|You don't gotta pay for this!|
The mid-semester "hump" is behind us, and we're rounding the corner on the Winter holidays (when shopshopshop is as frequent a mantra as studystudystudy). The blog remains strong and active... want proof? After the jump you'll find the winners of this blogging round, and links to their respective entries.
BEST PROFILE | Jill Ewing on Jennifer Linton
Jill's entry is one of a few that examine Feminist forms of artistic engagement. The images that Linton creates are arresting, and Jill does an excellent job of navigating tricky waters!
Honorable mention in this category goes to Abigail Cannon's entry on Liu Bolin.
BEST TREND | Sarah Martinez on Reverse Graffiti
Here's how Sarah begins her entry:
Towels? Check. Shoe brushes? Check. Rubber gloves? Check. Water? Check. Alright, let’s go tag some walls. Wait, what?"Wait, what?" is right! That's a damn good (and creative) opener. There are lots of posts on this blog about graffiti as an artform, and clearly the media speaks to the young contemporary art historians in this class, but most entries are regurgitations of the same-old same-old... tagging as illegal and radical act... yadda yadda yadda... the rise of Fairey and Banksy (I have a friend who mispronounces Banksy's name as "Bansky" just to annoy me)... yadda yadda yadda ... selling out ... yawn yawn.
Martinez puts her focus not on this form of graffiti (or the even-more kitschy and ubiquitous entries on trompe-l'oeil sidewalk painting), but on "reverse graffiti" and the contradictions inherent in the form. And, in my estimation, her discussion is right on.
Honorable mention in this category goes to Amy Hughes for her entry on the use of string as a material in contemporary artistic practices.
BEST BOOK REVIEW | Andrea Kraus-Lozano on the Guerrilla Girls' Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art
The Guerrilla Girls have been making public/activist work for some time now, but recently they've added publishing to their repertoire. Andrea's discussion of this slim volume not only sums up the Girls' tome but makes clear the stakes of such a project. No easy task - but a fun one nonetheless.
Honorable mention goes to Veronica Villanueva for her reviw of Lulu Meets God....
BEST EXHIBITION REVIEW | Julie Morrison on Colby Bird's "Dust Breeds Contempt" at Lora Reynolds Gallery in Austin, TX
The best reviews are often the most clear/concise reviews. Not only does a reader get a sense of the show itself, but of the dynamics of viewing the art at hand. With Colby Bird, these dymanics are quite literal as elements of the show can be moved around (with the help of a friendly gallery assistant) by the viewer. Julie makes sense of this non-traditional gallery practice in her review, and through her clear prose invites viewers to see the show without doing it in a hammy way (i.e. "Check it out!"). Also, the show was reviewed for Artforum.com by Texas State's own Katie Geha... you should read her review too!
Honorable mentions go to Blake Knox's review of William Lamson's show here at the Texas State Gallery II, and Brianna Cervantes on the Marc Swanson show at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston.
BEST COMMENT | Syraya Horton on Jonathan Peters' profile of Cecily Brown
Syraya challenges some of the assertions made by Peters in her comments, asking thought-provoling questions. This repeat-winner proves that a "meaty" comment can enhance and shift the dialogue of an entry. No simple "good job" or "check out this other link" here, but rather an actual engagement with the entry at hand.
Peters' response is quite good as well, and gets an honorable mention here.
The winners get five points added to their final grade, a Toy Joy surprise and, just for good measure, a coupon-voucher for underwater basket-weaving classes through Texas State's experimental college... TBA