Saturday, May 3, 2008

Art Blog: Smirk

I am sitting here smirking like a Cheshire Cat. You just have to have a sense of humor. This is true in life and in art. I woke up this morning and decided to check my email before going into the studio. While on the computer, I decided to look at the “Art Deadlines” website for any interesting exhibition opportunities. Sometimes it is frustrating looking at calls for entries for juried shows. The themes make it so hard to enter if you don’t make art in the exact genre, style, or message they want to promote. As I read through the list, I saw this: “CALL FOR FOOD THEMED ART” The show is scheduled to take place in late 2008 at Pittsburgh State University. I am not a food artist. I don’t paint food. I don’t make art about food. I don’t make art with food. I just eat a lot of food. However, that post made me curious. So I went to the website to investigate.
Anybody who might read this call for entries who doesn’t have a background in art might think they are calling for artists similar to those on the Food Network. You know those people who make monumental, sculptural cakes or fantastic ice sculptures. NOPE. That is not what they mean. The exhibition juror is Liz Hickok. She is an artist who constructs molds and fashions little cities out of Jell-o. Currently she is known for her Jell-O art. The installations are quite unique and colorful. Of course, Jell-O doesn’t last long, so she takes photographs and makes videos of the pieces. That is the long term, end product.
I went to her website and sat there and looked at her photos. I didn’t really know what to think. It reminded me of something I said in a recent post about having a “hook” to market your art. Likewise, many artists have “hooks” to get noticed. Think about Duchamp’s fountain (urinal) in which he launched the concept of readymades. Jeff Koon’s is always getting attention for some bizarre monstrosity he has made. Christian Serrano stirred up interest in his photography with the scandalous “Piss Christ”, a photo of a crucifix floating in urine. Let’s not forget Damien Hirst. He comes up with one fantastic albeit weird art concept after another. More power to them all.
Getting back to the Jell-O artist, her work reminds me a bit of photographers akin to Sandy Skogland or Cindy Sherman. They set up self manufactured scenes to photograph. All these ideas and methods are quite ingenious.
However, I just can’t help but laugh and giggle. Sometimes making art isn’t enough. The madness in the method gets a whole lot of attention too.

"Self Portrait with Bed Head"
Oatmeal, Strawberries, Orange, and a 1-A-Day
Like I said, you just have to have a sense of humor!!
OH!! BTW. This photo of my oatmeal portrait is the only surviving record of this art work.
This is because I ATE IT!!


Martha Marshall said...

Oh my gosh you have got to enter that!! LOL!! (I'm laughing, but I'm dead serious.)

Sheree Rensel said...

Martha! Pleeze!!! This was a total joke. I really did "eat the art". You know how I am. These days, the more I read about art, the crazier I seem to feel. So much creativity these days is less about making the art and more about who can be the most clever. I imagine artists laying around trying to figure out what can they use or do to get noticed. I think Jell-o art is a cute idea, but....oh well. I just don't know anything anymore.