Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tara Donovan

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Here's an artist who's getting a lot of attention lately....

5 Comments:

Anonymous kevin said...

thanks for the post, ann. my initial reaction was "that is really cool." then something switched as I looked at her other work. two thoughts crept in: 1) is she a one-trick pony and, if so, does that matter? (this is sort of mentioned in the Times review on the blog your link goes to) and 2) no matter how beautiful and other-wordly one makes a gimmick, is it still just a gimmick? (i.e. can work like this outlive the "wow" factor?)

I don't want to start a war of catty comments. just some academic dialog would be helpful if people reading this are interested in it.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous jef said...

what isn't a gimmick anymore?!

it's what the artist does with it - if they can keep us engaged. it's the new substitute for "style." and that doesn't have to be bad.

torreano at hilberry has been doing his big jewels for 30 years, and also gorchov with his "shield" shaped canvases. mike kelley with his crocheted garage sale toys and blankets...

so anything can be viewed as schtick.

it's up to the artist to keep everyone interested in variations on.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous pacopez said...

Been following Tara's work for the last year and I believe she is just in really fertile ground. Exhausting the possibilities and following the thread.
This work does not fall under the category of gimmick but it is good to be aware.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous leoqueen said...

Kevin's post reminded me of a conversation I had with my Dad a long time ago when I was in art school. I was trying to explain my paintings to him, which were figurative abstractions.....lots of thick paint and visual emphasis on shadows cast.

It was my "style". Dad said, "oh, you mean your gimmick?"

"No", I said," it is called 'style', Dad".

He laughed and countered with "style, gimmick, gimmick, style. All of you artists have your gimmick----" and then he began to reel off the names of all of the artists he had seen in all of the art shows I had dragged him to at the galleries around town; the big names and the little names. All of the Cass Corridor artists who were my teachers and the ones in the community I emulated. They were all the same to him. They each had their identifiable "gimmick".


As my anger began to peak and the steam came out of my ears, Dad began to laugh at me and patted my shoulder, all the while saying that playing the Devil's Advocate was one of his jobs as parent.

"Daughter, don't let anyone bother you by how they label your work. You know what you do and how you do it, and it is your job to be strong against all of those neophytes like me".

gimmick style style gimmick. Pejorative term or positive term. Whenever I think of either one I think of my dentist Dad and all of his never ending lessons.

11:14 AM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

haha. Funny you should bring up that topic about your dad. As soon as I read Kevin's comment I though "Leoqueen's going to have fun with that one" recalling that same story when I told you about MY frustrations with MY dad not understanding what I do and why I do it.

I think it's important to have a gimmick. Whatever you want to label it, it allows the viewer to recognize your work instantly because something is consistent. It's that one thing, or several things that makes you stand apart from the rest. Every painter has their signature mark, or several signature marks, or just a certain way of applying the paint, or whatever it may be. I just use painting as an example because that's what i do, but that goes for anything. Look at Kara Walker for instance. Her "gimmick" is the cut out silouhetts. I can instantly recognize her work because of it.

anyway, it doesn't matter, as long as you're not known for cheesy paintings like peter max. It's all money in the bank.

6:23 PM  

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