Monday, June 9, 2008

A Whirlwind Boston Art Tour

This past week, before the heat wave, a friend from VSC came to visit from SF. I offered to give her a quickie tour of some of Boston's art destinations. We started at the Institute of Contemporary Art where a new exhibit of sculpture by Anish Kapoor just opened. These works are amazing - they are extremely interactive, they play with the viewer's perceptions of space and depth. Many are large scale, highly polished organic and slippery forms that act like fun house mirrors to distort and flip reflections. Others appear to have holes that are far deeper than you imagine. You just wish the overprotective guards would let you get closer and stick your hands into the holes to defy or prove the illusion!

We then drove down to the South End, also known as SOWA, where the Bromfield Gallery and many other more edgy (for Boston!) galleries and artist studios are to be found. Karen Mennino is currently showing her Indian sari-inspired sculptural installation at the Kingston Gallery.

Finally, we ended up at the Museum of Fine Arts, currently undergoing serious construction. Though I wasn't particularly moved by the work of Lopez Garcia, I enjoyed browsing the bookstore, and having a cup of tea in the basement cafeteria which is lovely, and much cheaper than the cafe on the first floor.

It would be fun to put together a list of Boston art must-sees from a native artists' perspectives. The best way to get a snap shot of Boston art is to visit one or more of the many Open Studios.

What spaces/spots would you say are "art must sees" for an out of towner, that are OFF the beaten track?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Exit Hall

After my printing session on Friday at Artspace in Maynard MA, I was walking through the building on the way to my car and was struck by this telescopic view of a hallway. The lime green matches the fabric I had been laboring over the whole day (see today's earlier post). And I love the red exit signs and the reward of seeing the chair at the very end of the hallway.

wabi sabi

Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.

Sepia on Lime Green

Another printing day this past Friday. I am working on the fabric that will be turned into swing jackets by my friend Gerry Menz at Artwear. To the left, you can see what the plexi plate with stencils looks like on the press. The white shapes are paper stencils.
The bottom image is of the finished prints on lime green fabric. That was sepia ink - and as you see, the color is changed by the fabric beneath.

I just love pattern. In my next life, I will be a fabric designer.
I wonder if inkjet printing on linen is possible? This process is so labor-intensive and physically demanding - took me 6 hours to print 14 pieces of fabric!