ROTTEN SUN FACULTY SHOW @ MCAD
I thought that the title of this show was reflected well in the piece i chose.
"Child Army" by Ulana Zahaykeiwycz and Margie McGee
2007, Carved Basswood
This diorama like three dimensional setup was pretty cartoonlike when i first looked at it. Little doll sized carvings with extremely animated faces and personalities stood out to me. Among them were an army general, women, children, an Attila the Hun or Genghis Khan looking character, an angry alien-like man, a half princess half reptile woman, an opera singer spewing snakes, a soldier with an amputated leg, and the list of contradictory characters goes on.
I thought that this represented the idea of the grotesque and also captured the quote from the show's descriptive first panel, "the core of our being is the disgusting condition of the desire for answers to life's myriad problems."
The character's were painted by two different artists; they have two distinct styles. The "normal" figures (women, men and children, with nothing mystical or supernatural about them) were done in a placid way, using calm colors like yellow and blue for their clothing. These people are typically innoffensive and there is nothing physically wrong with them. They also aren't showing any emotions obviously.
The second group of more creature-like characters was done by the other artist, and are more outrageous. they are the hybrids and the things that show emotion, often ugly and violent.
I thought that this was very literally one group of grotesque, deformed and faulty people or things and one group of healthy, normal , saltine cracker people. The grotesque show the ugly side of all of us; the war monger, the envious, the greedy and gluttonous and so on. The contrasting lives that exist under the sun. I think that literally the Rotten Sun can be applied here as something that offers no guarantee. You can be born with faults and with mutations and hatred and anger. The sun is something that all people are under, but not all people are the same under it.
In this same sense, the sun could be a thinly veiled metaphor for God. Those religious among us who wonder why God chose them to have some fatal illness or an early death have to believe this problem had a purpose. "Believing" in the sun is not a guarantee of safety or prosperity, nor is believing in God. I thought that Georges Bataille's original essay in 1929 may have even been alluding to the sun being some religious factor.
Either way, i felt that the piece "Child Army" captured the grotesque as something real that walks among us every day and even though they wont obviously be 10 feet tal or a half lizard, they could still be there. The grotesque is apart of all of us, obviously or not.
MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS
I really liked my time at this place and regret having to leave early because of the terrible weather.
Something that i love about this place is the fact that it's always free. Art is available to the masses in this way, they just have to know where to go. Seriously, to have an art museum with such stunning works throughout history be available absolutely free all the time is super cool. I plan on going back soon just because i can. I love that they offer that, everyone should make the most of it.
I was really suprised at how huge it was too. After about an hour of wandering around with Broc, we totally lost each other and never met up. So its a pretty big place with a lot of options to go see, which is nice. It is thorough about each time period that it chooses to dedicate space to, instead of just having like, one or two pieces from the period then calling it quits. I like how nothing here is a half baked idea.
This museum also had a few stellar pieces that stick out. Edward Ruscha, Peter Paul Reubens, Salvador Dali, Chuck Close, Frank Stella all had exemplary work there. I thought they were good representations of these artists, rather than some obscure rendering they did at one point in their career.
All in all my experience at this institute was really positive. I really want to come back and spend many more hours here. It seems like a place with a mission and i think they execute it well.