On Wednesday afternoon it was the Admiral and I went to our local yearly vast art show, Art-o-matic. Each year in May a group of people organize themselves, rent a building already empty (easy in this continuing depression for the 99%) and fill it with art. The choices are self-selected and the result is a huge outpouring of art. In the evenings there are local bands playing on the various floors, some bars and coffee places where there are poetry readings. We go for at least an afternoon, sometimes in time for a rock show, but as they are super LOUD we don't usually enjoy them. I do love pictures, all sorts, as well as art photographs.
Susan LaMonte, Cody Soaks up the Sun (not at art-o-matic but on LeMonte's website): Silverpoint
Alas, each year the art has gotten worse -- this year it was very poor. There seems to be a fashion not to manifest any art abilities but put ghastly cartoon like scribbles on walls.One person who had some good paintings semi-realistic had a sign apologizing for herself. I am intensely sympathetic with the politics of most of the artists, but they are not making art for anyone but their tiny groups or themselves - for the most part. I feel bad to say this as the women (it is mostly middle aged women) work so hard to put this together and look so eager and expectant into the spectators' faces for confirmation of uplift.I couldn't give it. It is not that they are inferior to so-called professionals. We saw the same kind of art filling the Whitney several years ago, and there it was even worse because more money was available to individuals. The Corcoran has shows filled with this pop art: often it has words in explanation because the art does not speak for itself.
Inside out by Susan LaMonte
But here and there were some good art. I didn't take down enough names. There the pictures had a real price. There was a man who made modern look dinosaur sculptures out of wire and these were on various floors. One artist we saw I can share is Susan LaMont. So on our groupsite page is the image of one of the several pictures she had hung: We are here:
We are Here
Today's world, where we have to live and make do and be with others because our world has been built this way by others. It's any city, any cafe but really NYC and somewhere where there's a city college campus The stance is the same as Inside Out: the POV (like a movie) is from deep inside looking out through a glass.
Vivid colors, strong forms, meaningful psychological scenes and presences. She also is a strong idealizer:
Early Morning in the Dunes, again not in the exhibit -- I love it for the colors and the longing (Landscapes)
Much of LaMonte's commercial work is kitsch or over-idealization. I do like some of them all the more. Not only the Dunes picture, but a series on Old Town Alexandria. I recognize the street.
Old Town Alexandria, King Street, Rain
I connect to this to Cindy Sherman's exhibit and Linda Dunhams' Girls:
This is not just dressing up. The figures are faux-aggressive, acting out male coolness. The woman below has herself been driven to look like such another except for the long hair (a requisite to be sexualized)
A witty one: today Conversation is through computer and mobile devices:
And finally back to the sheerly idealized, idyllic::
Quiet Evening, Cambridge
I'll put a write about a few others artists over the next couple of days. I have a list of names and see if I can find images for other of the artists we saw.
P.S. It's now summer. I know it because the air-conditioning went on by itself. That's right. A new turn: sometime last summer the Admiral and I took to setting our thermostat at 78 and putting the air-conditioning on. When the temp in the room the the gadget is in goes about 78, the air conditioning goes on. It went on today at 7:34 am.