Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My son, Alex, is a senior at ASU. An intermedia art major. He proposed to curate an art show at the campus gallery. The pitch was "Boomtown: Redifining the Southwest." I was amazed to see my boy all grown up and schmoozing with all the art folk. He is so well composed and so comfortable in the role. His idea was brilliant! Southwest art has been so romanticized from the old days of cowboys, coyotes and cactus. Not to Alex. He grew up in a different Southwest with border issues, international influences, suburban sprawl and abandoned decrepid ghost towns. The show was a huge hit and is getting great attention (on this link, the art piece was his--it's a huge 4-piece panel on stained wood). I went through the showing and thought to myself, "this is the Southwest I know!" One artist set up a stuffed coyote in the corner of the gallery looking out the picture window. Behind him were a dozen or more dinner plates with maps of Northern Arizona on them and piles of coyote poop on each plate. That was a real attraction that had people talking excitedly. Some of the art displayed included photos of abandoned places, an artist who took cactus needles and put them into her skin and took close up fashion shots of parts of her body with needles in it, a piece of video art by an artist who rode the light rail with a camera with a fish-eye type lens focused on his sunglasses and he recorded the ambient sounds and you saw only glimpses of the ride through the reflection in his glasses (he did the same thing standing in the middle of a crowd of marathon runners as they took of). Another artist had a picture of a cat caught in desert barbed wire and mummified by the desert sun, along with art pieces made from rusted metal pieces found in the desert. Another one made tiny model sets of typical suburban Arizona backyards with pools and lounge chairs and such and then took photos of the sets. There were so many works that made me shake my head in wonder. It was a true representation of the Southwest of the 21st century and I just had to write a post to brag. The kid "done good." I'm extremely proud.
at 8:37 PM