Thursday, May 3, 2012
The thing that the Contemporary Art Project Week showed me most about contemporary art is that almost no art nowadays is simply exactly what it looks. There are very few contemporary artist for whom someone saying "oh, that's a pretty picture" is enough. Things may be pretty, but unless they are something more than just pretty, it is likely that they will soon be forgotten. What we saw in videos and museums this week was mostly the way that the artists of today add more significance to their work. We have seen the messages contained in the work of street artists, messages designed to make people stop and think in the midst of their everyday lives. We have seen it in the natural works of other artists, where the simple egg shape is not the entirety of the sculpture - for it has been built of ice and swallowed by the tide and that natural progression of nature was just as much of a part of the sculpture. We saw it at the MFA and the ICA, where at least half of the pieces seemed to have no meaning if we didn't understand the explanation behind them: the pile of candy, the beaded curtain, the furniture, the "po(l)etical" sign. I wanted to do a piece that embodied the idea of there being "something more" than a simple design on a page. The first method of doing that was taking it off of a page and turning it into a three-dimensional work, but the main inspiration was the work of street artists - those street artists who made art that spoke about politics and that were commentaries on the time - artists like Shepard Fairey and Banksy who have become art icons with the things that they do. I couldn't quite go and spray-paint the APR building for Project Week, so I did my best with what I had.