What do you do when the artist you love is, well, kind of a
jerk? I always tell people that it's important to separate the art from
the artist. I mean, if I had to like the personality of every musician,
painter or designer as well as their art—I'd be in trouble (Woody Allen
anyone?). So when I sat down to write this post about incredibly
talented graphic design/calligrapher, Marian Bantjes, it's funny that
I, myself, struggled with this very issue. (read on and take the poll on this at the end of the blog!)
I first learned about Paulo Rego when I was a teenager working in a bookstore, I spent endless hours of dead time flipping through the giant Phaidon book devoted to her work. Since then I have taken art classes on and off for ten years now and am shocked that not one of my teachers has ever brought up her work. It is just a reminder to me how women artists can slip into the cracks so easily, compared to their men counterparts.
France's Centre Pompidou houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, so the banishment of male artists for an entire year is quite an expression of solidarity with women in the art world.
I recently went to a screening of the film Handmade Nation at
Portland's excellent Museum of Contemporary Craft. And while the movie was good,
what really stayed with me was what I saw on my way to the screening
room. Seattle artist Mandy Greer's installation Dare alla Luce, which
closes next week, manages to combine macro and micro in the most
striking of ways: The installation comprises ropy tangles of fabric
that hang from the ceiling like primordial chandeliers, shimmering with
shells, beads, and buttons. Beaded orbs and stars hover between them,
and a huge black pelican holds court in the corner, its mouth spilling
streams of sparkling fabric onto the floor of the space. Getting up
close to the different parts of the installation, it's impossible not
to marvel at the intricacy of each one — what look like random masses
of fabric and yarn are carefully sewn, crocheted, beaded, and knotted.
Friend and contributor to the magazine, Nicole Georges,
was featured in a mini-documentary recently on Etsy.com. I thought I would
share because I'm always inspired by how genuine and positive her work
is. She touches a lot on her personal relationships (so relatable
and painfully honest), but often also weaves her love of animals in to
her work as well. This documentary is specifically about her latest
project—an exploration of the Queer Animal Kingdom.
I first saw a selection of the Gee's Bend quilts at The Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco.
I'd never had anything against quilts before that, they just never
struck me all that much. I couldn't deny that socially, they can bring
women and family together in making and sharing them, but the generally
rigid/symmetrical patterns, and often pastel colors and mixed floral
prints, didn't grab me. But when I laid eyes on a Gee's Bend
quilt for the first time, I was truly moved by not just the story
behind it, but moved on a gutteral level by the beauty of the object
One of the web's longest running participatory art projects came to an end last week. For seven years, Learning To Love You More cataloged art "assignments" ranging from photographing strangers holding hands to acting out someone else's argument.
My introduction to this week's sm[art]ist came from an exercise in a film class I had taken. The professor was having us list off as many female directors as we could think of and, as you could imagine, the list ended up being fairly short. In addition to Jane Campion, Amy Heckerling, and Julie Taymor, Maya Deren's name came up.