Monday, August 31, 2015
On March 28th I went to an Artist Panel Discussion at Snap! Orlando (1013 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL). The exhibit at the time was called Structure and Perspective. Structure and Perspective examined the intersection of organic and man made forms such as those found in the distinction of body forms and building forms.The artists were Christoph Morlinghaus in the black shirt, Ryan Buyssens in the green stripes, Dan L. Hess in a military shirt and Juan Travieso in the white tee shirt.
Amazingly Dan went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC around the same time I did. He pointed out that the school stressed the importance and rich history of drawing. Children today aren't taught to draw. If they want to make something, they assume there is an application that can do it for them. When Dan starts a drawing, he has no idea where it will go. He has no set final destination. For a long time he has been avoiding painting, so all his works are on paper. Dan and I have much in common.
The large format photos behind the artists were by Christoph. All of his photos are analog taken with a large format camera. He joked, "I wouldn't be a good German if I didn't look for order and structure." The photos were of computer circuitry and the resembled cityscapes. He has been using x-ray film the last 2 years which results in bleak intimate images. He mentioned that social media is resulting in the death of photography. Art has become disposable. He feels that there is an existential crisis due to the overload of images. There is so much to assimilate at the large art fairs like Art Basel in Miami. Art Basel is all about consumption.
Ryan creates animated organic flapping birds wings, crafted from 3D printed, machined and laser-cut parts; “Resistance” is time-based, interactive, mechatronic sculpture that emulates the articulated flapping of bird’s wings. Several sets of these mechanical birds are mounted to a wall and, through various intensities of flapping, respond to the viewer’s movements within the space.
Juan related his childhood memory of fleeing Cuba. Seventy or more people were killed at sea. He watched a man cut in half when he got caught between boats. Because of these memories, Juan paints endangered species. He feels that art is a language and we as artists have a responsibility to carry on the conversation. Art is about how you relate to another human being. The person viewing the art has to want that relationship. Juan taught teachers how to teach art. Line work is the framework for everything. Many students lack an ability to be present in the moment. They don't have the ability to trust the beauty in front of them. To compensate they might take a picture with their phone and work from that. Juan likes to create a body of work over the course of a year without showing anyone. Creating art is like raising dysfunctional children, you want to get them strong enough to kick them out of the house. A piece isn't finished until it goes out into the world.
Smaller cities are where artists can flourish today. NYC isn't the mecca it used to be except for the blue chip artists. You can produce art anywhere and find alternate venues to show it in like Art in Empty Spaces and Pop Up Shops. This artist panel discussion was one of the most enlightening experiences I've had. Snap continues to give the city beautiful a much needed pulse.