Thursday, September 27, 2012

our first day at ArtPrize

mindy and i woke up early, well early-ish, and hit the road to Grand Rapids and the ArtPrize 2012 event.  it was an easy drive, and it was nice to see all the leaves beginning to remember it is fall.  but the foliage will have to wait for another day.  today, we were looking for some art.  some new art.  some different art.  mostly just voices we've not heard yet, who have something relevant and interesting to say.  we're only here for a day and a half and we were told that there was no way we could get through the whole show in a couple of days.  but that's ok, there are 1500+ pieces and 1000 of them are probably not worth seeing, and we did see several pieces that made us scratch our heads and say, 'how does anyone call that trite and trivial vomit art?'  but there are some real standout works.  and after talking to some folks today we've got a plan set for tomorrow to go and see some of the works we are very excited about.

Mindy and i laced up our shoes and began our walking tour (more like wandering tour).  we started at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, which was crowded like going to the MoMA on free fridays.  so it  was a bit difficult to experience the art.  There were several pieces in the show entitled, 'Transformation,' but a ceramic built wall, by nathan craven, was the standout.  it was built of all extruded forms, 7000 of them, and every one different.  They were then stacked together as bricks in a wall.  the different shapes all fit together like the most insane jigsaw puzzle ever.  quite mind-boggling to stand in front of.  

another great work was Kumi Yamashita's Origami, an installation of different colored square paper pages on the wall.  each piece of paper had a strange crimp/bend/imperfection in it.  then the light hit it from the other side and every crimp and imperfection created a profile of a face in the shadow.  very cool.  

Mr. Weekend, a giant animatronic talking stock puppet, by mike simi, was hanging out the federal building behind Kendall College.  He was super entertaining, with his surreal size and movement, and his absurd comments about contemporary art.  he made me laugh.  but the overall group of work at this venue was some of the best stuff we saw of the day.

DeVos Center had A LOT of stuff, period.  the standout, was an installation of panels shaped and painted into running dogs on the wall, by kent ambler.  it was fun and everyone in the hallway was smiling.

After our first day of wandering around, seeing a lot of art, both good and terrible, we are looking forward to tomorrow.  today was our 'get your bearings' day, tomorrow we will seek out the pieces that we really want to see.  more to come.......

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