Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A heated Critique and Conversaiton at the Maitland Art Center.

Gilbert Vicario was the Guest Panelistat the Artist Critique and Conversation at the Maitland Art Center on March 24th. Gilbert is  the Senior Curator at Des Moines Art Center. Natalie Chikhi who came to 0rlado from France was the first artist to show her work. She had a projector to show us digital images of her work. She creates environmental installations using simple materials. The one piece of hers that I have seen in person involved string converging to a point inside a storage container behind Snap Space. The title of the piece was "Nothingness".  Another piece used colorful sheets of paper to create a wave like pattern on a gallery floor. She spoke for a while about the challenges in her life, and concluded that the difficult and challenging moment in life are often the most creative.

Martha Lent is the artist who I decided to include in the sketch. She came from a graphic design background and has started producing very large paintings. Gilbert's comments were rather insipid but he did feel that her smaller works were more refined and complete. I rather admire Martha's bold large work. It must be liberating to use the whole arm and wrist motion to put down a large stroke rather than the hand and finger movements I use to get color on a sketch.

The one critique that got me the most upset was when Daniella Degulimo showed her work. Danielle went to UCF where she got a BFA in painting. She used to do large paintings of things like the BP oil spill, industry versus the environment and urban sprawl. Recently however she has started a series of smaller works on paper that tackle the same themes. These studies use mixed media and have a bold fresh approach. She showed 15 at the critique and wants to complete at least a hundred to show then all together. Gilbert cut her off and said that she was falling into an art trap by wanting to show a large number of pieces together. I completely disagree. I feel she should do 100 then 200 and keep going. She uses photos she takes of the Orlando sprawl she finds and Gilbert basically felt that the photos might be all she needs. He said, "The materials don't make it art." In those few words, he dismissed all of her efforts. I was more than a bit annoyed. I was fuming. I feel she should continue the series but perhaps do more studies on location. Daniella has also done sculptures using straws that replicate the Buckminster Fuller dome. Some of the studies had segmented patterns of the dome incorporated into the sketch. Gilbert dismissed these patterns as being over used and representative of a long lost ideal. I don't think he is enough of an authority to make that assessment. The entire night he seemed detached and even bored. He never once got out of his chair to inspect the art from a closer vantage point.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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