One Man's Opinion:
by Michael Hamilton

One Man's OpinionWalking into Artscape through the Bolton Hill area brought back memories of backpacks full of art supplies and books as I passed the main building of my almamater.  But today across the street in the medium strip stood Greg Henry's huge black steel rooster [pic1].  His silhouette, perched over the crowd, appeared to be crowing in the art of the new millennium.  Art at Artscape?  You bet.  And lots of it.  Some say the art was better then the entertainment.  However, first things first.  It was two o'clock and I hadn't eaten lunch so what better place to fulfill my gluttony then A.S.

After an order of jerked chicken and fries I licked my fingers strolled down the avenue and happened upon a work by Ming-Yi Sund [pic2].  It was on the front page of the Sunday Sun.  This fabric artisit from Timonium MD knitted a life size piece called "A Fight With Food."  From her Androgynous Series.  It's an enraged figure in a bikini top fighting with a chicken on a plate.  Yes entirely knitted.  As I was walking up, two ladies were talking about it.  One said,"This is androgynous?  The other lady's reponse was a definite, "OH, YES!"  As I got closer I could see what raised her attention and made her answer so inarguable.  Certainly art work suitable for the legendary Food Scape gang. There ws a two foot in diameter snow ball made of road salt by Teri Rueb [pic3].  It was held up with an open ended scoop like support.  There was also a basin at the bottom ith water in it to make you think it was melting.  I like art that makes you think. Maren Hassinger's "Nature" [pic4], a three foot square by four inch think chunk of sod.  That's grass with dirt attached for you city folks!  It was a nice except for the fact there was grass all around.  It would have had more effect if it were inside where one does not expect to see sod. And then my greatest horror, as I came upon Cynthia Eguez's piece "Impresssions" and I witnessed four Philistines eating funnel cake on top of it as if it were a cafe table.  Someday art will bit them in the ass. The Thomas Hart Benton like bronze figure [pic5], called "String Pulling Bureaucrat and Red Tape" was a very nice piece in a great location.  Barry Woods Johnson used traditional casting techniques to create this humorous jab at government. I liked the image of a steel tornado with a folding chair on top [pic6].  If we were back in ancient Rome they would have painted the metal dark grey for the ominous effect.

Photo By M Hamilton Photo By Michael Hamilton Photo By Michael Hamilton
Photo By M Hamilton Photo By M Hamilton Photo By M Hamilton

Now, inside the Decker Gallery was a piece called "Beneath" by Piper Shepard.  It's a ten foot hand cut paper drape made to look like lace with 26 B&W photos next to it.  Work Intensive!!!  Hundreds of little drawn faces on push pins placed on a huge white wall in the form of a giant galactic swirl caught my eye.  Baltimore's Tobin Hines created "Large Crowd" which, to coin a phrase, is simple but profound.

In the Artists' Market was a photographer from Atlanta that blew me away.  His name is Ronnie Phillips and his hand colored B&W photod were powerful.  There was one taken of a well know LA monumnet of a draped women with her head down on her folded arms.  In the photo is a real little girl with white gloves raised above her head touching the monument.  Another was a sepia photo of a giraffe in silhouette with his long legs spread to allow him to graze towering over a little holding a blue ballon in the background.  Look for this guy in the future.

In the Fox building were these paintings by Michael Weiss.  One in particular was called "Glyph."  On a stark white background was a smeared circle of cobalt blue.  For some reason those colors work well together.

There was art everywhere, in six locations including City Hall, Maryland Art Place, Goucher College, School 33 and Villa Jullie College.  I couldn't make the complete rounds but if you're in any of these areas in Baltimore, stop and see the art.  And yes, there was bad art, but some things are better left unsaid.

Wasn't it in 1864 that a critic for the French publication, FIGARO said, "Try to explain to M Renoir that a woman's torso is not a mass of flesh in the process of decompsition with green and violet spots which denote the state of complete putrefication of a corps!"

Times change.  Tastes change.  And this is only one man's opinion...

M. Hamiton
Also See:
Michael Hamilton's Art Conservation
Michael Hamilton's Art
Food Scape by Michael Hamilton
Artscape 2000

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