Friday, February 20, 2009

Art at the Edge of Campus - Purchase College, SUNY | by Ebony Brown

(Pictured: The the W-1 parking lot side of the Visual Arts Building, the Red Running Man (1 of 4) are the Sculptural work of A+D Alumnus, Andy Fennell | Photo: ©Ebony Brown)

Why would anyone in their right mind, want to walk to the edge of campus, beyond the esteemed Neuberger Museum of Art and enter the brown, brick depths of "Where the hell am I" notoriously known as the Visual Arts building?

Well there is the obvious reason, students, staff and faculty made a conscious choice to patron the Visual Arts (VA) building when they gave blood to become pupils, professors or administrators of art. Who said 'getting-in' was easy? Then, there are the friends of those who frequent the VA building who accidentally stumble upon its pockets of hidden bling in the form of artwork hanging proud or left in some undisclosed corner of the building. You never know what insanely, creative piece of work you'll find.

Usually, my city girl quick steps only render collages of colorful swooshes in my periphery when passing through the halls of the VA building. Today was different. I had to post a "Course Update Notice" on one of the classroom doors and I was stopped dead in my tracks. How could I fit the overflowing mound of thought and artful execution of one particular piece of work into my breakfast deprived mind and “TGIF” eyes; lusting for Saturday’s rest didn't last long. The work of an emerging, young Printmaker commanded my attention, I did nothing but stand there to admire the work.

The last piece of art that captured my attention in such a manner was the work of Sue Coe. Represented by Galerie St. Etienne, Coe was a 'must see' Visting Artist whose talk was sponsored by School of Art+Design, last semester. Every Wednesday Visiting Artist's Talks take place at 6:30PM, in room 1016 of the VA building, free and open to the public, like viewing artwork in the halls or in the Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery.

So there I was standing in the hall unable to pull myself away from the print, the babies held me at gun point, literally. On the right, their "Frankenstein-ish" mother appeared to be a mere mechanical portal for their production. On her back with legs jacked open, her pelvic canal is far from lady-like; expelling one baby after the next, 'litters' of infants are dreadfully gliding away from their maker along a conveyor belt, initially much like an undisturbed blood path. This labor isn't fit for human nor animal. Factory farmed, infinite, teeny tots with varying facial expressions and bodily gestures seem to know of their fate before the production line equips them with ammunition and gear as they progress through phases of the conveyor belt.

Nipples clamped, like cows hooked to a milking machine, mama is merely their maker but is the vessel by which their “ba-ba’s” are filled. Solo Eyeballs and Televisions (CRT) with wings and emanating screens at the top of the page are like puppeteers, clearly running the show. What's the message?

If you have not seen this piece, it’s certainly worth sucking up the momentary wind-chill to come and see it while it’s still on display here on the first floor of the Visual Arts building (adjacent to the Neuberger Museum,near W-1 parking) While you’re here, feel free to stop by the Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery (M-F, 10-5PM) The work of Art+Design Alumni, Gregory Crewdson is currently on display. Artwork in the hall can be seen seven days a week through Midnight!


LInda Solomon February 21, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

Thanks for the tip. I will stop by soon.

Ebony Brown February 21, 2009 at 8:26 PM  

Thanks for the post. I'd love to know your thoughts about the print.

Anonymous,  February 23, 2009 at 5:48 AM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ebony Brown February 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Thank you Elaina, I appreciate the support!

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