Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Man's Nightmare

This past weekend I attended what I thought was the correct opening for class, later to find out that I had visited the wrong gallery and missed the opening all together, which was a disappointment. The show I went to on Saturday was titled Man's Dream, a solo exhibition by Meng Yan, an artist I had not heard of until visiting the gallery. 
Although the space, Fu Xin Gallery, was rather spacious and nice, I'm not sure I can say many great things about Meng Yan's paintings. The ground floor of the gallery was filled with portraits such as the ones below (Dali and the Mona Lisa) and an abstract painting, all of which were in shades of black and white, the portraits mainly in a drip technique. 

After viewing the first paintings, I passed an interview with Meng Yan displayed on the wall. I found it comical (he quoted President Bill Clinton on women) and disturbing at the same time. The discussion circled around Yan's obsession with women and sex, and the raw feelings of passion or fantasies he has, and how these feelings are presented in his art. At first this confused me because I had not seen any erotic paintings thus far, but as I made my way to the second floor, it was made clear that Yan was indeed obsessed with erotic and sexual images of the opposite sex. 
There were many paintings of women in explicit positions, only one of which I somewhat enjoyed, which happened to be the picture chosen for the gallery exhibition invitation pamphlet. It was of a woman lying on her back smoking a cigarette topless. The way the light shines on her body is soft, still erotic, but beautiful which is contrasted nicely by the paint drips toward the lower half of her body.  

Although, Man's Dream was disappointing, I also had the privilege of not only seeing but working on a small group gathering/exhibit that was hosted by the artist Hua Lee (whose home it took place in) and my teacher Gerry Pryor. The day before the show, myself as well as other students worked together to frame the photographs that were displayed. On Saturday the exhibit took place, highlighting the photographs that Pryor had brought from recent friends/ex students/artists which was then accompanied by a video installation by Pryor and a painting by Lee. Overall, the show was relaxed, warm, and enjoyable, quite different from the Meng Yan exhibit, and a show I am glad to have been able to work and be a part of.

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