Thursday, July 21, 2011

Iccccce cold conversation! + Cody Miller

The euphoria from Day One of Art Fair wandering gave way to a bit of weariness today and irritation with yesterday's lack of restraint. Not that I regretted any purchases, but having grown up in a stolid miserly family, I felt mildly ill with myself.

Yesterday, however, the well-oiled justification engine was revved and purring, smoothly urging:
  • Artists need support! 
  • It's not like you go on any REAL vacations.
  • This only happens once a year.
  • Presents! You'll find presents!
  • On the touchier-feelier side of things: You are only honoring what is important to you.

Did you gag at the last one? That's marketing gold right there, the sweet spot that marketers are endlessly trying to tap (wow, that sounds even MORE unpalatable~~). Because buying is empowering, folks. I think the consumer frenzy aspect of the fair is another reason the more high-minded Art Fair haters hate, right? Roger that.

Luckily, since I mostly gave into temptation yesterday (thanks Oscar Wilde), the engine calmed down significantly today and I....meandered. And shockinlgy got some presents.

But obviously, more interesting artists of note!

Cody Miller (see his Elijah print here) was a surprise on Liberty St. His mixed media paintings have an almost urban feel to them at times, are very colorful and bold; and all deal with Biblical stories. At their best, they are truly arresting.

To quote his artist's statement:

"This scripture swims in my head each time I begin to paint: 'Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are decaying away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day.'" (II Corinthians 4:16)"

I'm not religious, but I appreciate the sentiment. And his treatment of the subject matter is fascinating.

He also had a book recommendation, which I'll pass along. The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a wordless graphic novel, conveying the immigrant experience. Intriguing! The illustrations are reminiscent of Chris Van Allsburg.

I could easily go on to more artists, but I suspect I could be testing readers' (/reader's) patience. So I'll just toss in a few overheards/quotables for fair atmosphere:

  • "Enter to win ladies! YOU look like a couple of WINNERS!"
  • "Reeeeeeeeeecalllll Governor! Snyder!"
  • "Let's talk Jesus & his grace."
  • More ominous, from a youngish guy strutting by on his cellphone:
  • "I've dealt with enough teeth & I have seen this all too often."
And my favorite, delivered by a (drunk?) man walking down the yellow line of the closed street, in a good carrying voice, over and over:

"Iccccce cold conversation!
            for a dollar.
KEEP it moving!
   And KEEP your hands
where I can SEE them."




  1. Your blog is addicting. I too have had similar conversations about supporting artists and voting with my dollars (and that ill feeling as well). I fear I might become the cat lady of art. I know I can't save them all but sometimes my behavior indicates that I take frequent breaks from this insight. (Last year oldest son had to help me make good on a "gift" that I supposedly bought for mom at the art fair.)

    Especially love The Broom by Van Allsburg the pictures of The Arrival do look very similar.

    Really enjoyed your coverage of the fair, especially because I didn't go this year -- yours is much better than any I could find from the news outlets.

  2. Hahaha, the cat lady of art! At least the art won't slink around and bring you dead things. Not that I dislike cats.

    Yes, the Broom is great! Also like "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick."

    Glad you're getting a kick out of the blog-- I'm having fun writing it! I feel bad that I have only covered a few artist folk, though. I have tons of pictures, it just seems to take a bit of time.