Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So far in Arizona...

I was writing a really fun blog post but it got deleted when my computer overheated, so this is a dry boring version just to get it all down before I go to bed. sorry.

Travelling always helps me be in a good mind space for plotting art. I finally got to check out the contemporary galleries around Scottsdale and the people watching the galleries that I met were so nice and accommodating! We hit the galleries late so we only got to about 4 galleries, but that's a lot to some people.

We first stopped by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art because well,  they do a great job of having multiple exhibitions that look like they took a long time to install, that's always something to look forward to, but I was a little sad that I missed Nick Cave's Sound Suits.

First stop was passing a lot of terrible paintings of horses (sorry, I only drool over realistic paintings of clouds and nature) and checking out Gebert Contemporary which was very pretty inside, but mostly I liked this piece. And the person in the gallery at the time told me that the best place for good contemporary art was to head over to Marshall Way.

Art One Gallery was one of the most inspirational galleries I had ever seen, just because their mission of educating students on how to make a career via the galleries was done on their terms. My mom thought it reminded her of the Neutral Zone in Ann Arbor, but I felt like it had a lot of tough love due to how realistically grounded it was in the art market. Not to mention they had an exhibit of neon work. Get this, in this area they have the ONLY high school in the world that has a neon light art class, chalk that up with the other thousands of things I believe Detroit should have in my naive jealous mindset.

Lisa Sette Gallery had the most memorable work, I absolutely loved Mayme Kratz's work. I want to be her assistant to help her make large sculptures and to sand resin to a smooth polish. I was about to buy her book but it was missing like 4 or my favorite works of hers, so I guess I'll just have to wait. I also really liked Carrie Marill's works made with gouache which reminded me of when my fiber friend Sheila was telling me that in the world of high fashion you're expected to be able to master rendering your designs in gouache, a lost art in the states. And that conversation reminds me of watching Gommora, which reminded me of City of God...  Oh yeah, and they represent Julie Heffernan, awesome.

We had just enough time to see work in the Bentley gallery, which I was bummed to have missed seeing Pat Steir's installation, but they were awesome and told me where to find these magnets that they were using to hold up some artwork and I was surprised with the range of work that was in the gallery. Maybe I've just never seen graffiti collaboration in the same gallery as large glazed porcelain wall pieces.

Usually the best part of travelling is actually travelling, you know, moving. We are almost an hour away from where my brother lives so there's quite a bit of highway driving. It's great, gives me time to talk with Dad and think about my art. We somehow got to talking about diversity after discussing if we thought that immigrants from 3rd world countries ever thought about if our country being in a recession really matters or not. Really the link was that we were agreeing that one of the best parts of America is its inherent diversity because of immigration. I can't help but think of that diversity in terms of land too as we drove through the cool desert night as opposed to slushy snow in Michigan. He was saying one good example was the immigrants that came to the US because it could offer the best education in the world. I can't help but think that could it also be that it was the best education in the world BECAUSE of the immigrants themselves? But I guess that gets into a what came first, the chicken or the egg kind of discussion.

So we were still driving and my mind was wandering to why do I emphasis diversity less than I used to? I really want to get back to one of my first artist statements I ever wrote, about how interested I was in diversity, and how I feel like I have an eye for it and want to help others to be able to appreciate it as well. I think that it really influences the way I curate shows, I always want to see work that fits, but comes from many different thought processes (which inexplicably somehow creates shows where the work relates to one another better the more you try to achieve the widest range of work). I also feel like it comes back to how I love using multiple mediums in a single work and I never seem to be able to do the same painting twice. The work I liked the most in Scottsdale were pieces that seemed new and bold, but at the same time it seems to come back to diversity because I appreciated such a wide range of works that seemed to come from earnest investigations, work that avoided looking like other work.

So thinking about diversity I've been turning these questions over and over in my mind:

Is diversity a privilege?
Has anyone studied if diversity has a monetary or other value?
Can diversity hurt?
Can diversity be created? (and not the kind where you Photoshop ethnic faces on white people's bodies)

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