Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Open Field Artists at the Downtown Dance Collective

Here are some photos I (Jonathan Marquis) took on first night at the Open Field Artists show "Da Floresta".  The photo's order in the post reflect the unfolding of the performance. The OFA will be performing "Da Floresta" again at the Crystal Theater February 4,5, and sure to check it out and support live art.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

I want me some "renaissance"

I hate this word as much as "juxtapose" but I believe Missoula is going through a little "Renaissance" period. So many people are creating art on soooo many levels. You have a food server who paints in the studio (gallery gig in two months), participates and sews for local fashion shows, makes dolls and earrings for the markets, designs graphics for nonprofits, paints a mural, stenciling inside and outside of their apartments no matter how bad the fumes, shows up to band practice twice a week, plus practice with the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, organizing a dance collective, directing the performance art piece that is due next month, curate another gallery space, and then DJ at your favorite local bar (sigh). I haven't mentioned all of it either. There's plenty of more crackheads to go around.

Missoula artists are now taking on the same role the rest of the art world has taken. You don't strive to be the one and only "original" modernist, mastering one medium, throwing yourself in your room, telling your significant other that she's fat......or he's stupid. Focusing on one art theory is like ordering a cosmo because you saw it on Sex And The City. Fundamentalism in any form is uber cliche. Not kitschy, but cliche. I like kitschy. Discussion and different points of view is a good thing. It's all communication and collaboration now. It's learning the new crafts you need to make the aesthetic and concept sing. Learn to be ballsy enough to try and humble enough to fail. That's what my mother always said. Oh, and don't mix your drugs.

This is why I love Tsunami Toys. When it comes to visual art, this is a great store to hit. This little toy store on Higgins sells edition prints from local artist Courtney Blazon and Bay Area artist Sam Flores among many others. Courtney makes a name for herself in this town with all of her local advertising, city commission projects, greeting cards, along with solo group gallery shows. Sam Flores juggles clothing/skateboard designs, solo and collaborative murals, tours the live art circuit, and does studio work for international solo and group shows. Another Bay Area artist, Alex Pardee can work in just as many mediums. A humble yet hot skateboard, pink with warts, signed by Alex Pardee, sits up on the wall. Everything in this store has an artist stepping behind it with creative and skillful play. Josh Quick (local batty) designed the Tsunami illustration. Vinyl toys done by Artist David Choe sits along with N8 Van Dyke's ape figures. And with that, keep your senses open for the "Dirty Hands", a documentary focusing on David Choe himself. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be part of artist series at the Wilma this summer. The credentials on this one can drop an egg white.

Tsunami among other great local stores lets Missoula know that they are on a good track. Enjoy yet focus on making art. Whatever your hands are on, do something with it. A tortured masterpiece is not always needed. What percentage of a population can buy a masterpiece anyways? Just "The Man", that's who. "The Man" nowadays doesn't even know what good art is anymore. Art market used to be seen as part economic organism, part critically acclaimed art. Collectors in the past at least liked what they bought (even in the 80's), now the economic aspect is the majority of collecting. It's true, you can go to a museum to "see" masterpieces. But why can't a kid, big and little, have both. A lot of the reasons why these artists do so many different forms of merchandising, is so the middle and lower class kids can also enjoy and possess a piece of art. They can "possess" something that they can relate to culturally, not because of the market value down the road. That's motivation for them to be creative. This crackhead generation busts the brains so they can mentor and learn from the little crackheads.


Dear Oprah,

Thank you for the exploitive movie "Precious". Please keep producing formulaic, badly montaged, taking a crack at neo-realism movies. I didn't know how middle-aged conservative gospel music associated with the 1987 Harlem coming-of-age setting, but thank god you showed me the way. Your like a corporate hero in Indy disguise. It's beautiful. We should go have a cosmo later. Keep up the good work. My popcorn was really good.

Yours truly,
Mad Stinker