Monday, December 31, 2007

Rope Jumper

'08 is ganna be good. Can you feel it?

Friday, December 28, 2007

In Retrospect (Art)

The ultimate excuse for drinking excessive amounts of champagne, i.e. the close of 2007, is only a few days away and making a "top 10 of 07" is all the blog-rage these days, which really appeals to my compulsive list-making habit, so figured I would give it a shot.

As a disclaimer I will admit I see the futility in this as there is no possible way I experienced all of the art to be had in this fair city over the past year, and considering I didn't start this blog until about halfway through the year, I probably covered less than a quarter of it. And so, I am the first to say these lists are more for my own entertainment than any sort of actual quantification of what happened this year in Atlanta's art scene. The list is chocked full of personal bias and limited awareness... but here goes anyway!
throat clearing...

Countdown for the Top 10 Works of Art that left the biggest impression in 07:

Charles Hemard's series "Departures and Junctures" from the "Responding to Home" show at the MOCAGA. (previous post here and here)


Dietrich Wagner's "Bomber Boy" from the "Furious! The Angry Show!" at Eyedrum. (previous post here)


Christopher McNulty's "Cosmos" at Saltworks Gallery. (previous post here)

Michele Schuff's lantern installation from her "Lux In Tenebris" show at whitespace. One of, if not the most well crafted installation I saw all year.


Tony Romano's "The Inward Morning, Variation #2" at Marcia Wood Gallery. (previous post here)


Kerry Moore's "Untitled (Bomb)" from the "In Exile From the Land of Reason" show at Eyedrum.

Pandra William's installation "Urban Tumulus" from the Eyedrum show "Dead Flowers: Haunted Gardens; Seeded Wastelands." (previous post here)

Caroline Smith's porcelain beauty at whitespace. (previous post here)

Bradly McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry's video "Topsy, Turvy" at Kiang Gallery. (previous post here)

Julia Fenton's "Untitled (Lady)" from the "In Exile From the Land of Reason" at Eyedrum. The form of a woman emerging from plastic pink army men, valentine's heart candy, and pink streamers. It stole the show.

(Sidenote: I stole this detail pic off of someone's flickr album. Thanks "Mr Kimberly")

Moving on now to the Top 5 Showings of Art in 07


Jody Fausett's show of photographs "Smoke From Another Fire" at whitespace in March paired with the release of his book "Second Place" this summer. (Previous post here)

Kiang Gallery's Asian infused group show ""International Programming and Contemporary Art From China and the US" in October to kick off the gallery's new space on the west side of Midtown. (Previous post here)

Christopher NcNulty's show of sculpture "Days" at Saltworks Gallery in September. If you allowed yourself to fully comprehend the breadth of the show it was pretty overpowering. (Previous post here)


The group show "Dead Flowers: Haunted Gardens; Seeded Wastelands" at Eydrum in October. The show was created by Susan Cipcic, Deisha Oliver, Karen Tauches, and Shana Wood, and brought together a great group of artists who really pushed the concept into something creepy, provoking, and amazing. (previous post here)

And, well, the #1 spot is kind of tie but these shows were done in tandem together so I figure it's ok.

#1 (.b)
"In Exile From the Land of Reason" curated by Linda Armstrong at Eyedrum in January. The group show, including Julia Fenton, Bill Fisher, Richard Lou, Kerry Moore, Joe Peragine, and Todd Woodlan, was a very succinct, humorous, and compelling showing of well crafted and intelligent political art. It was definitely the best politically motivated show I have seen in a long time.

Seaberg Acrobatic Poetry

#1 (.a)
"Sculptureyedrum Outdoors 2007," in January was curated by sculptors Corrina Mensoff and Bill Spence. It was held in the old leaky warehouses beside Eyedrum which were transformed into a site of experimental and engaging sculpture. Mensoff and Spence managed to bring together a huge number of sculptors, with a wide range of materials and methods. It seemed that pushing boundaries was the only agenda in the show and it was truly exciting to experience. It was a reminder of how much great art is being created in this city and how little of it is actually shown.

Installation by Corrina Mensoff

Even the pigeons roosting in the rafters got involved and shitted all over this guy

Unfortunately, I don't have the names of a lot of these sculptors anymore, it's hard to believe this show opened almost a year ago.

A Bill Spence sculpture being taken advantage of.

This typewriter piece, done by UGA grad student John Powers, garnered a lot of attention. It was awesome.

That's the list. Feel free to leave comments on all the many things I forgot or foolishly left out. What artwork will you still remember well into '08?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Dank Smell of Earth

There is a great review by Felicia Feaster in the Creative Loafing on Shana Robbin's show "This Is Me. Be Careful" currently at whitespec. Feaster describes the whitespec space "like stumbling into some odd, esoteric museum in Paris or Amsterdam devoted to medieval torture or medical history."

Feaster references Matthew Barney in talking about Robbin's paintings and performances which is funny because John Otte, Robbins, and I had talked about Barney's performances for his "Drawing Restraint" series during the show reception. Feaster writes "Robbins has a comparable interest in linking nature and the feminine. Her costume, featuring an enormous satin hair bow (like those sad stick-ons plunked on girl-baby heads to signify "female") and lace, speaks to conventional, antiquated views of femininity. But her ornamentation of bark and Spanish moss and a face kept hidden from view give the impression of some mythic, eternal woman who haunts the primordial forest."

Feaster also has some great things to say about Beth's painting "Fruit" (calling it "sumptuous-scary") and my "Network" drawing ("vaporous, delicate "), both of which are in The December Show currently at whitespace gallery and makes an interesting connection between our work and Robbin's show. Feaster writes the great line, "When the lovely and the primal, the human and nature come together, the effect can be wonderfully disturbing."

Check out the Feater's review here and my previous post on the show openings here.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Last week I went by the Contemporary for the Open House/Open Studios to meander through the Contemporary's selected artist's studios. I ended up talking too much to make it to all of the studios, but here are some of highlights from what I did see:

Photographer David Knox documents the south and his studio walls were covered with these rich assortments of photographs, ranging from antique portraits to experiments in the darkroom.

I always like to see a miter saw sitting in a darkroom, there are good things happening here.

Sculptor Ann Rowles had these great skeletal pieces made from found doilies. The piece above "Porosity" resulted from Rowles caring from her elderly mother struggling with Osteoporosis.

Ben Roosevelt had this cool wall of silhouetted figures cut from felt.

I don't know, too cool for school?

Painter Laura Bell has got a brand new cute little babe and a show at Kiang Gallery in January of '08.

I really liked these works on paper by Craig Dongoski. I think I heard they have something to do with music and translating it through the body, but I could be wrong. Seems like sound waves doesn't it?

Turns out when I saw photographer Laura Noel's work at the ACP Portfolio Walk (previous post here) and noted she "must have a thing for smokers" I wasn't quite connecting the dots considering the series "Deliver Me" is all about smokers smoking. The portraits are really excellent, you've got to check out the series on Noel's website. This one might be my favorite:

No doubt she has got some stories to tell. Noel, along with David Knox, will be showing work at the Contemporary in Feb '08.

I've got my eye on you...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The end.

Just finished reading this:

And slowly trying to recover. I devoured it in three days, McCarthy's tight grip takes hold within the first page and does not let go.

"The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all."

Yeah, I'm going to have to read it again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Encyclopedia Bean, Boy Detective

Went to see the show "Encyclopedia Studies" - the digital work of Bean Worley - at Beep Beep Gallery.

"Encyclopedia Experiment Study-1" Digital Print

Bean set for himself the task of photographing the images from a 1957 World Book Encyclopedia. At this point he has an image bank of over twenty-five thousand images that he manipulates, layers, and combines "to create static art objects or interactive performances and film."


Bean describes the work as a "deconstruction of visual information." It seems more like a reappropriation to me as the context of the images are changed while in much of the work the images remain identifiable, documentative in purpose, but no longer paired with the encyclopedic definitions they were meant to illustrate. Instead the viewer's own understanding of the subject matter (i.e. frog, tiger, etc) becomes the base for which the viewer searches for meaning or purpose in the placement of the images.

A-Girl, Overlay Experiment-10" Digital Print

I especially liked the metamorphosis of the accordion playing girl into static - like information breaking up into a lost transmission.

"Letter Overlay 1278" Digital Print

I wonder if the exhibition could have benefited from showing fewer pieces and on a larger scale. The size of the works, especially the grid pieces, seemed to stay in proportion with the encyclopedia, and blowing the images up would have created more of a disjoint with its origins - more of a "distortion". But then again, the salon style of almost being overwhelmed by visual information/stimuli may really add to the point Bean is making with the work.

"Fish Kiss, Overlay Experiment-9" Digital Print

The strongest pieces for me had interesting juxtapositions of seemingly disparate images. Especially as in "Fish Kiss" above, where the viewer has to really search for an understanding, which may not exist at all considering Bean says the "choices in the work are both personal and random."

"Letter A-Overlay Study-11" Digital Print

Bean goes on to say "these recombined, cropped, repeated, and revised images question our understanding of ideas of the past and the distortion of those ideas into the future." I especially see this in the works pairing dissimilar images. The works become more about visual language emphasizing our culture's preference of looking at pictures to reading the accompanying text, a time when we can document everything visually (this blog being a good example) and use these images in any context, redefining or not defining at all but simply putting forth to be seen.

"Letter A-Overlay Study-13", Digital Print


I'd say, go see the show! it's totally worth checking out and then discussing over a beer or something, but things like my computer's new habit of crashing and flashing the dreaded "blue screen of death" along with a day job not very sympathetic to all my "endeavors" means I have gotten pretty behind in posting and this show actually came down Dec 16th. woops! But you can still see more work on the Beep Beep Gallery website and this makes me think, considering his massive image data base, there is a real opportunity for an interactive website called something like "Encyclopedia Bean."