Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's about perception

I went to see Nan Wilson's show at the Art Center.
The Art Center is beautiful, cold, and reminds me of the Guggenheim museum, only not. The staff is unwelcoming. I only think this because nobody is around when you walk thru the doors, but as soon as you begin to walk up the stairs, someone begins to stalk your movement. I assume (my perception) is they do not know or care who I am. Does the Sioux City art scene really care if regular people see or want their work? Regular people have discretionary income too. Or maybe the rumors are true and it is a miserable place to work. They certainly have gone thru a lot of directors. Anyway if I worked at the Art Center I would at least smile and welcome people in. Mainly being in the Art Center is like being at Wal Mart, you know somebody should be around if you needed help, but you don't see them. If you do see them, they ignore you, but at the same time you know they're watching you. I learned that as an artist, I want to be careful about the environment in which I show my work. Every thing I have ever learned about getting and keeping patrons, customers, clients, (what ever you want to call those people with potential to support your work) involves making them feel something. I base this on how I want to feel. I want to feel welcome and comfortable. So keeping in mind Nan Wilson's show is about perception (even if the title is "It's about time") I had to think about my perception of the Art Center too. It doesn't hurt my feelings if they have dour docents, nobody should feel bad for me about my experience. They should feel worried that less contemplative people who walk through their doors may have a similar experience. Or maybe they do not care. Maybe the taxpayers fund them? Only that doesn't make sense because taxpayers vote. Oh well.

So, despite my perception of the Art Center itself,  Nan Wilson's artwork is large and beautiful. Her choices for color combination and freedom with line were probably my favorite that I have seen in a long time. The canvases remind me a little bit of the artwork I did in the 90s, and a little bit of the doggie I re-painted recently. The things on my walls at home are similar, but most of my paintings have less defined shapes, and fewer combined colors, and way smaller! Recently I have become more confident with color, so I wonder how my canvas scrap additions would look when combined with my newly found interest in color? Nan Wilson does things with wire on a large scale in combination with her canvas, which looks like it would be fun. Everything I did with wire at NLU is tiny and somewhat like paperclips. The caulk was a great idea, shiny and slick and bumpy. Her wire and caulk additions are somewhat like my rock, chewing gum and canvas scraps additions, only much larger. I really enjoyed the quality of the oil paint on the canvas. Oil paint looks so much richer than acrylic. Acrylic can probably be modified to resemble oil by adding a shiny coating.

I was really intrigued by the hanging canvases suspended from the ceiling idea. I can see myself doing some fun stuff with that idea, except I wouldn't want to do it now because it would be too easy to just copy somebody else's idea. I think I would love to make some hanging canvases eventually. I like the idea because I hate stretching canvas, it hurts my hands now. My hands feel like they are falling apart sometimes, and none of my helpers understand how tight I want the canvas on the stretcher. We saw similar ones when visiting (insert forgotten name here)'s studio, when she put the grommets in the canvas and painted the fetal goose bird creatures against the wall. I wonder how that would look in 3D with the canvas patches added instead of using all that caulk? I might have space for something like that. What do they even call suspended stretcher-free canvases? I can not find them online.

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