Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What not to do in art today.......


Fabio Fernandez
Dick Goody
Mary Herbeck
Phaedra Robinson
Gilda Snowden

The funny thing about art discussions is that they always pose more questions than they answer. It is like discussing religion. Everyone has their beliefs and in this case it was the rules of art. The panel discussion was held in the Meadowbrook Gallery hung with Phaedra Robinson’s show Communicable Consumption in the background.
Robinson opened and led the discussion. It was hard to focus on Robinson’s overtly wordy descriptions of the means of her art. If you are looking for a complete review I would recommend reading thedetroiter.com. The idea of communication is bombarded over and over with written text, found objects and swirling lines in drawings and sculpture. Sometimes in communication less is more. I understand the meaning being put out there but for me art has to stand visually on its own. The varied material was distracting and the use of color and basic design principals seemed overlooked at times.
Dick Goody began with saying that Detroit is “quite significant” in terms of other cities and their art consumption. Goody then proceeded to list his likes and dislikes as if he was suddenly on a dating show. His personal dislikes in painting included: narrative theme, literal, overly sentimental, narrative realism, and gestures. His likes included: ambiguity, color, portrait realism, diptychs, and schematic elements. He also makes a good point that for those who don’t like contemporary art, don’t understand the language.
Gilda Snowden, teacher at CCS and artist, reveals that she teaches with no rules. She enforces rules on herself though. She must paint from subject matter. Her recent series comes from poetry phrases and also her beloved movement of abstract expressionism. Her likes include works that are least like her work, narratives that make her laugh, and minimalism.
Sculptor, Mary Herbeck makes vessel-like sculpture. Her preference is of metal and earthy materials. Her only rule is to make art for herself first. There is compulsiveness about her work and she is interested in form and object making.
Fabio Fernandez is currently curator at Cranbrook and a working artist. While he started out with a business degree he switched to art for his masters, which he completed at Cranbrook. Fernandez works with words and the hidden jargoned meanings. His craftsmanship shows through on his crisp, wood puzzle pieces of text. He also poked fun with an installation called, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover which consisted of 50 different colored suitcases stacked on shelves.
The discussion of course ended with more panel questions that rehashed the idea of what the rules are. Every artist has an outline for which they go by. For some, what not to do is exactly what should be done. Art is a silly thing that gets a lot of people heated. A good discussion is always good for getting the heart pumping.


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