Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Little Culture Never Killed You

A little while back, some very good friends of mine joined in a group art show titled "Heliography".  Put out by Invisible City Audio Tours, the idea is so very cool.   The weather, when it was dropping faster than a mad hatter, was not so very cool.  It was insanely cold.

But these artists, these fabulous friends of mine, kept on keeping on.  We got to stop at each display along Telegraph Avenue and check the wares.

Each artist was paired with a local business along the main street and asked to create art/product/display that represented that business in their eyes.  Then, you, as a patron of the arts, followed a map or listened to the podcast and strolled along Telegraph stopping to chat and purchase.

By the end of the  night, we stumbled onto the Oakland Art Murmur and joined another group of friends.  It was one of the bigger scenes I've been a part of since leaving NYC.  The street was closed off, you had every entertainment you could legally do on the street and then you have door to door galleries filled to the brim with cutting edge shows.

It's where I fell deep and hard for these golden dream boat pieces:

I'm not sure that photos do them justice.  There was actual energy coming off these pieces.  There was so much incredible detail work here, the insanity and the obsessiveness was palpable. 

I freaked out for a bit before I started searching in earnest for the artist.  I was really, really hoping she wasn't going to be a jerk.  And I wasn't disappointed in the least.  Esther Traugot was fantastic.  We stood and talked detailed obsession for as long as either of us could stand it.  We kept being interrupted by our eagle eyes drawn to her stitched-body-suited-bee installation:   Some, who have no sense of space or respect for the detail in something.... well, these 'some' kept bumping into or literally touching the bees that were ever-so-delicately hanging in the air.

It's really quite difficult to explain the ridiculous beauty of this piece. So, I was shocked that many in the crowd didn't quite understand the intensity that was facing them.

During the conversation with Esther, more than once, I had to stop and lean over to someone asking did you realize you're backing right into this piece of art?  One guy actually responded with, oh, well, i didn't kill 'em, did i? they're already dead!  What an eye-roll that got from me.

Each bee, with a crocheted skirt all his own. 

Ms. Traugot's explanation of what she does is much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be about the topic:   
Although futile in its attempt at archiving and preservation, there is the desire to suggest optimism. My meticulous act of crocheting mimics the instinct to nurture and protect what is viable, what is becoming precious. 
It neither stopped nor started with the bees.  It kept going all around me.

So many more beautiful shots in her website gallery.


Christina said...

amazing!!! thank you for sharing, her work looks absolutely stunning!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

yes, thank you so much for sharing all this great work, especially the bees (and the bobby pins)

Your love of the work comes through in the way you moved to protect it and get people to really see it.

"Hey bud, that's art you're bumping into!"

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

Very cool... I was given a link by Ellen who read my bee post... Cheers!