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Matt Wenger - Artist Talk

Matt Wenger
Artist Write-Up
Date That Beats The Deadline Date


CHRIS JOHANSON AND JO JACKSON

This artist lecture that I attended was held at the Walker Art Center. Chris Johanson and Jo Jackson (who is a girl, by the way) are a married couple, which is good, because they are probably the only two people that can actually stand to listen to the other talk. They are from San Francisco, which probably has something to do with why they talk so slow and have to really think everything out before they can communicate it. But, nonetheless, they do collaborative work together. They both worked separately as artists and then found each other and decided it would be great to work together. Before they collaborated, Chris J had done some colorful large-scale installations, which I happen to like much more than their collaborative work. He describes these installations of his as 3-D paintings or paintings that have exploded.
Anyways, their collaborative work is reminiscent of graffiti art and there outlook on art is very similar to graffiti as well. They believe art should be public and they seemed very anti-structural and anti-high end art. They had a much more hippy-ish outlook on what they created and how they created it, that they thought it felt good to just share their work with whomever.
Their overall demeanor was very west coast. Very laid back, they thought everything should be in unity, good vibes, free energy, and peaceful. The art that they create and the pieces they chose to show were all centralized around those issues, good vibes, peace, unity, etc. They often explained to the audience that it feels good to them to look at what they make. They like it because it gives them a good feeling….yup.
Their inspiration for becoming artists is actually pretty interesting. They met each other in San Francisco, at Adobe Books. Adobe Books is their favorite bookstore because of how accepting it is to all types of people, namely “Freaks?. So there was one particular man/freak that prided himself on waking up early in the mornings to feed the birds in this particular park, and to feed the rats and cockroaches in the streets. This man was there inspiration, because he was so serious about doing this routine everyday, at the same time. And that sort of devotion to something like that made them want to be artists, I guess.
Overall, the lecture was interesting and awkward. Their work wasn’t all that particularly interesting to me, but the way they went about life was something new for me to witness and try to listen to. So it was ok.

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