Monday, October 5, 2009

My own personal top 11!

Okay, here’ my shortlist of favorites from ArtPrize.  I tried to see it all but believe me, it was impossible and I seriously doubt I got to even half of all of the entries.  The good news is I'm home: fresh garden tomatoes roasting in the oven with garlic, olive oil, capers, olives and fresh basil which will be tossed with linguine. AND, I'm wearing my  new San Chez kiwi green chef coat and sipping a glass of Pinot Grigio.   You may want to join me with a glass as you check out my favorites.  BTW, they are not in any particular order.

1. Young Kim:  Salt and Earth 2009

If you’ve been following this blog – you know I love this piece! It lines the floor of  a relic of a building behind San Chez.

The next two pieces also occupy the floor.

2.  Sonjie Feliciano Solomon:  Cloudscape, Floaters 2

I really loved this fabric piece and, because of the title, would love to see it suspended. But it's displayed on the floor on a sheet of silver mylar.  If it had been my piece,  I would've dangled those clouds, rather than tether them down. There was always a huge crowd around the work,  so I never got to enjoy it in solitude.

Here's her link:

3. Adrienne Noelle Werge:   For Such a Time as This:  Remembering VietNam

This piece will stop you cold in your tracks.  It occupies a huge hallway in the Old Federal Building.  Rows and rows of containers made out of rice, then cast in helmets line a dimly hit hallway.  The artist was adopted near the end of the Vietnam War and remembers leaving her home with her new parents and hearing the sound of the car backfiring and mistaking it for gunfire.   The white bowls are smooth on the outside and the rugged inside linings are like  freshly tossed steamed rice frozen in time.  In the midst of rows of helmets sits a huge field of rice at least 6-8 inches deep  and serves as a screen for viewing a film of a small toddler.  You  should definitely check out her website at:
"The bowls, like children," states the aritist, "are  very fragile."

4 Mark Chatterley:  Reverse Psychology  

You’ve previewed this piece before, if you've been reading the blog..  I could’ve sat on a Steelcase chair all day and admired this work.   I didn't even need an artist statement to love this 10' clay sculpture..  Here's the artist's link:

5. Tamara Fox:  Sweet! 
 . . . just because I will always remember this piece!  And especially when I'm in my car and find it driving on its own half way to hell and gone to get one of Lily Jane's thickly frosted buttercream  covered cupcakes in Eagle.

I smelled this piece before I  actually saw it.  It led me, like  a cartoon dog with dotted lines of sniffs, all the way up the stairs to its position in a 10' niche in a second floor gallery.  The floor was covered with pale pink carpet and standing inside the niche gave me the rare opportunity to experience life inside Ann P’s or Betty C’s devils food cakes.  It might have been  the only time in my life someone could call me “Cupcake”  and I wouldn't have been offended. You see,  the  walls are  thickly covered with gobs of bright pink frosting.  The piece addresses addiction. Need I say more? (other than the fact she was inspired by Joseph Bueys?????  Here's the link:

6. Rob Bliss: 100,000 Paper Planes and Melodies Over Monroe 

There was so much controversy over this piece and apparently you either love or hate this Grand Rapids Christo who goes by the name of Rob Bliss. But, I defy you to fold 100,000
8.5 x 11 Astrobright airplanes after printing a stanza of an Icelandic folk song on nearly every other piece.  Got That? Then gather over 20,000 Grand Rapidians in a six block stretch to unexpectedly collect an average of 5 airplanes a piece within minutes of the descent of those 200 reams of paper. (No street sweeping necessary!)  Plus, admit it, who wouldn’t love to be the lucky one that took the role of Zeus showering a small country of Danaes with sailing sheets of goldenrod.

7. Tad McCillop:  Loss

I’ve shown you this piece before, and I absolutely  love it.  For some reason it reminds me of  Soviet propaganda sculptures that attracted my attention in Prague a few years ago.  The stylized hair and drapery caught my eye when the artist registered with ArtPrize months ago. I made a point to find this 72 x 72 x 35 hydrocal sculpture in GR and I wasn’t a bit disappointed. Check out the website:

8.  James Brandess:  The Saugatuck Collection

I borrowed this photo from the  ArtPrize site.

 The work is a series of nearly 250 each small 4 x6 paintings of everyday people from a small Michigan  lakeshore  community and arranged in a grid format on the second floor of the BOB.  The artist's intent is to paint everyone in the town.  And each of us (if we tried) could find a minimum of ten paintings of people we could confuse with folks we know, hate, love, or who have passed from our lives.  Jessica and I stood there for the longest time finding the faces of so many of the people that have shaped our lives.  By the way, all the images are connected with fishline.

9.  Quinn Gregory:  Infinite Hope

I know, I know, I know!  Call me crazy, but remember I fell for 100,000 paper airplanes, for crying out loud? And I made my daughter climb six, count 'em, six, flights of stairs to check out this piece.  So how could I help but fall for 250,000 Swarovski crystals?  You must remember that I love the whole Italian Renaissance, the multitude of movie star Madonnas, flocks and gaggles of luscious angels floating on spectacular high, the jewel embedded altars and bedazzled bronze baldachinos.  Given that, I could never - ever  resist a true to life size encrusted Swarovski crystal crucifix? It was absolutely dazzling! I'm a soft touch for the title, too!

11.  Earle Swope and Amy Nack:  Immigrant Shadows: Tracing the Herder's Legacy

Earle would never, ever forgive me if I didn’t choose Immigrant Shadows as a favorite.  And to tell you the truth, I’d feel the same way if he ever dared to omit this from his top ten.  Actually, a few people felt the same way, if you can believe all the messages left in our guest book.  We decided to hang tags on all the work before we left and so far I've really, really sold some!!!  I'm gonna keep wearing my "artist" wristband til they're all gone.  Then again, I may never take it off.

Say goodnight, Gracie!