Sunday, May 13, 2007

detroitarts best in show: ccs student show

dylan spaysky (see other show at cranbrook forum gallery)
This time the cohesive nature and simplistic, sarcastic pop culture spoof of spaysky's works stood out. For me it was a bit funny because I don't believe a lot of attendees that night caught all the details of his space, including his hilarious card. I saw some people puzzled by the rotating paper (above) which made me laugh. I am excited to see where spaysky goes...he is one to watch.


curtis glenn
Glenn is one of those students that I can only guess some love to hate. He is in the ccs club of leaning canvases and abstract placement of objects but I believe he executes the idea the best. His canvases have a Josh Smith quality but combined with a sculpture aesthetic like jessica stockholder.


kalissa ortiz
This was a photo student who stood out to me....I thought they had a strong voice and a enjoyed the urban story her prints told.


john azoni
Good ccs painters seem to be scarce these days...azoni sticks out as something different and original in the big batch of ccs conceptual sculptors.


david flaugher
This student is only a junior but felt that they had a strong body of related works and good painting and concept. If hung in a big white gallery I could see these as stand out pieces and I would like any of these in my house. They make me chuckle and remember my youth!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

azoni as sculptor? pphhh.
if you only knew.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David and Dylan's work is boring at best. This poorly crafted approach that several students have chosen to go with is nifty, but it is boring - I look at it, maybe i laugh, and i look away and never want to see it again, i dont think about it or ponder on a deeper meaning. Davids choice to mirror the "high school" physique brings down the work of of students around him. Freshman coming into CCS from high school will see his art as senior work and will aspire to it. This is a problem. Im not saying that Davids work isnt art. It is art, but david wouldnt know craftsmanship if is sat on his face. The largest problem with the CCS fine art program is that they have forgotten craftsmanship. I would more ok with David and Dylan's work if they could paint perfectly, or could draw or sculpt. But they can't. This goes for a lot of people at CCS. People coming in from high school will see there work and say "why should i take the time to learn how to craft anything well, when i can make work like that and pass a class." Even if there concepts were amazing its not a enough for a student. But there concepts are simple one liners. Poor craftsmanship and poor concepts make poor work. Which is all Dylans and Davids work is.

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. single viewpoint! Fine art isn't all about craftsmanship. There is room for the alternative. But I have to admit, this work doesn't impress me. I personally expect graduating seniors' work to be on the level of any recognized professional artist, to have at least some focus, and to appear as though the artist actually tried. Something's missing here.

Ann, will you be posting more? This coverage doesn't represent this show so well.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right on with Dylan, Kalissa and Dave. They are A-list artists making work really worth spending time with. I am also convinced with John's potential. The images you selected of his are exemplary of him at his best. It's a bit sad to me that he still doesn't seem to see it and stuck them up with a whole lot of work in the same general formula he's been cultivating for four years. That stuff is pleasing but work like the two you presented here are are exciting which easily trumps pleasing.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dylan ROCKS!!!!!!!!1

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ann wasnt saying that azoni was a sculptor himself, she was comparing his work to sculptors, you dolt

i would imagine that by the time a artist gets to senior level they are allowed to MAKE CHOICES about what they want to represent themselves and their particular ideas. any school especially ccs leans heavy on teaching craftsmanship, technique, methods, early in their studies starting with freshman level. the fact that David, Dylan, and other artists are utilizing more edgy and difficult formats doesnt mean that they dont know their stuff.

if you looked at cubist picasso you probably would think "geez this guy doesnt know anatomy". Be truthful. You would.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ann, please show more examples of work in fine arts section of the show.......this doesnt seem to represent the full range of ideas

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are in the last days; josh smith is a shitty painter, and the fact that so many hold him up as a parigon of art proves it.

7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it all look like the stuff that didn't make it into some kindergarten's parent-teacher day show?

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems a lot of people are concerned with the lack of craftsmanship at CCS. Me too. Although, I do like Dylan and Dave's work for various reasons. One of which is the level of absurdity. I think most of us enjoy their work for this same reason.
I think one piece at the show that has been overlooked (at least on the blog here) is Deena's stone and bronze whoopee cushions. Absurdity and craftsmanship by God! Check them out if you haven't already.

9:16 AM  
Blogger art blogs are fun said...

yes, more is coming...jeez!

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there was a ton of great furniture work in the crafts department, i loved the exploration of the materials this year. however, one piece, a coffee table with a very insect-like stance and proportion, stood out to me as being suspiciously like the work created by a former student and employee of ccs just a few years ago.

I forget his name, but there was some magnificent lighting across from the cafeteria, lots of metal, cast glass...probgably the most refreshing break from the repeating themes found every year in the ID and craft furniture areas of the school. As a former ID/trans student, i must say that the work in that area of the school has become oh so sadly predictable....makes me almost ashamed to have been part of it, and not crafts

I need to go back to look at more of the work on the 2nd 3rd and 4th floors though

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this might be out of the realm of the general interest here, but for the sake of mentioning it the graphic design department had the strongest work that I have seen at any level at any school recently. I was really blown away. I hope some of you took the time to walk up there and didn't just focus on the fine arts selections because if you did you really missed out. Every single graphic design senior's installment was amazing, and even a lot of the sophomore and junior work was impressive!! This is a huge difference from last year: I don't know if there's been some major changes in the department or if they just stumbled upon a group of really talented individuals.

As for the fine arts side: who did the peice with the video projecting onto the sculpted pillow atop of a bed of white feathers? The same room with the kisses on paper? I thought that that was wonderful, we spent a lot of time in that room, but didn't see an artist name(s). I also agree with whomever pointed out the stone and bronze whoopee cushions, they were fun and well executed and their location in the show couldn't have been better.

The works highlighted in this post were not my favorites of the show, though I did love the resume on the rotating fan/stick. As for the work that looked like "the stuff that didn't make it into some kindergarten's parent-teacher day show" there was a similar piece at the Cranbrook show (I forget by whom, the carboard car and the eagle and the woodchucks with a giant ear of corn) but that exhuded just a touch more craftsmanship and was, I think, likewise more successful so it may be that anonymous#1 has a point (if not The point).

I am jet lagged. My spelling is atrocious. Please forgive.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to also mention that Dylan and Dave (as well as any number of artists) have certain craftsmanships (emphasis on the plural) that they have developed to a great degree of sensitivity. It's very apparent if one spends a little time with the work.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M. That was Ericka Layne on the third floor. It's a shame she couldn't be there for the opening. She's in Alaska right now.

She's great and I miss her.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy k,

the same is true for the fine arts department. as an alumni looking at the department now, i wonder when they're going to come back to Earth. work like deena's or azoni's for that matter, work that has extremely strong concept and craft, gets held back by the alternative crap that other students are pushing as finished work.

the department will pass you if you appear to work hard, regardless of whether or not you considered all the possible criticisms/readings/viewpoints/actions/whatever you want to call it.

current student mentality = it doesn't matter if the audience understands what i'm doing, all that matters is how I feel in the end... oh, and I don't have to have a viable explanation!

WRONG! (and that's not oppinion, that's fact!)

ask yourself what you want to be when you grow up. if the answer is artist, then change your mentality now, before that dream quickly becomes a distant memory.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol I see a lot of people hear commenting on the lack of craftsmanship at CCS. Ok so what thats not somthing they push reqal hard they say they are more intersted in creativity and concept but then people praise folks like john who just pump out a bunch of the same crap for three years straight, at least some of us ae trying new things, new for us,maybe you or your freinf already did it, but honestly does that really matter. Are these people that graduated CCS in the years before us so amazing that everything they do and did is original and not drawn form some where elseI dont care if some one painted a landscape with oil paints before me, im still going to do it

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^ i see the ccs english department is lacking these days as well

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this person is just feigning illiteracy to give more creedence to their pseudo-outsider art attitudes.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Azoni's "same crap for three years straight" is better than a majority of the new crap that a lot of students do once.

And nobody said that the people who came before you were amazing, and if they did then they'd sound just as crazy as someone saying that CCS instructors don't care about craftsmanship.

You can only sell shit in a can once, after that, you're just reliving history..

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Azoni is a hard working young artist who is always questioning himself and his artistic point of view, just as I observed all of the young artists in the current class are doing.

The comment about him was uncalled for and childish.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of those taking shots at Dylan and David, take some time off, maybe a warm bath -- soak your feet and get cozied up with some Monet (preferably early works). Then, if you feel saavy, Pollack, Motherwell, Beuys, Rauchenberg...then Dieter Roth, Baslitz, Kippenberger, Krebber...make a stew -- hell, toss in the coffee table. Let it all soak, then get back in.

There's plenty of time to worry about how it's put together. For now take'em for all their worth.

It's all fyr foreigns until you're a foreigner.

Curtis. Love.


8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dylan's hilarious card should have been your first clue that he's a con "Yuppies get your checkbook". What did Ann say "he's one to watch", Didn't she say that about Kevin B last year. He's selling dirt in a cup (who does he think he is god????) another fraud.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

....meanwhile, john azoni sits at home reading this blog with an erection.

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it that people forget, or maybe dont realize at all, that EVERYTHING is preference. No one is ever going to create work that appeals to everyone. Just because i prefer a "high school" or "less crafted" look does not mean by any stretch that i am a poor craftsmen.

I am not creating things to appeal for future students of CCS so i could really give a fuck less what they think when they see my "art". and im not angry just cause i used the word fuck its just the way i think of it. I also don't try to develop anything with the thought that others will be able to relate it to "professional" artist.

I dont strictly produce one liners, granted the majority of things in the show came off that way it really is not the case. Whether something is meaningless, a one liner or completely conceptual i present it all the same because theres no way for me to tell how its going to come across. I rarely do "one liners" and just because you dont enjoy what i do doesnt mean you can jump right to that conclusion.

"Poor craftsmanship and poor concepts make poor work."
^^^and understand that this is your opinion, not a matter of fact.

-david flaugher

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems to me that its easier to negatively categorize artist such as dylan and david rather than just enjoy them.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You don't need to defend yourself. Sometimes its best to let the foolish criticisms disappear rather than get defensive.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon: Saying Dylan or Kevin are "frauds" implies that there is something to be fraudulent about --situating some work as approaching truth in order to contrast some as lie and designating someone to be deceaved. If anything the opposite is the case. It's all a fraud and as such can better reflect the universe.

who does he think he is god????
None but one who isn't convinced of his ouw existance.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm taking Kevin to court for undercutting my cup-o-dirt business. That's bull-shit man.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i might as well join this conversation since everyone is throwing out personal opinions.

one reason i enjoy david's and dylan's work is that it gets people riled up. the pieces also come off as impulsive and totally self-conscious of our youth-turning-adult-hood. the works are a successful summing-up of what it feels like for me to be 23 years old. if the wrestler paintings were hung in my bathroom i'd probably enjoy that, too. these works are honest and speak to my desires to in a way, relive and re-do my own childhood. i explore these themes in my own work.

but really, the flashy colors and nature of the media used were simply enjoyable for me.

-my 2 cents

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:18 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

But Kevin Beasley IS God....

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While I agree that my work was the very best of the CCS student show I do not understand why you felt the need to put the other people on your list. None of the other artists mentioned (or in the whole show) even came close to being as good as my work is. Having the other artists on the list discounts the value of my work, which is far superior to all others. What were you thinking?

Dylan Spaysky

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think the best piece in dylans show was that shelf that help his busness cards. so conseptual to use such a material.

happy birthday

12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person claiming to be Dylan sure don't sound like Dylan, and neither do I.

3:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that while everything i have read has been a valid argument, i think people need to consider that there is a place for everything. there was a time when impressionest painters were considered to be "lacking in craftsmanship skills" and looking back on it, we can see that thats not quite the case. we cant always see where a persons work belongs in the scope of life from directly in front of it. if you dont like it, dont worry. step back and wait a while to see how things work out.its amazing what time can do for perspective.

and freshmen students seeing others work as something easy to aspire to so they can "pass the class"? if any student is looking at someone elses work as a benchmark as how to simply recieve a passing grade then im not sure they belong in an art school. if they are not passionate about their own ideas and concepts and are not willing to spend as much time as it takes developing those ideas, then why would they be pursuing art? art requires more then just the desire to "be an artist" if freshmen aspire to that higher level then thier grades will assumably follow.

although i was not particularly impressed, i must add that "good craftsmanship" is almost as subjective as "good design" and that they are both very relative terms.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's too bad that Anhn didn't give all the seniors some coverage, but then that Ann. What about the other seniors that worked so hard?

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


4:05 AM  
Anonymous Ron Chee said...

Dylan's work is hilarious. If you haven't noticed he is making fun of yuppies and mocking them. He doesn't care if he sells art. He just does it. Look in the mirror. He is reminding us that we are controlled by things. Dylan has a great mind. He could spray paint dog poo gold and I would love it. Keep up the good work Dylan. People want to hate but they are not doing anything with their lives.

4:56 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home