….fall in love…
So, yes, I know art shows. Been going to them for decades now.
And partly because I’m usually accompanied by Small, Impatient People, and partly because there are only about 7 genres of art you find at most shows and festivals, I don’t really linger at these things. I’m a quick study. It’s not that I know what I like, it’s that I know what doesn’t interest me, and I’m always on the lookout for something different. Not one more repurposed spoon windchime or sure-to-sell nostalgic print of local retro signage.
But when I see something that strikes me, I stop. I study. And then I usually let myself ponder it and return the next day, only then ready to commit.
So it was with Artwalk, the really fun Birmingham show in which a few streets and storefronts downtown are taken over by art, outside and in.
All three of us wandered through on Friday evening, and then Michael and I returned Saturday afternoon, while Joseph stayed home and watched his Gators.
There were a few artists that brought me to a standstill. Jill Marlar’s intaglio etchings are lovely – she had one of three women in front of a train, ready for an adventure, that I held in my hand for a few minutes, meaning to return for the next day. That didn’t happen, but she’s around often enough that I’m sure I can pick it up somewhere else.
This fellow’s work straddled a line between kitsch and genius, I thought. In some ways it was reminiscent of, well, hotel room art, but it went beyond. In the pieces he had on display, graphic elements – “Roma” and so on – were added to the thickly-laid, drippy oils. I wanted them for my new mid-century pad, very badly. Besides, of course, Italy. Do you have Italy in Yer Art? You got me.
Ah, but then I came upon the art of Justin Banger. Mostly this one, which I studied last night, thought about, then returned today to purchase. I asked him about it – he said it’s his daughter and his soon-to-be-born second child. Seriously, something about it – thinking about my own daughter and her brothers, thinking about what’s missing in the life of an only child (me)…
…moves me, and deeply. It was like…I couldn’t not have this in my life once I’d seen it.
Because, in a way, it had always been there anyway.