Thursday, July 2, 2009

Next I'll be Wearing a Turtleneck and a Beret

Des Moines Art Fest part 2

So I ended up going to the DM Art Festival twice this year. The first with CT for the concert...we did wander through the artists booths a little while before heading to the other concert (had we known the bands were actually going on almost two hours later than we thought, I probably would have just had the one trip). I hadn't been to the Art Fest in years...and the last time I had been there, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Traffic was horrible, the people were rude, the art was good but nothing amazing, and it was literally like 110 was just an all around miserable experience. The small taste I got Friday night made me hungry for more and I knew I would be back. When Jessica (ex GF-Unit) said that she really needed a break from her son and needed to got out...I suggested we head down there the next day (just friends), so that I could do some more in depth exploring of the artwork.

We had a good time looking at art, chatting, and Jessica getting tips from the professional photographers. I was a world traveler on the cuisine side partaking of both Ecuadorian and Indian food...both very tasty. But is was about the art, so here are my favorite artists from this years festival.

#1 Rick Abrams - my favorite of the show, Rick paints pop style art on glass and then mounts over various backgrounds. It was a wonderful mix that really made the paintings pop out and look 3D. These pictures really don't do it justice at all, in person they were much more amazing. I loved his style - it was like a combination of comic books and pinball backglasses (which of course are two of my favorite things). It was a really fun style that was bright and colorful but yet didn't seem too serious. They paintings' graphics had the smooth shiny texture of glass over a colored, textured background; giving them a little bit of a surreal look. I loved the comic panel and cover recreations as well as the 1940ish pulp magazine/book drawings. I also think that his art was some of the fairest pricing that I had seen at the show. I enjoyed everything he had at the show and made multiple stops at his booth...greatly tempted each time. These pictures brought joy to my heart with captured images from childhood (and dork-hood since I still like all those things). That is also Rick's gunslinger at the top of the page...I came very close to purchasing it. If only, I have a little more spending money at the moment. I am definitely going to be keeping up with Rick and hopefully own something in the near future.

#2 Vic Lee - Vic was my second favorite painter at the show. I really liked his work. Paintings of beautiful girls with wonderfully expressive faces and eyes. Each painting seemingly sweet and innocent at first glance but the subtle dark and twistedness sinks in the longer you look. They reminded me of more subtle version of Mark Ryden. I could definitely see these in my house and me staring at them all the time. Again, I though the prices were really fair for the size and quality of the paintings that were displayed. I was having a really hard time deciding which one I liked best. I liked the colors on one, but the girl's expression better on the other. Almost every single painting had something that I really liked about it. I don't think this picture was at the show: The Awakening of Coppertop. If it had been, I don't think I would have been able to resist, I think it is amazing. I love the girl's pensive expression, delicate features, body posture, her wings, and her red hair (have I told you that I have a thing for red heads? Yes, yes, I do.). She is so pretty and sweet and yet you know she is a little disturbed. It makes me want to just give her a big hug and try to make everything alright. It's not quite as obviously dark as the rest, but it does give you a little bit of an unsettling feeling in your stomach. If this picture was at the show and I missed it, I will be more than a little pissed off. I did really enjoy The Descent of Sophia which I did see at the show.

#3 Nicario Jimenez - Nicario creates these amazingly detailed dioramas. Each had many individually hand sculpted figures creating the scene. Some of the larger works had hundreds of figures, decorations, and structures. You could look at one piece of art for hours and not pick out all the intricate details. I particularly liked his El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead holiday) dioramas. Yes, I am the type of person that enjoys skeletons and skulls. I thought they had a lot of humor and fun...skeletons celebrating and drinking too much, etc... Unfortunately, I could not find any pictures of them right off hand. I was very impressed with how much narrative Nicario was able to get into each piece. Here is a picture of a piece that was on display at the festival. Even this picture doesn't do a great job of showing how detailed these pieces of art were. You could get lost in some of dioramas trying to look at everything.

#4 Kina Crow - Kina is a sculptor that had a lot of pieces expressing various human conditions. My personal favorite was "The Thought Escapes Me" pictured to the left. I just thought it was a great but simple representation about how we all feel at times. I also liked to think of it as a person being one person but also having all these other persons or traits inside them...making everyone hard to classify as one thing. Human nature is complicated. But I also just liked the idea of all these thoughts in your head and some trying to escape. Here characters reminded me a lot of the styling of Bill Plympton...simple but exaggerated in the right areas to get the point across.
I wish all the best for these artists and the rest of the artists that took part in the festival. They really make me wish that I had any kind of artistic talent at all. I don't. I hope to see them again in the future when I can actually afford to get some of your lovely art.


Cameron Ted said...

I think my favorite (of the 1/4 the entire show I saw) was the guy who have collage like images sewn together... kind of dark but very interesting to me....

Michael said...

That was Michael Madzo, and I also really liked his style...he just didn't have a piece that called out to me on display. I thought they were all interesting but not something I would really want to own.

Jimenez Diorama said...

I'm glad that you like my fathers work. Im also into the the day of the Dead... I also do some works similar and intricate.... I hope you can visit my fb account.