Artists gonna art…

While using whatever is around you as an artist is nothing new, every once in a while I see something that makes me go…..whoa…..


Kara Walker’s installation at the Domino factory is, as always, laser-sharp in its message and materials (using sugar to create ‘Subtlety’ an enormous Mammy-Sphinx) to never let us forget the dehumanizing suffering that generations of people have had to endure at the success and growing wealth of others. I’m not going to be able to get up to NYC to see it in person, but I have seen numerous photographs which I am sure do not do justice to the scale of the piece but the message is clear and it is humbling and thought provoking. Unfortunately it’s not that way for many as evidenced by some snaps on Instagram. This post on the sheer disrespect and general avoidance of the true issues at heart is the best I’ve read.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is this mosaic created from Rubik’s Cubes. I almost don’t want to put these two examples together but in both cases, to me, artists have taken an item from the every-day and given it a new voice and experience for people who see both works which I am sure, will lead to people never seeing sugar or a simple puzzle toy in the same way again.

What’s on your walls Wednesday?

Every wednesday, I am going to talk about a piece from my (albeit pretty small) art collection and encourage other people to do the same. 

I’m going to start out with a print that I bought two and a half years ago at one of my favorite galleries in Chicago- Rotofugi. When they moved to their current location on Lincoln Avenue they more than doubled both their exhibition space and sales space for (in my opinion) one of the best selections of designer and artist vinyl toys (my other favorite being Toy Tokyo in New York).

One of my favorite things about Rotofugi is that they have an excellent selection of artists work, both prints and originals, from their gallery shows. I have a few pieces from my trips to Chicago. I grabbed a Jeremiah Ketner about 6 years ago after stalking, er, I mean admiring his work on line a few years before that. And most recently I purchased a print from the Little Friends of Printmaking back in 2012


It’s not hard to put my finger on why I like this piece. It’s a successful combination of positive and negative space, a sophisticated palette played up with metallic inks and interest enough to continue to find new things in it- even 2 years later. Little Friends of Printmaking also wisely size their pieces to readily fit into existing Ikea frames, which makes them a great place to start with buying unframed art if you find the framing counters at some places seem daunting.

I think I actually bought my frame from a Target but it fits just fine.


What’s on your walls?