THE JOY OF PAINTING
Remember that episode
of Happy Days when Richie was going to run off with that beatnik
chick? I think the show would have been a lot better if he would
have gone. Maybe he could have talked Ralph and Fonzi into going
along with him. Im telling you, it would have been a hit.
They all could have gone off to New York and Richie could have
become a famous abstract painter. He could have gotten toasted,
tore at his flesh and screamed about being a genius. It would
also be funny to have Ralph and Fonzi become gay lovers and
open an antique store in the East village. Sad that I missed
out on my calling as a big time TV exec.
Not too many
people paint in the abstract style anymore and unless youve
been doing it for awhile its actually neo-abstract. Neo
is a very postmodern idea. If you really want to have todays
fashion you have to revive the past. Postmodern architecture
is all the rage. Look at the Summit and the new Brookwood village
for real textbook examples of this style. Its a shame
that some of this stuff seems so poorly constructed. But, I
guess these things are shopping malls and not cathedrals.
If you havent
seen it yet, check out venuesonline.org.
This Web site has links to all the local art venues, if you
pardon the pun. Actually the pun is really unavoidable.
A lot of flack
has been made about Judge Roy Moores monument to YHWH
in the State Court House. Id like to be the first to criticize
it aesthetically. This is no great sculpture. It looks like
it belongs in a graveyard, literally and figuratively. Now the
atheists have proposed a better sculpture by Bill Teague but
it represents the atom rather than American Protestantism. The
atom is pretty abstract. Even though Im no great fan of
abstract art or the Ten Commandments, I think its possible
to make an abstract sculpture of the Ten Commandments that would
be better than either one of these works of art. In fact its
probably been done hundreds of times already.
things are happening around town right now. The Museum has just
made a major coup with the acquisition of a small horde of modern
masterpieces. This bequeath by Susan Mabry and William Hansell
Hulsey includes many of the major works by Marie Laurencin.
Make it a point to go to the BMA soon and check it out. Also
there was a good show out at the Thomas Project off Archadephia
Road. Hopefully there will be another opening soon that will
be open to the public. America will change as artists move into
the ruins of the industrial age. This might be a great advantage
for Birmingham as it grows into a major art center. Weve
definitely got some of the best American ruins. Both Sloss Furnaces
and the Thomas Project at Roosevelt Steel have produced some
really excellent work. A few days after that show at Roosevelt
Steel two of the same artists, Ira Chaffin and Karen Cucinotto,
had a show at the BAA. This was some really first class work.
Id love to see both these artists working on a larger
Here on the Southside,
the UAB student show by Laura Beth Isabella and Joel Seah once
again proves my theory that the avant-garde is taught just as
well at UAB as any famous art school in New York, Paris or Rome.
The drawback being that youre not in New York, Paris or
If you havent
been to Nordys yet youre totally L7, you know man,
square. Nordys Gallery has proven to be a fun and titillating
experience with crowded openings that have featured Jazz bands
and lots of decorative paintings.
The Hawthorn Gallery
was opened last January in Crestline Village by Keith Miller
and has been bringing high quality work to Birmingham ever since.
The gallery mostly shows original work by mid-career American
artists. The latest show at Hawthorn, Michael Palmer is of museum
quality. In fact hes got lots of paintings in museums,
including four in the Seattle Museum of Art. Thats why
the work is museum quality. See, sometimes circular reasoning
can make perfect sense.