The saddest part of the art wall is saying goodbye. So we bid adieu to Pam Stilp's watercolors (which are still available for sale--please contact the store for more info), but we say hello to Aries Tjhin's amazing installation.
When I first started talking to Aries about showing at the bookstore, I hardly dreamed he would give us a piece as glorious as this. I asked Mr. Thjin to put together an artist statement for Concubine 2011 (cut paper, shellac) and here it is:
"This body of work shows my fascination with stories and mythologies, and how I recontextualized them to create my own set of narratives. In these works I've created a series of narratives that are non-linear and abstract in nature. I have appropriated different images from many cultures, ranging from Chinese to Greek, from Japanese to Native American, due to my fascination with these cultures' stories and mysths.
"The reason for this mass cultural appropriate is my fascination with each culture's rich history depicting figures and decorative art. I interpret these images by distilling all that I have seen in them into a series in which I construct my own story that I leave free to viewers' interpretations.
"When creating this body of work, many of the repeated images serve as an alter ego that I have created within the self-contained world of the gallery's wall. The disjunctive and non-linear narrative structure of these images show the audience a moment in time in which these beings are engaged in their own world, almost like a snippet of memories that has been captured randomly and put on the wall for everyone to see. The results are images that retain an iconic quality that echoes in the monumentality of their size and shape.
"I created these works with an act of spontaneity and carefree attitude, not caring whether the audience understand my narrative. In making these works I approached them with an "art for art's sake" mentality. It is meant to be visually pleasing, and I hope that the audience can take something from the show."
I love that Aries' work doesn't hit my over the head with meaning, and instead wraps itself around my brain for days. I don't really like to be lectured to my novels, instead enjoying the epiphanies that slowly come from reading a great book.
We'll be showing Concubine through sometime in the fall. I know it's tempting to touch this work, but don't forget, it's just paper and quite delicate. Please resist temptation. And if you are interested in getting in touch with the artist, contact us.
Hello. This is my blog for the Boswell Book Company, located on the East Side of Milwaukee at 2559 N. Downer Avenue at Webster Place, Milwaukee WI 53211.
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