Thursday, June 28, 2012

I stumbled upon one hell of a website this evening. A site devoted to controversial works of art, complete with comments published in local media, answering messages, or interviews with the general public. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 30 minutes laughing at some of the responses people have when they don't understand something.

I had two favourites:

 After the WAG selected as winner Jean Paul Mousseau's The Blob, 1955, in the annual juried exhibition:

"My painting is not a meaningless blob but an expression of the cosmic forces of the universe".
-Jean Paul Mousseau, prize-winning artist (Free Press, Nov. 8, 1955)

And of course, in response to a show at teh Plug In in 1998:

"I don't really care for you people using the Golden Boy as your gay thing. That's pretty gross. That's Manitoba's honorable person standing up on that thing there. That's pretty gross you guys".
-Anonymous caller to the Plug In answering machine, June 1998

If you want to see how Winnipeg has responded to art over the years, I highly recommend Don Goodes site.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Down then Up

Feeling characteristically down, I went to the internet to see what I could find. Normally I try 'funny cats', but somehow I happened upon a website called 'In the Make: Studio Visits with Artists and Designers. It is a site run by photographer Klea McKenna and writer Nikki Grattan. The two travel around documenting wildly cool artists through intriguing interviews and stellar photography.

The site is beautifully laid out: boat loads of white space, clean text, and vibrant colour photographs. I was immediately drawn to the entry on Mary Button Durell. Giant shaped paper reminiscent of my childhood attempts at geometric beehives, spirograph fleshed out, and candy. Her medium is tracing paper, wheat paste and recently adding acrylic paint. The result is playful and ethereal. 

In her own words:

"I’ve chosen to work with the properties of light and translucency, biomorphic forms and patterns. The work has been compared to natural worlds: subaquatic, celestial and cellular. Depending on the process and the light, the individual pieces can take on the characteristics of different, more solid materials such as wood, bone, shell or marble."

Subaquatic - definitely. There is also definitely a scientific element to the creations. 

Seeing her work seemed to make me feel temporarily better. If I could have a wish right this moment, I'd wish that I could shrink down a la Alice, and float through those beautiful wispy tunnels.