Monday, August 16, 2010

Studio cat

GIF animations generator

2010, cast latex paint with cat - without cat - with cat -  without cat

These pieces of latex paint sat arrayed on the floor for months - waiting for me to decide whether they'd be a piece - before she took to using them as cushions, then they had to stay there, at least for a bit longer.

Don't forget, you too can come be where magic like this happens every day during the Beacon Open Studios Event,  Sept 25 & 26.

Making Arrangements

 An arrangement of paintings

Sometimes I feel for curators.  Not only have artists' practices slowly encroached on the traditional territory of the curator, but the very word that defines their own practice is being usurped in the name of dressing up a full spectrum of other pursuits.
For this post I was planning an extended passage on the nature and implication of the use of the verb curate to apply to the assembling of everything from one's wardrobe to one's menu to the list of links on one's blog, but I just saw that the NY Times' Alex Williams already did that in Apr 2009, while additionally tracing the history of this linguistic creep. 
Just recently I was hearing radio ads for a music festival "curated" by Wilco.  Albeit the event, which apparently was going on this weekend, was being held at Mass Moca - and there's nothing incorrect about the use of the word, and if there's any such case in which it could be suitable, it would be this one - but the whole notion of using the word seems ickily pretentious to me.  In fact it doesn't seem so, it feels to - viscerally.
But that's just me.
Of late, I have been listening to tech-centric podcasts and reading some items of the same topic all of which have been replete with the word curate.  So pervasive is its use online that I think it's lost even the diminished significance it had when it entered the sphere of the internet in the first place.  I heard one commentator utter the phrase "...curate your audience.."  I'm certain, on reflection, he would agree that he misspoke, and that perhaps the word is so seductively en vogue that he just got on a roll and couldn't stop himself, but the fact that he used that word at all demonstrates that its simply flaunted for it's aura of refinement. 
As I said, it  isn't a big deal, but it just feels eewy to me, and it adds yet another motivation for me to further dress down the way I describe the things I do in response.

I've organized different exhibitions and projects, and I have done what would be considered curating in those instances, but I never considered myself a curator.  In fact in those instances, I consider myself a facilitator (is that too uppity?) or maybe I should call myself an arranger:  I arrange for things to get done and I arrange the works in relationship to one another.  I sort of like that.  Although it sounds a bit like what a decorator would do to pillows, (until Interior Decorators became Interior Designers, and certainly must have become Domestic Curators by this point) it also sounds like a word that indicates the act of getting things done.  And that's what it's all about getting it done, and getting it done well.
From this point on, when acting in such a role, I'll be an Arranger.  From here on out, any projects or exhibits organized by me will be Arranged by me, not curated.
(My apologies to any musical arrangers and floral arrangers for usurping their territory.)
And let's not universally feel bad for curators since, although many of them may have ceded some traditional aspects of  their pursuit to the relational, institutional critic-minded artist, some curators have ascended to another role, even grabbed for themselves a part of the jet-setter, world-maker mantle that was once the sole domain of the super artstar artist.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Catherine Welshman @ Hudson Beach Glass thru Aug 29

 Twins, oil on wood
An exhibit of Catherine Welshman's paintings opened at Hudson Beach Glass on July 17th.  The show will run through Aug 29 and there will be an artist reception on August 14 from 6-9 pm.

Viewing Catherine's work is a double treat.  The figures she creates are alluring and evocative with a frequent quality of a naughtiness verging on wrongfulness.   The physical quality of the paint is often as seductive and lush as the representations held within it.  Walking through the show during the opening, looking at the drips and smooshes, gave me the urge to run home and push around a little paint myself.
 I ran through and snapped some images of the exhibit, Just before leaving town at the end of July
Ruffled Girl, oil on canvas
below: detail

 Wishful, oil on canvas
This piece irresistibly evokes a memory for me which i won't be elaborating on.

A glancing view of the light playing on Reclining Elle, oil on canvas.