Friday, October 2, 2009

The Top 10 ArtPrize Contenders! I've seen 'em all!

And I know the spectacular balloons (Ecstasy of the Scarlett Empress) are really fun and the artist is a mastermind and it's a new  and unexpected medium and you just can't possibly resist them. Jessica said something about it reminding her of the 1980's Disney's Light Parade especially when the balloons are illuminated.   I definitely think it has the ability to evoke the sense and place of childhood wonder. And if you could've seen the toddler totally enchanted in the midst of this huge neon latex construction you would've melted right there on the spot.

The monumental Nessie is indeed a treat to all the the people that love things that go bump in the night.

And certainly everyone in GR relates to Sarah Grant's gigantic furniture on their favorite walking bridge.  (in photo above)

The solar energy source of theWind Dancer kinetic sculpture as well as David Lubber's Grand Dancer stranded in the Grand River definitely make formidable competitors.

Eric Daigh's push pin Portraits are so very engaging and indeed a time consuming tour de force.    He uses only pins - a cmyk premise of dots distilled to red (not magenta), yellow, black and blue.

Moose made out of nails is clearly an awesome favorite at the BOB and has definitely stomped its way into the hearts of Grand Rapidians.  You could swear moose hair is as stiff and rugged as a rusted 2 penny nail.  Here's the photo downloaded from M.Live's site.

 There's a compelling piece here by Young Kim which didn't make the final ten and everyone is lamenting.  I gave a link on facebook to his piece a while back.  The artist did a  dimly lit warehouse installation of image of passerbys using only salt and clay.  Single lightbulbs dangle over clusters of the mounded images.  This definitely does not do it justice so click on the link, if you haven't already.

And there is no doubt that the Field of Reeds project is stunningly mesmerizing.  The artist draws from natural history, architecture and technology while he investigates the intersection of cinema, computation, music and physical space. (paraphrased from the artist)  This is another piece that drew multitudes of curious children and held them spellbound.

Imagine That! the bright Children's Museum mosaic mural captures the very essence and energy of children's imagination and the generous creativity that only youthful exuberance  and honest innocence can proclaim.

 But when all is said and done, and the dust settles, the enduring, most extraordinary piece to me is the painting  Open Water by Ran Ortner.  The 228" x 70" oil painting on canvas is truly breathtaking.  No digital, giclee,  eennckjee', (say inkjet without the "t") could ever, ever, ever complete  with the  intimate movement and realism that the artist captures in this work.    Ortner says that "quality can be particularly enlivening, because you feel you are exhausted and touched by this process."    Some might say that painting is dead.  Don't believe them.  If you've ever been hypnotized by the tumbling sound of surf that you hear deep in your bones and soul,  the magnificent, endless power  and breadth of the sea that has the ability to  diminish one's presence to a minute particle of sand in the vast expanse of nature,  I don't know how you could resist this work!

This btw is (maybe) a 30 square inch cell phone photo of a brief portion of this colossal oil  on canvas masterpiece.  I am in the presence of genius!