end, we thought we'd try it regardless, and much to our surprise, it was great. Really great. Fun, unexpected and interesting. Each room in the hotel, a different gallery and different art. A lot of it good art, too. A lot of it was whimsical, dark, cartoony, innocent/not so innocent drawings and paintings. Most of it very well done. Some of my favorites were from jack hanley gallery including a couple of wonderful drawings by Shaun O'Dell. Beautifully rendered, they are deeply political in nature, expressed in a hand drawn, yet somehow "official information graphic" style that belie their message. I was attracted at first to the hand and the "charty", geeky nature of his work, and then drawn in to the politics of his message. I don't necessarily agree with all that he is saying, but I do love that his intriguing visual hand, forces one to listen to his thoughts and ideas.
Another great gallery, the art palace was from Austin Texas and again, mostly drawings were featured. They showed some work done by a collaborative group of 3 artists. The idea is that they pass a piece of original art work between them to work on individually, and then on to the next person to add, modify, subtract from the piece. They were great but I've lost their name...dodo head me. On a side note, I saw this interesting article in Ready Made magazine recently, that talked about buying some garage sale art and adding to it to make your own "original" art. This all seems to fit when you think of the mix and mash culture we are now living in. What exactly is original any more?
Another good piece was by the artist Nathan Green who's work had a textile design, "before it's produced", croquis kind of feel to it. Very hand done, layered and crafted.
PERFORMANCE ART I ACTUALLY LIKE
It was cool how much video art was also featured. One of my favorites was a piece done by the artist Thomas Baumann and represented by the howard house from Seattle. Saying that I am not a huge fan of performance art is a total understatement to say the least, so to find a piece that was really interesting was a real treat. The piece was showing two "dancers"/athletes moving, performing together and seperately, with and without a skateboard. It was a fresh view into sport and movement as art.
There were lot's of bird images throughout the show. I loved the piece by Carlon Ellis, who is represented by motel gallery from Portland, Oregon.
Another cool example of the bird theme was a piece done by Rebecca Bird who is represented by the bucheon gallery from San Francisco. I can't remember if this exact image was shown yesterday since there was so much art to see, it can all kind of blur, but I did pick up the postcard. One of her other drawings, a birds nest, was definitely there. But here is the bird image from the postcard anyway.
It was exciting too, to come across some pieces, both watercolors and oils, by the artist Darren Waterston. He is a truly remarkable painter, one of which I wish I could afford to buy. George, a great friend, was smart enough to get piece many years ago when it was still relatively possible to afford one. But now, well let's just say it's not a possibility in the immediate future. Maybe it is something to aspire to. But in the meantime, I did discover a book of his work at the greg kucera gallery space. The book is titled "Darren Watertson", published by the St Ann's Press, ISBN: 0-967 1744-6-5 and it is amazing. It is a very special book to have found, celebrating the work of a really amazing contemporary artist. High recommendations.
There were tons more pieces to see. As said before, most were very good. Check out the site for the event to link to other galleries to see more affair @ the jupiter hotel. It's cool to see how much art is still relevant to people's lives both in the doing and going to see.