it's in the workmanship

end of summer

i love this time of year in the bay area. we always have an indian summer right about now... so it's warm and lovely and sunny... the tomatoes finish ripening and the anenomies go insane.... you can tell that fall is right around the corner [leaves are tinging orange and nights get a bit more nippy] but you get to put it off by wearing flip flops and throwing all the windows open for some last bits of fresh air!

i'm quite excited because my favorite entomologist is coming out this way.... and will even come to see the show "embroidered stories and knitted tales" at the bedford gallery . the opening is tomorrow from 3-5pm. i'm a bit less stressed about this opening because there are so so many artists in the show. and i know a few of them so i can hopefully just blend into the background.... although i still don't know what to wear... again... yes... sigh....

so on thursday when i went to meet and talk to all the docents i got to preview the show and golly gee is it really cool. there are a few artists that i've really loved for a long time [ stephen sollins , megan whitmarsh , mark newport ] and then a whole host of others that make simply amazing work. i'll go into more detail about some of them later, but.... it made me feel super honored to be a part of this continuum. listening to what insprired the other artists i really got to thinking about this whole ART and CRAFT thing. again. this is a constant for me - it is sort of always bubbling beneath the surface.... and it's risen to the top once again.

partially because i think i'm going to be writing a little article for kitchen sink on this topic [although after thursday i may change this into a conversation on the topic between myself and lacey jane roberts who is writing her thesis on this subject {gulp!}]. but mostly because i think this is an interesting time in which needle arts are "cool" and "fashionable". i know there are some of us who are doing it for reasons that hit close to home and our hearts, but it seems like every single gallery now has at least one artist on their roster that uses thread, yarn, or some kind of crafty material in their work. which ones of us are going to be using these materials 10 years from now when they aren't hip? and how do you decifer the good usage from the frivolous usage?

my friend sydney made an excellent point of well - there are millions of painters - do they all get upset when they see another painting? in the moment i said no... but now that i've thought about it - they sometimes DO when they see paint being used in the same manner that they are using it... of course no one owns the right to a style, or a material, or a color... but i find it fascinating that as artists and makers we tend to want to claim something as ours...

and as fate would have it... the american masters show on andy warhol aired this week. there were so many good tidbits in there. i especially liked how they talked about him disengaging - or splitting into 2 people. the public andy who seemed to not care and the private andy that was anxious . and i loved the idea of being a conduit -- a filter for ideas -- and an editor [he was a master at removing, selecting, and detailing - things that are so close to my own practice].... finally i really really loved the idea of making marks and that every mark can be infused with double or triple meanings. like language and emotions....

i think that's enough art babble for a saturday afternoon, no? have a pleasant weekend everyone!

Comments

one black bird said…
i have been reading your blog for some time now. i really enjoy the way you blend acedemic thought process with the desire to just "make". your topics are often in sync with things i am thinking about. i like that you challenge us to think. good going! thanks for taking the time to share your ideas and thoughts,they are always so well expressed.
Anonymous said…
I also have this subject of Art and CRAFT in my head a lot...and your thoughts are valid points..i personally think that it is hard to see other artists working in the same media or in the same manner..because we want to be unique, to be a first, individual...
Have a great time with Gwen - sure you will xxx
gracia said…
So much to comment on, I'm quite at sea. I love all your so very visual descriptions... of an Indian Summer full of chilly nights and leaves turning brown at the toes... of opening night, fluttery nerves and the familiar "what should I wear?" crisis... of writing an article on a topic which someone is addressing in their thesis... so many things on the boil! Craft vs. art and cool vs. serious, concept driven vs. practice based. Happy muddling along... I'm doing the very same in my neck of the woods.
take care, g
shash said…
i got to see half of each andy segment. wish i'd seen the whole. i so enjoyed it. there's so much more to him and his art than most know (obviously). just his process and how hard he worked was interesting for me to learn about.
have fun at the show with gwen. how exciting! i'm planning on going to the aftermodern show mon. or tues. can't wait.
wendy said…
Firstly I LOVE that photograph...it is beautiful.
Have you ever thought about wearing or having something secret...to help you through the night...like a little rock...or shinny penny?
I can't wait to see what comes out of your article for kitchen sink or conversation with lacey...awesome thoughts on a saturday...or even a monday morning!
briana said…
I know your opening was just smashing, my dear... Yes, I could jive with you for hours on the Arts V. Crafts/Art as Craft/Art sepaprate from Craft conundrum as you know... Ugh, just thinking about it makes me realize I shouldn't work the ol' grey matter so hard before that second cup of coffee.

I'm so annoyed that I missed the Warhol doc - especialy since so much of my own work has been gravatating around him and the like of his era. Talk about someone who blurred the line between art and... well, just about everything. I think Pop Art's acceptance is a prime example that the mainstream conception of *fine art* is a liquid definition - that it is not necessarily dependent on the actual artist's level of skill or even intent intent but rather on the current socio-political midset of a society at the given moment a piece is introduced into the world that will either absorb or reject it *as* fine art or dismiss it as craft and/or design.

Uh, yeah... more coffee.

xoxox,
art-y pants.
sk8ordiehard said…
Sometimes I feel the same about fibers and art. I was a fibers major in college and there were 6 of us that graduated in our department. I was a painting major for a while before that, but painting began to bore me, and the fibers dept seemed to be more open to conceptual work. Now, thanks to Stitch and Bitch and the populariztion of craftiness, fibers are everywhere. While I think a lot of it is a desire for infamy, or joining a movement for personal success, we always have to remember that uninspired work is rarely memorable or moving.
You have to count on your own associations, talent, eye for details, and understanding of the materials and process to propel you in the field.

Your work is incredible and unique, which is what keeps me and countless other strangers checking into your blog to see what you're into.

Also, I know this comment is older than the post about your kitty, but I can deeply empathize. Losing a pet is terrible and painful. I am so sorry for your loss.
mooncici said…
love your blackberry shot...hmmmm...

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