Sunday, September 27, 2009

Midway's Secret Life of Objects: Commentary on "You Got What You Deserved" by Jack Pierson

At first glance, the piece by Jack Pierso, which is titled "You Got What You Deserved", seems like the last thing one might set there eyes upon in one of the rooms at Midway Contemporary Art's current gallery exhibition The Secret Life of Objects but in fact it was the one piece that intrigued me first and most. It hardly seems that it should have caught my attention upon entering the room. The frame is one the wall where you enter the room from but it is not the art immediately in front of you, nor the brightest, nor the biggest. It is a 14"x11" piece of paper that has the words "you got what you deserved"; a line then separates the page with a hard graphite line, and underneath the words "right off Hollywood Blvd." How could this not make you stop and think and then pause and then perhaps reconsider what you originally thought in the first place.
For some reason, when I read those words I felt threatened as the viewer. Nobody wrote that note to me, I was just standing in front of this piece of paper with two phrases written in different styles in graphite separated by a single thin line. It made me wonder who originally this note was written for. When we were taking a tour of the gallery, after inquiring about "You Got What You Deserved," it so happens that Jack Pierson used an actual note that he had found on Hollywood Blvd. and went on to do a whole series on notes and scraps of paper that he found off Hollywood Blvd. When I had that in the back of my head, I wondered what the story was behind this threatening note. Who got what they deserved off of Hollywood Blvd? Who was this meant for? And what did they do? Of course, I also considered the fact that anybody could have picked up a note on Hollywood Blvd. and read the words "you got what you deserved" and realized they did have it coming. Perhaps that is what Jack Pierson thought.

***They did not have an image of this piece on the website, so I did my own imitation of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mining the M.I.A. and Creating Imaginary Installation

I selected three images that introduce the viewer to three very contrasting characters. These pieces are being shown at an installation designed to mirror that of a quiet, dimly lit, and almost claustrophobic coffee shop. Each of these pieces would be set in three different corners of the coffee shop so that none of them are particularly close to the other one. Each individual piece would be positioned against the wall at a table surface height so as to allude the viewer imagine themselves also as a patron hidden in a corner of a coffee shop. The purpose of presenting these pieces at a mimic coffee shop would question the viewer how three different personalities shown in these pieces is any different from when they venture out into the world themselves. People everywhere contrast in character just as much as these three pieces seem to do. But people do not always take the time to realize or even just wonder that perhaps, just across the coffee shop is an innocent and naive girl, or a telegraph operator with questionable motives, or even a woman who seems to have plucked nearly all the hairs from her head.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Cherry's Jubilee"

The painting, “Cherry’s Jubilee,” is hard to pass by. I found it immediately striking the first time I saw it. The content shows a young, tattooed women. Her appearance is the first thing to introduced opposing themes. She is dressed in a dress that looks like it came from a theater costume closet. The black and white stripped dress is met by two matching bubble gum pink bows at her waist. She is wearing black and white fingerless gloves, which accentuates the way she is biting on her pinky finger. The gloves are offset by a shrunken black and white stripped top hat with a black bow and feather slouched to the right side of her head. She is an attractive girl. Her black bob frames her face perfectly contrasting her porcelain skin and her crimson colored lips. Her eyes draw you into a dark abyss of wonder and question. Her arms, both covered with tattoos of music notes, a palm tree, a harp, a flamingo, a band-aid, among others, are pulled into her chest.

If the viewer is not immediately intrigued by her appearance, one would want to question her surroundings. She seems to have made her way into a carnival. Her cropped body, from the waist up, is framed between a ferris wheel and a carousel painted in grey hues with a powdery blue sky.

This painting interests me, like I already said, for a number of reasons. Of course my eyes like the colors and the content of the piece but the longer I look at it the more I want to know her story. I begin to ask myself a lot of questions. Who is she? Where is she from? Why is she at an empty carnival? Why is she dressed like that? Of course these questions I can only speculate at? But the fact that I am not quite sure what to make of this women leads me to something. She doesn’t look out of place in the painting but when you ask why would she be there, you don’t know? Everyone has their own story and people always surprise you. You can never think that everyone fits into certain guidelines. It’s better when they don’t. Perhaps that’s why she is called “cherry’s Jubilee.”