art crushes and a poem [not by me]

so... the by a thread art talk?? well.... i got to sit in between two art crushes of mine -

Lauren DiCioccio

lauren dicioccio

i really love all her work, but these hand embroidered organza "plastic bags" are just SO delightful.

AND

Victoria May

victoria may

none of the images on her site do her work justice. i particularly love the concrete and thread/organza pieces - like this one .

it's always a treat to meet artists that you have admired and have them be as wonderful as their work. it doesn't ALWAYS work that way - so when it does - well - it's icing on the cake.

a lot of familiar words were batted around: fragility, domestic, mundane, mending, nostalgia, lineage, notion... we all answered why we use thread in our work. i was next to last and really had very little to add on the topic after so many thoughtful responses [which were all interesting to hear]. the dreaded "c" word came up - yet again. i'm talking of CRAFT, of course. i'm not going to extensively rant about this here as i think this topic has been covered numerous times by folks far more intelligent than me, but... here's the short version of what i think....

i'm always disheartened when people continue to want to push a hierarchical divide between art + craft. one artist in particular was speaking about it's all about intention. in essence i can agree to that since ever since duchamp pointed his magic art wand and declared things art - you can "intend" almost anything into art. but i also feel that art can be born even where it WASN'T intended - in some ways it's art even if someone else intends it. this artist also spoke about how they felt that you discover "truth" and "something about yourself" while making something as an artist that you don't while making "craft" [i'm really generalizing here but you get the idea]. honestly - i think that's a load of bull. i think there is "art" that is fantastic/horrid and "craft" that is fantastic/horrid and that you can have an "art moment" [aka epiphany] in front of anything that you please - be it art/craft/utilitarian item. trying to separate them into these meaningful and ultimately elitist categories seems so 20th century [i'm being facetious here - kind of]. i always want my art to be well crafted and my craft to be artful. to me it's not about if macaroni art is "art" or gees bend quilts are "craft" - it's about what moves you in some way in any given moment [and that movement doesn't need to be like or love either]. enough said.

but speaking of said... lindsay sent me a poem that she said was inspired by my work. she writes a poem a day as an exercise [ah how i love daily rituals] and she sent it to me....


She ties the tightest knots,
practices first with her sister
who calls it cat's cradle,
but it's too easy diving her fingers in, out and through,
so she moves on to the living room,
tying the arm of a chair to its leg,
then a chair to another chair,
then a loveseat, a table, a lamp, a book shelf,
the thread like spider silk
that threatens to tangle in ankles
and the cuffs of unlooking pants.

Eventually,
she slips a needle through the patterned wallpaper,
and ties the chairs to the walls,
holding the room to itself.

i loved cat's cradle when i was a child - although i didn't have a sister to play with... how much do i love that last thought... holding the room to itself? so much. thank you thank you lindsay.

her website
her blog

Comments

shari said…
thanks for the introduction to two new and very wonderful artists. as always, i loved your thoughts about art vs. craft. beautifully said. xo
wise craft said…
Beautiful! And I love your thoughts of art vs craft. I have a friend who constantly struggles with this, and I think the struggle is never resolved in her because she's trying to divide the two and she really shouldn't. xo
betsy said…
This is a brilliant post, lj. And an important one. Thank you for stating so eloquently what I also feel so strongly. The elitism enrages me sometimes. It shouldn't but it does. Lindsay's poem is beautiful -- what a thrill it must be to have your work captured by such magical words. xo
My brother and I had our fun collaborating on a project inspired by San Francisco's Chinatown bags too. Lauren's version looks beautiful.

I've always felt uncomfortable about CCA(C) removing that last C. I like your perspective on the topic.

How lovely to have someone write a poem about you and then share that poem with you.
Shell said…
I hear you! I do a lot of research on the art/craft divide that occured during modernism and the reunification of it in contemporary practices. Thank goodness that heirarchy has almost ended. There are so many artists who integrate craft oriented methods of making or traditional craft materials into their work now - the big ones being - Kiki Smith, Tracy Emin, Jim Drain - to name a few, that I'm surprised it still needs to be justified. Anyway, I find that half the fun I suppose, subverting the stuffy old 'rules'. Love this post!
Anonymous said…
Arrogance, in any profession, is an unfortunate attempt to exclude "others" out of fear of something/someone who is different. It is an unfortunate, and sometimes ugly, stance to take.
The poem about your work is a lovely tribute!
Hayley said…
Well put! Working at a museum I hear a lot of interesting definitions of art [a good portion of the public consider art to be painting, and painting things that look like what they are supossed to look like]. I think the art vs. craft debate is based on some pretty old-school assumptions- and is also totally genderized. I think art is creating something new, with intent to create something new, with or without the intent to create something called art. I also think craft and skill get used interchangably when they are not the same. Knitting or painting realitically is a skill- art & craft is about using those skills to create.

Cheers!
sophia said…
i stumbled across this online and instantly fell in love too. i've always loved the look of this no-name pink grocery bag...so familiar around oakland's chinatown.
hope you and cc are well!
Esti said…
thanks for the links to those great artists. As always I enjoy your line of thought.
And how generous of Lindsay to give you a poem. Another fantastic piece of art.
Be well, Lisa.
That was a positively beautiful post!!! I love the organza bag.

I so agree with you on the topic of art and craft. Pretentious attitudes lack soulfulness and intelligence in my opinion and completely stray from the intentions of art in the first place, don't they?

That poem is so image inspiring and wonderful. I love it!
xo
Cally said…
Wow, thanks for showing these two artists who have been off my radar, how wonderful to think of the 3 of you sitting together, that's like an artwork in itself.

Sorry to hear you've had more than your fair share of the lurgy and what not this winter. I'm sure some sunshine and fresh Spring air will help. I've been trying to keep things at bay by munching on absurd quantities of home grown broccoli and lentil sprouts. Little bundles of intense goodness taking over the kitchen every winter when fresh veg is more scarce.

That photo of the little with her big soft robot is making me feel cosy inside. I remember my Dad coming back from the Navy when I was 2yrs old and bringing a teddy bear that was the same size as me... I loved it. I was quite shocked in my 20's to discover it was not 6ft tall.
Cally said…
Well, I just realised this is March 2010 I'm looking at... I'm a year out! Maybe this winter you had less sickness and more winter joys... I must head to March 2011 and find out. I'm time travelling, what fun!

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