This month, Tasty is hosting "Erratic Expressions," a mixed media group show that features work by 16 local artists. A few of my favourites are Sarah Gordon's pop culture themed Scrabble collages:
|Sarah Gordon, "Marilyn"|
|Sarah Gordon, "Alice in Wonderland"|
|Gretchen Fuller, "Ballistic Bunny"|
|Gretchen Guller, "Are You My Mummy"|
The comic-inspired collages of Raw Garbage, and the mechanical avian assemblages of Jen Hardwick are also pretty amazing. I can't help but adore the tiny metal birds.
|Raw Garbage, "La Verdad"|
|Jen Hardwick, "Crow-Bot"|
Just a few blocks down the road from Tasty is Chocolati Cafe. We duck in for a quick look around and are instantly drawn to Ellen Hastings' colourful collages and Chocolati's creatively shaped edible chocolate confections. Who doesn't like an environmentally conscious tree and a tiny chocolate paintbrush wrapped in exciting bits of coloured foil?
|Ellen Hastings, "Solar Willow"|
|Bherd Studios: shiney new space!|
The newest show at Bherd addresses the cultural phenomena of art as a product and presents artists and buyers alike with some interesting questions:
"What makes a piece of art compelling — its subject, color, size, materials? What do we lose or gain when we can only see a portion of the whole? Is a specific section of a piece more precious, more mysterious when removed from its context, or does it lose its spark when it loses its frame? Is there a 'more bang for the buck' mentality to purchasing art? Does a work become more precious as it disappears? Do we relate to a piece more when we are allowed to alter it to our own tastes? And can we really bring ourselves to cut up an original work like a birthday cake?" (from bherdstudios.com)
|John Osgood, "Mikhail's Bondage Dream"|
|Tessa Hulls, "Fall"|
I find the concept of the show fascinating. Splitting up a piece of art would certainly affect its worth — to the artist, the buyer(s), and the economy of the art world. I've spoken with artists, art collectors, art appreciators, and art critics who assert that the 'worth' of art is completely subjective. I can see their point, especially considering the extremely large price tags associated with some noteable art pieces in the past (i.e. Cézanne, Pollock, de Kooning, Klimt, Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir, Munch, and Warhol whose work has sold for upwards of $100 million)... But as a not-quite-so-famous artist, I set my prices to reflect the cost of materials, time spent, and a surcharge for being awesome. (The vision is mine, and you won't find it anywhere else, savvy? The awesomeness surcharge is possibly the percentage of the cost that could be considered subjective.)
|12 Midnite, "Optimism"|
|Kellie Talbot, "White"|
Selling art by the inch does, however, make it instantly more affordable (in most cases) than purchasing an entire painting (or drawing, or photograph, or sculpture, etc.), and I like the idea that a single original piece of art can be owned and continually enjoyed by more than one person. Different people owning different pieces of the same original work has the potential to create more of a dialogue between buyers. It also allows the art to be viewed not only as a complete (albeit static) composition, but also as a changeable artscape comprised of many possible *new* compositions. The main problem I can predict is that a piece could be divided in such a way that the left over sections simply wouldn't sell. Artists could, of course, price their work so that they would receive ample compensation regardless of whether they sold a single section or the entire composition, or they could make every inch of the art work so fantastically interesting that no section would be left behind. "No Art Left Behind" has a nice ring to it; perhaps there would be enough interest to generate some federal funding. Any takers?
So go see the show. It's up until 5 October for your viewing, measuring, and slicing pleasure. Measuring tapes have been generously provided by Bherd Studios; you can find them nestled in silken pillows atop pedestals throughout the show.
Following Bherd, Sarah and I head across the street, through the nearly hidden door, down the colourful hallway, and down the deceptively precarious staircase to the Greenwood Collective. Even without Bherd, it's still one of my favourite artist enclaves in Seattle. The crowd is a little sparse, which could be a result of Bherd's migration or the fact that it's still early in the evening, but the art is excellent, and the snacks and libations abound. EchoEcho has a few fun pieces this month. Some of my favourites are Alexandria Sandlin's deliciously tempting mushrooms and Ripley's post-apocalyptic zombie photography.
|Alexandra Sandlin, "Candy Coated Mushrooms"|
|Ripley @ EchoEcho Gallery|
|Kim Hood @ Urban Light studios|
|Adrian Wyard @ Urban Light Studios|
Solace at Home Suite Home has re-created the studio space as a sitting room, complete with TV, a standing lamp, a comfortable sofa, and framed art on the walls.
|Home Suite Home|
|Full Circle Gallery (photo courtesy of Full Circle on Facebook)|
Support your local art scene!