Thursday, March 17, 2011

Art Foraging - This Week's Catch

As you may have guessed, I do a lot of searching, investigating (if you will) and reading about art, on the internet. When I start clicking, I end up with files full of images and a bookmark menu full of links. Some of them I use in posts, while others that I find interesting don't find their way onto the blog. Some of these artworks/artists interest me enough that I want to share them with you occasionally. When something resonates with me, I'll be posting it occasionally under the heading Art Foraging.

Most of what I'll be posting for awhile will be weird, way-out contemporary art. Feel free to tell me why you hate it!  ;-) 

" Art should be transgressive. Life is not all sweet. "
Nicholas Serota

Nancy Spero, Maypole: Take No Prisoners II, 2008 (detail), Installation view, Serpentine Gallery, London, (March 3-May 2, 2011), © 2011 Jerry Hardman-Jones.


  1. I'm ready, I think. I'm not much of an art scholar and don't understand a lot of modern art except that I find much of it exciting and interesting.

  2. I like that word - transgressive. I hear progressive all the time. I don't hate your catch - it's just kinda sadly violent. Look at that stain and splatter of blood on the severed necks. Or I'm the one with violent thoughts here (lol). Good catch. I enjoyed feeling curious.

    My gravatar is not showing on your followers widget (I don't know why, I've tried again and again), but I have your site URL on my sidebar already.

  3. You are an amazing forager and the title suits your searchings for art from every corner, nook and cranny. This installation speaks volumes.

  4. I wouldn't say that I hate it, but I wouldn't say that I like it either. I'm more enamored of the idea of this, I think.

  5. " The dammed in Hell"
    It certainly catches the attention.

  6. Yogi - ditto! Some people write this type of installation off as crap but I'm willing to give it a chance.

    Hazel - I like that quote a lot. Going outside or beyond the bounds of what is pretty to the eye and what people expect characterizes a lot of contemporary art for me. The shock value (although there are people in the art world who say that there isn't anything these days that is shocking anymore) in a lot of installations and the effect it has on people, especially religious conservatives, always intrigues me. I think it's good to keep people on their toes and asking why.

    Aguja - thank you dear wordstitcher! :-)

    Mama Zen - I feel pretty much the same way. I don't love it but I think it's kind of cool. I wish I knew more about it. A Maypole with swirling heads? Hmmmmm....I wonder what she means. I should've really included a biography or article on the artist.

    Thanks everybody!

  7. Stewart - didn't mean to forget you!
    And you know...I'm musing about your comment. Hell is perpetual, goes on and on forever...around and around. Yikes, now I'm scaring myself! :-D

  8. I just added a link on the post to a NY Times article about Nancy Spero; her obituary to be specific. There is a bit about her work in it

  9. This is the kind of art that I encounter in museums or galleries and feel strongly about. What I usually feel is:
    1. This is unique
    2. I would not have wanted to make this myself
    3. I would not want to encounter this frequently
    4. I'm glad I saw it - it was a new experience
    5. Why is it so much easier to create something "new" and memorable out of something shocking than out of something pleasing or pretty? This is true of paintings, songs, books...

    And if I do encounter something this unusual and it IS pleasant or makes me feel warmer inside (instead of colder) then I find I DO want to come back and see it again, often.

    Either way, though, the opportunity to be confronted with something outside the ordinary is a lot of what draws me into museums and galleries... And to your blog. Thanks for sharing the results of the foraging.

  10. I love it. It's the kind of piece I usually spend ten or fifteen minutes staring at while the other people the museum look at me funny.

  11. I like that quote, very much. and I like the recognition that life is not all sweet. I'm not sure what I feel about the art installation though. I think I like it. I like that I'm certain it's controversial for some.

  12. I actually like this quite a bit (though I'm generally not "big" on Modern Art. I liked the detail when I thought it was a stand-alone multi-media piece, but like the totality even more - there's a sort of grotesque gaiety about it, as though a bored executioner decided to have some fun with the leftovers on the dungeon floor.

    I think what amuses me most is how strangely some people's minds work...

  13. Steve - the "newness" of this type of contemporary art is usually draws me in visually. In this case, I didn't actually see the installation, so drawing upon what can be percievedc through the photograph, I'd say that even though I don't know what the artist is trying to say, I still enjoy it. The reason that's so is because I find it amazing that an artist can work hard to produce something that is his/her own idea that perhaps only they really understand and actually have it resonate enough with art patrons, viewers and museums to have it displayed. It's that drive to create (whether I happen to like or it) and execute an installation that I find most interesting. I can even find it interesting in and of itself - the drive to create and actually pull it off.

    Regarding your question. I think because "pleasing" has been done too much. Pleasing is a state we enjoy and are comfortable with. Shocking is what takes out of our comfort zone and makes us think and react in other ways besides visually.

    A friend of mine describes a lot of what she sees in contemporary art as being from for the head and not for the heart.

    Thanks as always for comments and the questions that you pose. Always though-provoking.

  14. libhomo - I know just what you mean!

    Becky - times change and currently, the world is changing faster than we can keep up, so it stands to reason that peoples inner as well as their political positions should be worked out through their work. Poets and writers do the same. Everything changes and evolves. Art is so much more in your face than a book, so maybe that's why it comes across as more controversial.

    CR - it's contempoary art, actually, not modern. I can correct you because I know you so well and so I feel I can without you feeling insulted! :-) I LOVE the rest of your comment! Excellent.

  15. Ah I must go to see the exhibition. The Serpentine does have some interesting shows.

  16. Jams - lucky you! I want to visit London again so much, I can't see straight!


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