Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Vader Project: I find your lack of taste disturbing

Warhol Museum has a Vader show going on.
You know, a bunch of Darth Vader masks painted by the Juxtapoz crowd.
I was lucky to get cheap parking. After this is Pittsburgh, nobody parks for free.
And got in for a dollar, ‘cause I’m special like that.
The top floors of the Museum have a show called The End.
Doom & gloom- apocalyptic stuff. Most of it was very good. It included Andy’s Prints from his death series.
Back in the day newspaper photographers printed incredibly gory photos of car crashes. And it sold newspapers, cause we are monsters like that. (think Princess Diana) There was a photo where an injured woman was trying to crawl out from under a car and the dead bodies of the passengers. I wondered if the photographer helped her at all.
But then I thought of Shepard Fairey. Fairey made the Obama poster… you know the one. And the photographer of the original image is suing Fairey. But here in front of me; didn’t Warhol do the same thing. Took a photo from a newspaper, made a print and signed his own name? hmmmmm….
But I digress.
On to the Vader show.
….which sucked.
The painted helmets themselves do not suck. There is some great stuff here. Some very recognizable names: Derek Hess, Robert English, Tim Biskup, Mr. Cartoon, Shag….. But the problem is it is so hard to see. The show looks like it was set up by a sadistic bank manager.
The helmets are too close together and too tall to be seen. And its set up in a ridiculous queue maze as if I am in line for a ride at Kennywood. I don’t know who’s idea this was but it was SOOOOOO frustrating. You can’t really look at because the crowded work created even thicker crowds of people. Most of which were kids and therefore too short. And who wants to be herded like cattle to look at art? With museum guards pushing you through and yelling if you go the wrong way. I shouldn’t have to explain this. A professional organization like The Warhol should have known better. DONE better. The worst of it is ... I really wanted my brother to come see the show. I’m sort of glad he didn’t He’s still in a wheel chair and would have a had a difficult time maneuvering through this tiny cramped maze and would not have gotten a decent look at any of it anyway. There was no room to back up and if you want to see the back of any helmet you have to wait to till your line moves up the next isle. Ridiculous. The Warhol has more room than that. A bigger gallery could have been used in the floors above. And it could have been made way more accessible and crowd friendly.

Fail. Boo.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


gallery openings PGH

Art Upstairs at Dee’s Café.
Several artists from Jester’s court and other Southside tattoo parlor’s show off their work. In a way tattoo art is it’s own genre with its own style, attributes and visual language. Some of that was evident here. The City Paper wrote it up as part of the “juxtapose- lowbrow art” category. All those labels: “high art”, “outsider art”, “conceptual”; all that really tells you is what kind of crowd to expect, and how to dress for it. I don’t worry too much about the category it supposed to fit in. I just worry if I can connect to it.

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Satellites by Joshua Space. Showing at Fe Gallery located on Butler St. in Lawrenceville.

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Rotating mirrors in sort of a cocoon form. The mirrors were angled down giving you a zoetrope- like show of the gallery’s wood paneled floor. The effect was hypnotizing. I could watch the images go by in the mirrors all night.

Except I felt like I crashed a private party. The artist is showing off to his friends and the gallery personnel are talking amongst themselves as they refill the party trays. I’m not extroverted or particularly boisterous so it was hard for me to even say hello to anyone.

But then again maybe that’s not the point. It’s a non- profit space. The artist and gallery weren’t interested in selling anything. So why should they engage a complete stranger who took the time and effort to come here during the horrible weather?
Maybe I’m being oversensitive. Or my expectations are too high. But then again, how hard is it just to say, “hi, thanks for coming.”


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