MN Original

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2 Comments

I really enjoyed watching this first episode of MN Original. I got to see a few various artists from Minnesota and learn a little about what they do. A few of my favorites was Alex Soth, Heather Doyle, and Joe Paquet.
Alec Soth does his artwork in series. It was really interesting because, he gave examples of a couple of his series, he made one that dealt with a long the Mississippi which showed art that at that theme to go with the flow; like a river. Another series he brought up was old time movie theaters. I really thought that one was cool. He designed many different old time movie theaters from different countries and ages. It was really fun to see.
Heather Doyle is a metal sculptor and a black smith. It was even more fascinating learning about what she does with art and metal. She likes to make various artworks using metal. Her favorite style is making things with a “shwoop”, as she phrased it. This is where the metal curves and bends in all kinds of curvy and circular shapes. A particular piece that she was working on was creating a table by incorporating an old type writer with it. So she showed how she was going to make the legs of the table and with a lot of “shwooping”.
This last artist that I found his work very interesting was Joe Paquet. Joe is a painter, but he does not just paint anything, he paints landscapes that are usually places that people don’t see art in. He says that it is most exciting to find beauty in a place where no one else does, and then paint it. He showed many different paintings that, if you just saw it while driving by in a car or walking past, you wouldn’t even think twice that it had beauty and could be an artwork. His paintings were beautiful and all of the landscapes that weren’t what we’d typically call “beautiful” all showed their beauty in his paintings.

I have seen some of the photographs Alec Soth has taken and thought they were interesting and more interesting when he talked about them. My favorite photograph is the one in which a guy holds two toy planes and looks at the camera with his shiny, round glasses and bushy face. There is so much power in that photo for some reason, and I can not put it into words. It is a great shot. He kind of reminds me of Gordon Freeman in the popular video game "Half Life" by the way he stands and by what he wears. In my mind, I have also associated him with James Hyneman from MythBusters because after all he could be trying to bust a myth with those planes on what it looks like a roof. Alec Soth's way of storytelling is very interesting, but I wonder if every photograph to ever appear in an exhibition has a written explanation as to what it is all about, i.e., why it was taken, what it speaks of, and so on. The reason for that is when Alec talks about his photographs like the one with the preacher's wife, they gain a whole new dimension of meaning, and I believe people would appreciate his work more if they knew the story behind it. I also liked the closing comments he made about photography except the one in which he said stories can not be told with photography. I like to think they can be. Of course, the more frequent the sequence of images is, the better, but sometimes even with just a few images, you know what is going on and your mind extracts the story.

Speaking of the human mind, it comes as no surprise that when Heather Doyle, a metal sculptor and teacher, goes to Amble's Machinery to pick up metal, she analyzes what she sees and wonders what it could have been and what it could be turned into. Surely, the power of the mind can be projected onto art work, and it seems Heather knows it very well. I was impressed at, for her oldest daughter, how she turned a typewriter into a tabletop supporter with enough "shwoop" action. She makes her artworks by integrating industrial elements with shwooped metal that is curved and twisted on different levels to create interesting styles. I think she is an ambitious person and loves what she is doing because I got to know that she spends too much time in her favorite isle, looking for metal that she likes to work with. Teaching in college left aside, her job is unusual for a female. Blacksmiths and metal sculptors are usually associated with males, but this time, it is a female that does the work, and I find that interesting, too. Especially when she talked about males with biceps and contrasted that to herself and said it is not hard to work with metal when it is heated, I said to myself "What is unusual? Women not doing this work way in the past or women doing it now?"

Joe Paquet is my favorite artist in this episode. His work is AMAZING!! I loved each painting I saw. He seems like an easy-going person, and to me, he was very good at explaining everything. I liked how he used quotes and said every stroke counts when painting. The industrial landscape painting shown at the end of his talk was incredible. I even checked out his website to see all the paintings online. I found it interesting and true when he compared Minnesota to California and said there is beauty up here too, but we need to know how to look at things and present them. This guy, for sure, draws his feelings and ideas onto a canvas when creating an imaginary landscape and merges them with the beauty of nature when mapping real landscapes in MN. I am seeing landscape paintings with a soul that speaks for an impressive depiction of natural scenery.