Saturday, January 8, 2011

Everyone's A Critic

We live in an artistically rich environment.  There is a constant stream of artwork featured at numerous locations, in and around Olde Towne.  I appreciate this art from numerous standpoints, both as a creator and in appreciation of all art forms.

Waterside Festival Marketplace, in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia is currently showcasing the artwork of Mike Bell.  What was once a vastly popular business venue is now basically defunct, spare for a few surviving operations.  Mr. Bell has been featuring his eclectic array of art in the empty spaces since June 2010, both on canvas and in sculpture.  I thought this pirate sculpted out of Styrofoam was full of whimsy and happiness, albeit the face kind of creeps me out slightly.

I like this grouping of thinking faces.  

This canvas painting makes me I just got off a roller coaster.  It really annoys me.  Art is subjective and I am not afraid to share my opinion.  Please do not take offense.

Sculpted piano with violins flying out of it.  I like this piece, but in a Beauty and the Beast kind of way.  Looking at most of his work, we stood there thinking, "What the heck kind of medication is he on?", but all in all, it was rather enjoyable.  You felt like you were in a nether world and at times it was overwhelming for me...I don't feel comfortable around confusion.  Most of his work felt angry and I personally, enjoy artwork that is calm, happy, and inviting.

This is Home Girl and I want to know...what kind of artwork do you prefer?


Suzan Oxenreider said...

I like "happy" art. I don't like anything that makes me think too hard! What happened to Waterside??!! I have been away too long. I had no idea it was in such trouble. I used to love going in there - so many shops and places to eat. I even bought the hat I wore for my wedding there!

Debbie W said...

I had heard (on the news maybe) that Waterside was basically a ghost town and probably closing or would be sold. As with the previous comment...I wonder what happened to it?

Interesting....I'm not so much a fan of this. I like many different kinds of art ~ just have a hard time describing exactly what. :)

Jenni said...

I also like art that is "happy", but I understand the value of art that expresses other emotions the artist might be feeling. Expressing yourself through art can be a very effective form of therapy. I struggle with this sometimes when it comes to my brother's artwork. He tends to view the same people and events of our shared childhood quite differently. I think it has more to do with our different dispositions than with how things were. It is very upsetting at times to see him portray what I thought of as a happy childhood (although not one without difficulty) in such a negative light, but if it helps him work through his feelings and move on to better things, I guess that's good.

Right now I am working with an autistic student. In the past week she has been very focused and intent on what she is drawing during art time. The first drawing was a little upsetting, but it was clear she was working through some feelings. It has been interesting to see the progression of drawings since that first one, and I'm glad to see them reflecting happy things. Each time she has drawn this week, she has been more verbal than usual, describing what she is drawing without prompting, answering questions about the drawings, and using a lot of full sentences. Art can be such a powerful tool!

And, yes, that one painting makes me nauseous, too! It has a very real physical effect on me. If I could stand to look at it longer, I'm sure it would have just as strong of an emotional effect, but my eyes (and stomach) need to rest after just a few seconds.

LL Cool Joe said...

I like the piano. :)

I have a degree in art, and learned to try and appreciate all kinds of work. So my taste is quite wide, but I'm not really a big fan of the old masters and prefer modern art.

In answer to you question on my blog, I do sell stuff on Ebay but tend to buy more than I sell! I only customise caps and clothes for me personally. I've never felt I was good enough to sell anything that I've created.

April said...

Really neat artsy pictures! As for myself, I love anything that makes me feel GOOD all, mountains, streams, etc.

Bluebird49 said...

I'm more into the Andrew Wyeth sort of art--something mysterious but honest and American to the core. Just his pencil sketches are awesome. I guess I'm not too into "happy" art so much; I guess I want to think it's got a deeper meaning--like a Robert Frost poem. But then...that's just me.

Mental P Mama said...

Very cool stuff!!! I love all kinds of eclectic art. So this fits my tastes just fine!

Sarah Craig said...

I really enjoyed all your pictures, and find that your tastes and mine are similar - I like the ones you like, and don't like the others so much. But I do love that piano! I think it's hard to define what "type" of art I like - it's a case of "I know it when I see it"! Like, as a classification, I'm not very fond of modern art, but sometimes a piece just really speaks to me. Same thing with traditional landscapes.... So I guess I'm eclectic!