Monday, May 23, 2011

'Liberation Summer' Breezes into Monique Meloche Gallery, Bringing Messages and Markings, with Boots, too!

How can you create a painting, without using paint? For artist Kendell Carter, the answer was shoelaces, which, when layered together, look like three dimensional paint strokes.

How can you create a painting without painting on a canvas? Could you paint heavy layers onto a canvas, and then carefully peel the paint off, and then cut it into strips and weave it together, so that the paint itself serves as a canvas, case in point being this extremely intriguing piece which hangs on the gallery's front-door-facing wall, greeting you as you walk inside of Liberation Summer?

Liberation Summer, occurring all summer long at Division Street's Monique Meloche Gallery (well, actually just until July 30) is full of color, and labels, and gold hip hop chains splayed out among silhouettes, comprising a myriad of references that have "marked" elements of what artist Kendell Carter refers to as "Subjective Blackness." When juxtaposed against casual cultural markings and literal interpretations of 'mark,' as in a perhaps tongue-and-cheek illustrative shout out to white hip-hopper, Mark Wahlberg, the result is an exhibit that feels as fresh and striking to the viewer as it likely did for its creator, whom, per gallery curator Monique, reported that he was most inspired by challenging traditional art making during the making of Liberation Summer.

Indeed, "How do you make a painting without paint?" is only the beginning of the dialogue one imagines having occurred between the artist and himself during the creative process.

The work of Kendell Carter (American, born New Orleans 1970) has been reviewed in Art in America,, and the Los Angeles Times among other esteemed publications. Thus, we will not pretend to pretend we know anything about writing about serious art like Carter's, though we suggest anyone reading this seriously check out the show soon! You might never see gleaming copper cast work boots shining in the summer sun anywhere else. Regardless of whether or not you've got the dough or desire to purchase fine art, it's not about the money when you are standing in front of something that someone else has gone to great lengths to create and you're just fortunate to be able to marvel at it, and then move along, a bit calmer than you were when you walked in. Great art, like Carter's, soothes the nerves of a driftless griot.


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