Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wally Goes To The Louvre; Eggleston Goes To The Whitney
The sculpture you see here is by Tony Dow, who is known worldwide for playing Wally, brother to The Beaver, on the old "Leave It To Beaver" TV show. Tony's work has also just been selected for a show at the Louvre in Paris. No, I'm not "giving you the business" about that. Here's the news. The image shown is of the sculpture which will greet the Paris art world, called "Unnamed Warrior".
From his statement about his work at the Karen Lynne Gallery:
"My sculpture derives from whatever has passed through or by me; a culmination of my experiences; what I’ve seen, what I’m drawn to. The figures are abstract and not meant to represent reality but rather the truth of the interactions as I see and feel them. I find the wood in he hills of Topanga Canyon and each piece evolves from my subconscious."
I like his view about creativity and art - all of us construct our lives from all the bits and pieces we experience and generate through just living life. And there's something kind of cool about Wally - sorry, I mean Tony - getting a showing in Paris.
Another artist, photographer William Eggleston, who has called Memphis, Tennessee home for many many years has just opened a massive retrospective show, titled "Democratic Camera", at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. For the last 40 years he has created a prolific collection of photos which truly changed the art world and the way the art of photography is defined.
The Memphis Commerical Appeal did a story recently about Eggleston which is a great read. Eggleston is rather humble about his work, but for me the way he uses color and composition, line and form, captured in some very ordinary but extraordinary images of the everyday world is so simple and so profound all at once. One major change he gave to the art world was the notion that it was OK to use color in photography. And he captures images of the world without really arranging items or posing them, taking them as they are instead. You will seldom see people in his photos, but every image is something made or abandoned or used by people, as if it were taken in just that moment when someone left or just before they arrived.
His influence is huge - just go browse through the tens of thousands of images people have created and uploaded to the Flickr website.
I've always liked this photo by Eggleston:
Eudora Welty, in her introduction to his collection "The Democratic Forest" says:
"He has photographed every tell-tale thing we leave behind us, from leaking oil to spilled Coca-Cola. He has looked up and caught the emanations of the Great Smoky Mountains, and a mist very like a ghost that appears to be drifting over a graveyard and near Oxford, Mississippi. In photographing ivy crowding over a wall, in commotion as lively as a townful of Breughel peasants, he has got a picture of a country breeze. He moves his camera close upon a great worldly peony; our glimpse into that is as good as a visit: a bloom so full-open and spacious that we could all but enter it, sit down inside and be served tea. It was photographed, according to the caption, on the Boston Common across from the Ritz Hotel--which is the next thing to photographing an analogy."
Explore his work at his website, EgglestonTrust.Com.