A work of art is the unique results of a unique temperament.
– Oscar Wilde, Writer
At the beginning of the month, I posted a few photos I took at the Oakland Art Murmur. Jennie Ottinger’s show, Due By: Book show by Jennie Ottinger, at the Johansson Projects (JP) Art Gallery was my introduction to her work. Since JP is one of my favorite galleries in the Easy Bay, I usually prolong my visit and make multiple trips back to the space during the Art Murmur. Due By was one of those shows I couldn’t get enough of. I found it rather difficult to leave. As you can see from the photo, patrons were allowed to open the books. Interestingly enough, there were no signs or persons encouraging or discouraging the participation but it just made sense. What do you do when you see a book? You open it. Whether or not it has pretty pictures, that’s the nature of book – to be opened. Then, to illuminate or share a story. Jennie Ottinger, certainly, did just that with her work.
I wanted to take some time to write and let you know that I’ve got something in the works regarding Ms. Ottinger’s work and art practice. Her witty and clever take on literature classics is not only an innovative approach at engagement with the viewer, it is a meshing of many art practices into one that is worth the inquiry and the discovery (if you are new to her work). I’ll explain later…I promise.
First impression: Clever, witty, fantastic and engaging story-teller, well read (literally), prolific, lover of words and language
Lasting impression: Worth the time but wondering where she will go next…I’m hoping to find out!
On the heels of reading Christine Wong Yap’s Art Practical feature, I figured it was time to create a new page on my blog – Shotgun Reviews Archive! Shotgun Reviews via Art Practical has been an incredible way for me to interact with the Bay Area Arts Community and take part in the conversation. My hope is to bring more people into the Art Scene and World and engage all types of individuals in the dialogue because art is everywhere and it speaks to so many universal concepts and ideas but, sometimes, the conversation, to people outside of the art world, seems to be within a close knit esoteric circle. Not true. Not true at all.
Here’s hoping you engage with me and feel free to offer up comments and/or constructive criticism.
All the best,
E/IC Art Writer
“Most of us deep down believe that a person who is creative will prevail regardless of the environment,” Csikszentmihalyi wrote. “But the reality appears to be different…. No matter how gifted a person is, he or she has no chance to achieve anything creative unless the right conditions are provided by the field.” Csikszentmihalyi identifies “seven major elements in the social milieu that help make creative contributions possible: training, expectations, resources, recognition, hope, opportunity, and reward. Some of these are direct responsibilities of the field, others depend on the broader social system.”
In the latest issue of Art Practical, Christine Wong Yap, artist and regular contributor to the online art magazine wrote a feature titled Should I Stay or Should I go? I know, I know. If you’re into The Clash (yes, I am), you probably have the song stuck in your head right about now but how aptly related to the topic at hand. Her piece addresses the physical moves Bay Area artists (San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley) have made to advance their art practices and career (to places such as New York and Prague). She provides the reader a greater understanding when it comes to the transient nature of the artist. Trust me, the majority of artists love travel and experiencing different places but it’s safe to assume that there’s a desire for stability in such a fast paced, evolving, and globalized economy. However, as clearly stated by the artists interviewed for Ms. Wong Yap’s piece, they must move where the opportunities are present.
Being a San Francisco native, I was particularly interested in reading about artists who have such a profound connection and foundation in the Bay Area. Their thoughts on making it in the art world as well as their particular reasons to move away from a place they call home forces me to explore my own aspirations. As much as I don’t want to label myself, I am an outsider when it comes to the art world. An independent scholar. I’m fervently dedicated to personal studies in Art and it goes without saying, being in San Francisco, the community is quite nurturing for the endeavors I hope to take in the next year or two (i.e., graduate studies) but I can’t help but think some opportunity in the future is somewhere else, which scares me a bit. Overall, the feature certainly has me thinking much more optimistically but realisitically about the Bay Area Art scene.
I know, wherever I find myself in the future, I would take San Francisco with me. It would be pretty impossible to leave it behind.
If you enjoy this topic, you may also be interested in Michael Zheng’s work, The Profession Project.
Oh, and, well, I couldn’t resist!