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Please pardon the photography. I took these photos on my phone and didn’t want to wait too long to post a few of my favorites from Open Studios this weekend. I highly encourage visiting their sites and taking a look around. Obviously, their work is so much better in person but these were definitely some of the pieces I enjoyed. Click on the artist’s name to learn more about them: Diane Komater, Jonathan Barcan, and Sonya Philip

What is it about the construction of the human mind that makes the interplay of words and images seem, despite innumerable historical and regional variations, to be something like a cultural universal?

~ W.J.T. Mitchell, Word and Image essay from Critical Terms for Art History

At the moment, I’m taking a Voice and Vision class at the San Francisco Art Institute through the Continuing Education program. We’re learning how to incorporate text and words within our work. It’s pretty difficult to make something that looks effortless and not contrived. Well, for me, this is the case. Seriously.

One of my favorite artists is Travis Somerville. We study his work quite a bit. I’m absolutely enamored by his technical skills and concepts. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to him early this year. What a night but I digress. Looking at his work, a lot of what he does is convey his understanding and experiences of the South and its history and culture. Still, you can’t fight the feeling of wanting to do what you think people want to see. He doesn’t do that. He just produces and it’s always some of the amazing stuff I’ve ever seen. Yes, I am an art writer but making art helps me understand the creative process. Overall, the class has been enlightening and rewarding. I’m one of those artists that can’t escape words and I’m starting to accept that fact. I’ve got more of an illustrative style and THAT is okay.

One Hundred Live and Die, Neon and glass tubing, 1984 by Bruce Nauman

If you haven’t guessed from recent posts, language and text-based art have been on my mind lately. This also means I’m looking at words and reading a bit more attentively than usual. Bruce Nauman’s piece, One Hundred Live and Die, displays a wide array of short sentences with words ‘live’ or ‘die’. His simple use of nouns and verbs in neon lettering bring much more complexity to one’s understanding of life and death. Calling attention to their depth through simplified visual representation. With so many different ways to display and showcase typography and text of any type, the audience grapples with meaning and semantics. Wishing I could see this piece in person…one day I will.