Thursday, August 30, 2007

Six Southern Boys

I made my way back to the Sunday Southern Art Revival show at Whitespace last night to hear the six artists (Jesse Cregar, George Long, Scott Pethia, Mario Schambon, Tindel, and Michi) give a talk about the body of work. Almost every painting in the very large show was a collaborative effort, each adding their touch to the paintings and working under the idea that nothing was ever finished and nothing was ever sacred. Mario Schambon said he "enjoyed being put in an uncomfortable place" where one lost control over the outcome of an artwork and instead embraced the possibilities that came with five other artists adding their layers of interpretation - or as he put it, the painting was "like a baby that grew up and got dirty - real dirty."

Listening to the talk I realized that what all of these paintings were really about, what the artist's mainly talked about and what the audience had many voyeuristic questions about, was process. The artists all agreed none of the works were necessarily finished and once the show came down, what paintings returned to the studios would most likely be reworked with more layers and would inevitability end up changing.* One painting has raccoon footprints trudging through the resin surface, others have background scribbles done by some of the artist's kids, and the splattered backgrounds of others were created with a tennis ball launcher. The purpose behind be paintings was more about the collaboration than the result and the show seems like a moment of contemplation in an ever evolving production.

*This idea of the artworks constant evolution reminded me of the previous post concerning the value of artwork. Again, if one of these paintings is sold then it could be assumed the painting would never be reworked and instead live on indefinitely on someone's wall, cherished as the sacred object "art." Yet, many of the works that do not sell will end of being reworked, possibly becoming completely unrecognizable or even tossed in the scrap pile. And so again, who is making the value judgement on the artwork? It is not the artists who are proclaiming something finished, valuable, or worthy of eternal life - but instead the patron who buys the painting. Is that patron then being given a certain role of power in the process of creating art?

The group also compared working together with that of a band, although in a completely different way than this "touring band of artists". It made me think these guys might want to try taking their show on the road as well. Going from venue to venue, working "live" alongside gallery goers, etc, weaving the place and culture into the context of their work. And judging by the flier for the show, their t-shirts would be rad.

The show comes down September 1st 2007. More info at the whitespace website. And the previous post of this show can be found here.


travis said...

nice description of the artist talk last night. i was there to check it out as well. more galleries around town should consider doing events with their artists like this.

m.elena said...

randomly found this while searching for PBR pictures for reference???? whomever is responsible for this artwork is NASTY. i love it.