Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

What was once lost, is now found. Finding one of my favorite artists and in my own backyard ta' boot!

♠ Posted by ArtMuse at 3:08 PM

During 2004 Whitney Biennial, my first biennial show ever, I remember wandering aimlessly through the myriad of contemporary American art. Staring at the bright lights, loud colors, ephemeral and unreal installations and many times, just plain odd works, it wasn't until my unblinking eyes (too enamored to blink, thinking I'd miss some detail of something) began to blur and burn that I realized, I got the same overwhelmed and inspired feeling the first time I had been to Disney land as a small child. Only this was better.

One particular artist that comes to my mind from that Biennial was David Altmejd. Who, at the time, was showing his crystal encrusted werewolf heads encased in their own architectural ecosystem of Plexiglas cubes and mirrors. Tiny sparrow like birds flanked the edges of the encasement's, and the seemingly decomposing (or regenerating depending on your opinion) metaphysical oddities seemed to radiate a certain life force of their own upon the passerby's.

At the time I was finishing my undergraduate thesis on installation art, and wanted to feature his work in my paper. The problem was, that nobody really knew anything about him. The databases I searched held little to no information on him, or his works, and the internet was all but barren of anything even relating to him. My frustration at the time, coupled with my deadlines, ended up necessitating that I cut Mr. Altmejd's artistic contributions to the form of installation art out of paper, but my fondness for his work remained.

Serendipitously, the other day, while perusing through the Oct issue of Artnews, I came upon an article about, none other than Altmejd and his newest works of art! His newer pieces consisting of the similar symbols of birds, mirrors, and the omnipresent theme of decay, now focus less on architectural component's to support the sculptures, but now focus on the sculpture itself as sustaining artifact for other facets of the work. Amidst the 'other facets' include, hands, wires, horse hair, and beads. The sustaining structures being giants, birdmen, and free standing werewolf's themselves. Posed in the manor of classical Roman or Greek statues, these figures stand alone or are place in within the 3D composition of an installation.

I love the mythical-horror twist portrayed in his work. The simultaneous ideas of decay and decadence coupled with the meticulous attention to detail, leaves the viewer with an eyeful of contemplative, seductive, and even lurid 'mythscapes' to ponder.

He just recently had a show in NY that ran until June, which as Murphy's Law would have it, I only found out about a few days ago. But...he has an exhibit at the Metropolitan Opera House's gallery, which will most likely be a singular installation that will be on display starting October 13 to run alongside the opening John Adam's Doctor Atomic. So if your in the neighborhood, whether you know the artist's work or not, I strongly suggest you check it out and get an eyeful for yourself.