1. shrewdness as demonstrated by being skilled in deception.
2. the quality of being crafty
Sheesh! You’d think Meriam-Webster would make some allusion to the craft we’re talking about here. Anyway…
…unmoved by Sarah Giannoblile’s abstract paint daubing, I nevertheless give her hearty props for the hand-craftiness that my tie-wearing co-writer admires. Personally, I found this work a little more intriguing:
Now, I’m not saying I want to wear either of these frocks to Saturday night’s big party; I’m not even saying I want to wear them in the winter to combat the bitter cold; I’m actually not saying that I’d ever want to wear either of them; I am, however, saying that they are far-out. Perhaps springing from the loins of a textileophile (yes, I coined it, and it refers to one who is tremendously fond of textiles, see francophile) makes me more likely to appreciate weird coats at an art fair, but even if your mother didn’t spend her weekends shoulder-deep in giant vats of dye you can still absorb some of the objective coolness of these garments. They are super hand-crafted, they are completely unique, and depending on your style they might be exceptionally fashionable (although, maybe not). In case they did strike your fancy, they are made by Candiss Cole, and in case you wondered, Shibori is very “in” these days.
On another note and in a different medium, I was also particularly struck by Michael Gard’s metal sculptures:
I wish I’d taken better photos of them, but in the first one I think it’s worth asking whether human form is better expressed through the floating/hanging sculptures or the folks walking past them.
I’m generally not a big fan of sculpture, but something about these mesh, flying figures was really very striking. I was reminded simultaneously of Matisse and Degas (respectively):
The Dance I
The Dance II
Dancers in the Classroom
Ballet Dancers on the Stage
It seems worth noting that one of (if not the) most vital distinction(s) between the first two paintings (Matisse) and the second two (Degas) is the degree of – as Dennis might say – kitschy imperfection. I’ve heard a lot of negative things said about the pair of Dance paintings, and that’s possibly because they’re not very good and possibly because I’ve been hanging out with the wrong crowd, but I can state with certainty that external criticisms aside, I love them both. However, I also love just about every Degas dancer work I’ve ever seen. So what does that mean?
On one hand we have art that’s raw, passionate, almost abstract, almost carnal; on the other hand we’ve got fine-grained, detailed, reality-bound depiction. Who are we to say that one trumps another because it looks more hand-made? Who is anyone to make comparisons across categories wider than any ocean we’ve yet encountered? I don’t mean to fixate on Dennis in this outcry; I’m talking to art critics worldwide, past, and present; I’m talking to everyone, including myself. The inherent beauty/uniqueness/value of art is that it is all subject to opinion. Critics can bash The Dance all they like, and BallerinaGifts.com can print Degas’ immortalizations of now dead ballerinas on tote bags, and we can argue over all the complexities of what makes art art and what makes good art good (and trust me, we will) until the sun goes down or until the apocalypse comes, but art will be art in all its value and glory as long as there are artists making it and somebody – anybody – appreciating it.
Just one person is enough.
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