Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seen from without

                                                                                                                                                                      Tad Barney photo

Two art openings and my favorite ceviche were a good antidote to feeling snowed in this week.

It's always wonderful to be around artists, photographers and other creatives. Yet, there was such a stark contrast to the minimalist third-floor gallery with gray floors, white walls and spare windows framing Over-the-Rhine at dusk as the sun cast its amber rays on once vibrant factories and breweries being reclaimed and the plush, more-known hotspot on the ground floor. The upper gallery honored its working-cass roots in its simplicity and the subtle photographs by talented locals. That was the show that drew us. The other was just fun to visit if only for the people-watching [ok, so some of the same visited both], the Picasso, Lichtenstein,  and Dubuffets. The monumental ceramics were impressive in stature alone and wrought at the hands of someone with international celebrity. This space made me anxious with so many geometric, strictly-lined and ordered paintings. As if an analyst were hiding and recording reactions. One set of paintings reminded me of a first-year college art project, then my husband told me they were famous. But he agreed.

There were classy older women trimmed in faux fir, young women with short skirts and impossibly impractical boots, raucous toddlers, Goth young adults and an interesting character suited in black, who resembled Pete Rose with a long mane he methodically and cavalierly tossed. Interesting, eclectic mix. Jet set on one floor, starving artists and their menageries on the third. Both mixing between spaces.

It aroused interesting feelings as to what qualifies as important art and who serves as judge. Is being born with a creative energy and acting on that if only for yourself enough? Acknowledgment. Being seen, appreciated and known for what emanates naturally.

Isn't that what we all desire in some way?

• Are you more comfortable with the lively, ambitious crowd or the quieter, lesser-known group?
• What does that preference suggest?
• Introversion or extroversion?
• Creativity or productivity?
• For what do you desire to be really seen?

I am who I am

not more
or less

I have reached a place
of comfort and acceptance within

and yet,
sometimes wish to be seen from without

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