This process was very interesting, and I recommend any artist experience jurying an exhibit if possible. Being on the other side of the selection process taught me a lot about it. It’s more difficult than it may seem, and how all the artworks exhibit together is more important than each individual artwork.
I rejected wonderful artworks from the exhibit. As I told the artists, a lack of acceptance into the exhibition did not equal of lack of interest in or quality of artwork. While beautifully rendered, some artworks were too similar or offered a perspective that was already represented. (I did not need another artist representing eating disorders, for example.) Other artworks, while moving and personal to the artists, did not have the audience in mind.
I selected artists I felt had both interesting artwork and statements about the artwork. As I stated in part 1, an intriguing juxtaposition between artworks, artists, and ideas was my goal. With a variety of media, some artists express concerns about feeding an overpopulated world while others express appreciation for the gardener. The importance of sustainable practices is illustrated alongside a display illuminating celebratory traditions. Hostess products serve as icons while anorexia and obesity are considered. Food is anthropomorphized as eating disorders are made personal. What these artworks have in common beyond their bold assertions about America’s relationship with food is an invitation for viewers to question and reflect upon their own relationship with food.
I am very excited to feature all of these amazing artists with their fantastic artworks and thought-provoking statements!
Fruit of my Loins:
“As genetics progresses we are better able to modify and select the most desirable traits to get the most out of our crops. However, by increasing food production to meet the demands of a growing population, we are inadvertently feeding the quandary of an already overpopulated world.”
Le Petit Filet Mignon:
“We manipulate, sacrifice, and alter the majority what we consume, whether it be by means of industrial processing, or of our own ovation through diet. In both, the focus is on the short term benefit, whether it be a mass-produced and morally base product or a body type only attainable by a minute percentage of the population.”
“This Farmers’ Market series of mosaic work is my way to show appreciation for the gardener. When I moved back to Portland in 1999, I did a labor trade to help some friends start their new organic farm. The repetitive nature of farming resonated with the mathematical side of my brain. When I closed my eyes, I could see the rows and rows of plantings. I saw lines in perspective, rolling over one hill and onto another. But I knew that at every point on those lines, in EACH planting of EVERY row, lay the potential of incredible sustainance. I knew this because I had just cared for each one of those plants.
Some say the process of mosaic has a meditative quality. Every piece of the mosaic is specifically chosen, cut and placed to fit a certain location. In order for mosaic artists to keep their sanity, they must develop a sense of rhythm to lay these pieces. One method to make this work is to lay the glass in rows to give the piece a sense of order and flow, aka. andamento. Each piece soon loses its individuality as it becomes part of a larger group, just like the individual plant on the farm hidden in the mass of each row.
My epiphany for the similarity of mosaic and farming was last summer when I was making a corn mosaic. I knew I had to make rows to show each individual kernel, and I thought I had to plan out how I wanted to show that. Then I realized that every vegetable had its own pattern of growth, and all I needed to do was follow that. How easy could that be?”
“Irresistible beauty is what we see when we look at cupcakes. They are cute and small, brightly colored and easily consumed by hand. They have captivated me. I am fascinated with the study of cupcakes. Every time I see them in a dessert case I must stop and gaze at them. However for me most of them are inedible. I am Lactose and Gluten intolerant. My paintings are thus my desire for these wondrous treats. I am only able to indulge with my eyes rather than my taste buds. Yes on occasion I find a bakery that serves sweet cups that fit my criterion but alas these are usually not as visually stimulating. I am drawn to the brightly colored sprinkled frostings that remind me of childhood and the care free pleasure found in the first bite of a soft sugary cupcake. Please feast your eyes on my catalog of desires, preserved for both of our pleasure forever in paint.”
“My work in one word, questions. It is super surreal, very graphic, with complex composition, and heavy use of perspective. Coming from dreams and visions, some make a statement, others tell a story, and some are just for fun. I shoot all the objects, with a Canon SLR digital camera, and put them together using Photoshop. Taking trips to locations to shoot stock images. I shoot all kinds of things, at the time not knowing how I'm going to put them to use. I also shoot models, and objects in the studio, that are needed to create a image. Using Photoshop, I cut and paste the images on to a background, in some cases, using filters, or painting them to create a effect, this process is called compositing. As we all know a photograph shows us a real thing, we been told that all our lives. By using my process, it looks like a photograph, but something is out of sink. And by having them printed on archival stretched canvas prints, for shows, and archival photo prints. That brings to mind, are they photographs or a painting. The viewer is drawn in, and then it starts a questioning of what is real. The hook brings you in, and then a story begins to develops. That's why I call it super surreal art, Art That Makes You Think!”
“In a blend of painterly strokes and trompe l'oeil, I attempt to elevate the status of everyday objects.
Turning my back on the three-quarter view typically employed by still life painters, I present my subjects from an aerial perspective, sans environment. The resulting visual immediacy forces confrontation between object and viewer. Accordingly, I consider the sensual and visual, as well as cerebral, impact the chosen objects may deliver. Food, especially small decadent items, are oft-depicted portrait sitters for me.
These images hail from a small collection entitled "Still Life with Twinkie." In it, Hostess products serve as icons for meditation, a slightly tongue-in-cheek portrayal that correlates to the company's real-life fifteen minutes of fame in late 2012. When Hostess announced an impending closure, the Twinkie became a a coveted treasure, worth much more than its weight in gold. The viewer is welcome to ponder whatever comes to mind: fond childhood memories, entrepreneurial capitalism, or a nation simply obsessed.”
"For this installation the table runner and plates are made out of saltine crackers. The earth has become a desert, dry and unable to support life. The importance of sustainable practices are expressed in the piece without which we might someday find ourselves at the last supper."
Epicurious Potato Heads is an exploration of American culture and the relationship we have with food.
I anthropomorphize food by cooking potato heads and then memorialize them by photographing them. By ascribing human form and attributes to food we can more easily identify with it. Our anthropomorphic perceptions and ideas influence how we interact with the food. An emotional bond is created, and a personal relationship evolves between us and what we eat.
Our relationship with food is not only the longest standing relationship in our life, but also the most complex. Food is much more than a simple fuel. It can be a sin, an escape, a reward, a comfort, or all of these at different times, making a balanced attitude toward food difficult to maintain. In addition to psychological influences, cultural attitudes, religious beliefs, and social expectations also shape the way we feel about what, how, why, when, where, and how much we eat. When we understand what precisely shapes our eating behaviors, we can cultivate a more harmonious relationship with our food.
I invite viewers to become more aware of and actively cultivate a harmonious relationship with the foods they choose to consume.
"We are the Purple People, our voice is quiet and meaningless as wind in dry grass. We will be forever indebted to your caloric intake; you have seen us before and will see us again. We are the Purple People, but we don't see things alike; we are a conglomerate of contradiction that is flown in the face of any evidence to your generous intentions. We are the Purple People, a Culture Club, and a trickle...Lucky You."
I’ve seen thinner.
We all have: the emaciated actresses, the walking skeletons, the withering models. Many of the women and men in this series have looked this way before; some still do. Beneath the layers of clothing and confusion is skin stretched over bones, which they are loathe to reveal. They have, as it were, a skeleton in the closet.
These photographs are about normal people, people like me. I attended college right out of high school. During that first winter away from home, I began to find myself depressed, lonely, and in poor physical condition. This went on for some time until, finally, at the college nurse’s suggestion, I went to talk with someone in the counseling center. The gentleman there was gracious, asked good questions, and listened well. Over the course of the next few months, we were able to unravel the tangle of my thinking, and along the way discovered that, among other things, I was anorexic.
That word hit hard. I had never really thought about anorexia, and certainly never thought of myself as someone susceptible to it. I had assumed that eating disorders were for women who didn’t like their appearance. With some research, however, I discovered that anorexia is more about issues of control, which did apply to me. I was a quiet, intelligent achiever, and I didn’t want anything to get in my way—least of all food and thoughts of food. While I only dealt with this issue for a year early on in life, many people struggle with it for the rest of their lives.
. . . read more on his website . . .
“Bonnie Meltzer is a visual storyteller, usually telling more than one tale at a time by intertwining them with layers of images and a wide variety of materials. Painted wood cutouts with found objects - computer parts, globes, musical instruments and hardware; ephemera - especially maps; photographs - usually her own; and crocheted wire are the core of Meltzer's work.
Meltzer brings elements of social commentary, personal biography and the love of complex textures into her very mixed media constructions. Wedding Cake tells the story of America. Boy meets girl, they fall in love and become a couple. They don't just marry each other; usually their families are part of the deal. They become new extended families with a melding of each's ethnic, religious and/or racial group. Opportunities arise for the celebration of new traditions, holidays, and foods. Cake, usually with multiple layers, is served all over the world at weddings and is the perfect icon for us.”
“The social unrest of our time can be used as a guide for beauty as well as a vulgar display of deep interpersonal thought and question. By tearing away the womb which seals shut our eyes from false and deceiving ideals that hide the weak and restless masses from the realization of grace we can define our society in ways never imagined by those who preceded us.
I use sculpture as a way to explore both social and political issues in an abstract and sometimes absurd context begging the viewer to question reality and the social understandings of our time.
“Aberration Larder” is a group of textile sculptures representing American food production and the associated industrial practices in regard to hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as its potential effect on our person. Our cultural disconnection with the food on our plate allows the food industry to freely pursue methods of food creation, modification and packaging with little protest or question from the population as a whole. The national food practices are dominated by Wall Street, greed, shortcuts, and corporate gains with little or no concern for public health, contributing directly to our national rise in obesity, early onset diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and speculated early hormone production in our nation’s youth. Aberration Larder is an installation that asks the viewer to question where the food they eat comes from and what did it go through to get on the dinner plate.”
As articles are published I will be posting them on the Facebook event page.
6. Advertise & Send Invitations – CHECK!
If you did not receive a personal invitation consider the Facebook event your invitation & feel free to invite others.
7. Write Essay & Publish Catalog – IN PROCESS
I will blog about the final steps in the curating process post-execution.
If you have questions or comments I would love to hear them.
Much love to you all!