Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Clog

I am thinking that Blog Clog is somewhat like writer’s block, lots to say, just no way to get it down from the dendrites. Rather than providing an entrée, I shall indulge my inner ADHD and give an appetizer menu of thoughts and observations.

First of two great shows to go see at the Canton Museum is the one by Fredlee Votaw. Pass through the watercolor show and enter his dreams. It is an impressive array of media and skill hung chronologically (and how do we know that? He dates his work!!) that allows one to see his development of thought, images and technique over an expansive career. To be able to see a work from 1985 and one from 2004 which are similar depictions of a quilt and a child could allow me a dream indulgence of my own that these figures were related but of different generations. My personal favorites are his graphite drawings. Being a former drawer myself, I could appreciate his sensitive handling of the media and the patience required to do it well. The sculptural horse with all the nails driven into its surface is also a piece worth your time to go see. There is plenty of meat in this show (not the Gaga kind) so make sure you think about his titles while viewing the pieces. Having a marital connection to the horrors bestowed upon European citizens during WW2, Dr. V’s images of that era are haunting.

The next gallery exhibits 8 pieces by Mark Chepp. I will defer and refer you to the review by fellow blogger Tom Wachunas posted 9/12 on his site which is very good at making sense of the way this artist used the computer for his pieces. I could see the influence of Chuck Close in both scale and imagery. What fascinated me the most was his manipulation of the grid as an element of composition, almost mocking the use of grid enlargement techniques all too prevalent in art education nowadays. His 3 panel “Facebook” really allows one to see the variety of surfaces he is able to create via brush marks and color for a delicious dish of tactile treats. Some of his pieces are so supersaturated and textural that the image almost dissolves off the canvas (on purpose). I wrote two big words in my notebook, energetic and optic, and worth the time to really look at the pieces both up close and far away to appreciate the concepts of Mr. Chepp. Oh and one more thing, he dates his work too!

The Massillon Museum is having its one night silent auction this Saturday to raise funds for a vintage photo booth via the selling of over 80 pieces of donated artwork. The same concept of donated art work was held last night at 2nd April Galerie to raise money and awareness for the Stark County dog pound. (I must admit, I am not used to painting with a hundred pound pit bull sitting right behind me…..). The Canton Repository and Independent will be running an online auction of art to raise money for breast cancer in October. An upcoming project utilizing the talents of local artists will benefit the adoption and foster child programs in our county come November. What is my point? That artists are a generous lot is one way of looking at it. Another would be that people may be tired of spa packages and gift baskets in exchange for their hard earned dollars. Art is a much better long term investment. A third point of view could be that our economy demands creative ways for artists to get their work into the public eye and generate interest so a donation here and there works to benefit of all of us. What are my concerns? Well…I have several. Some I have mentioned before and others I will save for a future blog.

I need to go drink a big cup of “Brain-O” and flush out the fog caused by so many ideas and projects swirling through my mind and stirring up a dust cloud.

A big thank you to all the people who turned out at Porter for my recent presentation. To hear somebody tell me that they the never laugh out loud, but that night they did for the first time in a long time….well then what I do is worth even a little bit of pit bull breath now and then.

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