I recently visited the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) located in downtown Cincinnati to see a disappointing photo exhibition (part of the biannual Foto Focus event.) While the photos were not that interesting, I was wonderfully surprised to see an exhibition of Glenn Brown’s paintings. His swirling and flowing brush strokes were matched by brilliant colors to wonderful effect.
If you are near Cinci, go see Brown’s exhibition at CAC, his artwork will be there through January 15th, 2017. While you are there, slip across the street to the Weston Gallery to see their wonderful Foto Focus exhibition.
And yes, for those of you who read this blog regularly, that is my friend Jim’s bald spot proudly on display.
On two recent trips to Cincinnati, I had the opportunity to see Passage, the exhibition by Do Ho Suh, that is showing at the Contemporary Arts Center. I am really pleased that I went back for a second look. Suh’s work consists of reproductions of rooms, stairwells, appliances, sinks, tubs, and more from many of the different homes that he’s lived in over his life. They are constructed of stiff fabric built over a wire armature.
As I walked through the exhibits, I was struck with a sense of cold nostalgia. Familiar items were faithfully reconstructed in fine detail, down to the labels inside the refrigerator. What was missing was any sense of human occupation or connection. I was struck by the scale of the effort and work. The light filtering through the fabric was gorgeous and the colors added to my interest. However, I could never quite lose a feeling of loneliness, sometimes even sadness.
And maybe that was Suh’s point. During his life, he has lived all over the world and I can imagine in the process he was never able to develop a sense of home. As always, I use the feel test when I walk out of an exhibition. Did I feel something? Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. I think Suh’s work passed the test with bonus points.
Here are some images to give you more insight into his work.
I am always amazed by the number of free art museums in Ohio. I am also awed by the massive building wrapping murals that pepper downtown Cincinnati. Arts festivals abound with lots of free music and booths filled with art. It is all free for the viewing. But, we all know that somebody has to pay for it. Time, materials, space…they all cost money. The artist is trying to make a living. The people putting up the tent and the lighting or the power all need to be paid. Museums still need to pay employees and their utilities. It’s never free.
Sometimes the museum is endowed or sponsored by a large corporation or other benefactor. Sometimes the city foots the bill for a festival. My point is that everyone is getting paid, even if it doesn’t come out of your pocket.
So, why am I regularly approached by websites for the right to use my images for free? My time, my years of experience, and my expensive equipment all have value. Why are you not willing to pay for them? “We will give you free exposure.” That is a load of crap. Your free exposure is free because it is worthless. I don’t know you from Adam. So, don’t expect to get the fruits of my investment in time, energy, and hard work for free.
And while I am on the subject. Make that suggested donation when you visit a free museum. Work to have your community support the Arts because your life will be all the more rich. It is an investment in the quality and value of your life and your community.
Friends and family? You still get free photos from me. Because you support me in many ways that provide me with the encouragement and motivation to keep shooting. And, I really like you guys.
|Rail Yard, Cincinnati, Ohio|
This image was taken this past weekend in Cincinnati, at the Museum Center. This was a particularly nice photo outing with stops for a great burger and beer at lunch, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and the Museum Center to see the trains and the Dead Sea Scrolls. I’ll be surety share more images from the day in the next few posts.
Have a great day!