Last weekend, I went with Jenny Odell (http://jennyodell.com/) to the Berkeley Art Museum. I was actually just going to get to talk to Jenny, and I had to be in Berkeley to paint later, so I thought, why not? I had told Jenny that I would go to this exhibit, without knowing anything about it. We arrived there about 30 min before closing, which I thought would totally be enough time, because the trend is I tend to get museumed out after about 20 min. The show we were seeing was called “Create.” 

Not knowing anything about the show, and then walking in I was disappointed. Disappointed to find out that we had traveled all the way to Berkeley, walked up a hill, begged to let us in with a dog, only to find out we were going to see art that was misplaced from a community center’s walls. Or craft fair for that matter. I stood and read the statement, with my disposition fading. I now had to at least show interest for the next half hour, or people would question my credibility as a person. And my ability to look at work without judgement… (I know that this is not possible, but one can try, right?).

It only took have of seeing one work, I say maybe ten seconds, or less, to change my mind. To realize that I was an idiot.  For this work was f*cking mind blowing. And I don’t even use the word F*ck. I mean, I am trying, in case I ever have to work with children, to limit my use of words that their parents might not want them to have access to. I HAVE NO INTENTION TO WORK WITH CHILDREN IN THE FUTURE. But one most prepare themselves. 

The work was everything I wanted my work to be. I spend hours contriving a line to look just so intentional that it presses into the paper with a force that could be felt upon site. Here, it came naturally. They obsessed over things without thinking, “Gee, I wonder if this is a hip thing to obsess over…” Or “Would this be something people could relate to? And what will this say about me…etc.” It just was. It just was so pure. If that is even a word that I could use… Because I am so not it. 

The artists had personality without having to cultivate it. They acted without rule. Is it wrong to assume that all the baggage of “ART” didn’t have its effect on their work? I have to fight to look past it every time I even think about making something. I should just stop now. Making things that try to be something they are not. End of story.

Featured artists:

Mary Belknap, Jeremy Burleson, Attilio Crescenti, Daniel Green, Willie Harris, Carl Hendrickson, Michael Bernard Loggins, Dwight Mackintosh, John Patrick McKenzie, James Miles, Dan Miller, James Montgomery, Marlon Mullen, Bertha Otoya, Aurie Ramirez, Evelyn Reyes, Lance Rivers, Judith Scott, William Scott, and William Tyler. 

PS Photos were taken by Sibila Savage. I tried twice to take photos of works from this show to do this blog post, but was yelled at by two guards and gave up. Also, I was with a small dog that I had to fight to get in, so they already had reason to hate me.