Saturday, February 9, 2008
Worth a Thousand Words
I've written a bit about art, so now a few words about words. My "Word Project: Odd & Obscure Words- Illustrated," to be more precise. Most of the pieces from the WP have been packed in bins in my studio for the past 16 months, a few were trotted out last September along with a few new word/dolls but the whole collection has not been seen for a while. I am happy to announce that they will be on display in Albany, NY at Sage College's Little Gallery from April 1-18. I am an adjunct professor in the art dept. at Sage, teaching Business Practices and Professional Practices to graphic art and studio art students respectively.
The Word Project is the result when my love of language runs smack-dab into my 'dolls.' I cannot do my art without infusing it with language, myth and symbolism: old-fashioned methods of communicating in this age of computers, text messages, sound-bites and well, blogs. I think we lost something when we no longer relied on pictures to convey ideas- when writing became the primary vehicle for expression. My writer friends will no doubt disagree- and, I am using words now....
I fear our culture suffers from language and image anorexia- there is no shortage of words and images out there but so many of them are low-calorie- lacking in the deep, luscious fattiness of myth or history, the unctuousness of a word you love to roll around on your tongue before you bestow it on the ear of your listener, the spicy delight of a shared taste for symbol. Instead we get fast-food, non-nutritional, junk-food words and images. Everyone recognizes Britney- I don't even have to write her surname, few grasp the myriad references in Botticelli's "Birth of Venus."
The Word Project is one small defiant act in the face of such cultural downward-mobility. So, I invite you to cock-a-snoot at the middle-brow! Proudly declare your visual and linguistic aspirations! Unite! You have nothing to lose but your boredom!