Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Power of Art


Last Saturday was hot in Willits, and I gook refuge through the open door of the Willits Center for the Arts. Exhibitions there can sometimes include group shows of crafts type art for sale, and other times include the high concept work of a single fine artist, and reflect the wide spectrum of talent and understanding of art and artistry to be found in our area. What I beheld this time was extraordinary. The work of Bern Rauch (pronounced "rock") is always multi-dimensional and wide ranging. Most of the paintings have silhouettes or multiple images layered or embedded onto the surface or surfaces, and convey the personal socio-political views of the artist. His website gives more extensive and detailed images for you to see what I'm talking about. It was stunning. In the picture above, Rauch talks to some visitors.

The first clue I had to the journey I was about to begin, was sitting on the reception counter. More of my photos of this exhibition are on my Overflow blog, linked here.

12 comments:

Hilda said...

Ooh, I enjoy going to art exhibits when I have the time. Even if I don't understand half of the abstract ones. ;-)

Thanks, Elaine! Also for the overflow pics and the website.

Jana said...

Great photos! I like checking out art exhibits too. I am not an artsy kind of person, so some of it goes over my head. But it is always fun and I always learn something new.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Your photography choices are always interesting. I applaud your work.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

Z said...

At first glance, I thought the legs were part of the art, but I guess not? A 'we are what we eat' type of comment...

Chris said...

I would love this place. Cool photos and art.

I saw on Ming's blog that you read Kitchen Confidential. I had to read A Cook's Tour by Bourdain for my MFA class last semester. If you get a chance, pick it up. He's pure Anthony in it. There is one section (in Japan) where I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe. ;-)

Olivier said...

l'art est surprenant, surtout je trouve l'arbuste qui sort du plancher.
art is surprising, especially I think the shrub out of the floor.

D.C. Confidential said...

Great way to spend a hot day!

That 9/11 money is shocking. As in, I think it's spot on, but I know it wouldn't play well in D.C. And yet, someone should bring that artist's work to this town for an exhibit at the Corcoran or the National Gallery's East Building or the Smithsonian's Hirschorn.

Halcyon said...

Does Bern happen to be German? That is a very German sounding name.

Willits really does have a lot going for it. Festivals, markets and even an art gallery!

Kim said...

Elaine, What a nice gallery space they have. I like seeing the viewer in this shot, too. I recognize that currency as something my husband brought home a couple examples of a few years ago.
And riffing off of Chris' comment, Tony Bourdain was in Seattle last week and the talk of the foodie town.
Hope this wierd weather does something nice for you this year and keeps the summer temps moderate. Of course then you wouldn't be driven into serendipitous photo ops as much by the heat. . .;^)
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

USelaine said...

Hilda, Jana - Thank you both for taking a peek here. This artist is abstract only in the sense of combining images using one technique or another. But the images themselves are photo-realistic, and very political.

Abraham, I am always honored by your visits. I applaud you back. 8^)

Z - The lines kind of blend, don't they! I didn't notice that until you said something about it. The chicken/turkey painting has a clear glaze silhouette of women carrying water and wood across a barren landscape. On the flip side of the canvas is the actual image of the women. You can see them in one of the overflow images, sort of sideways. That's why it's suspended in the middle of the room. The container of sand below it has a real chicken "wishbone" on top of it.

Chris - Thanks for the tip! Bourdain is a real page turner, and such a personality!

Olivier - I think the artist wanted to prevent people from bumping into the hanging painting! But I'm glad you like it.

D.C. - I should have said in my main text that a different artist produced the 9/11 money. Rauch told me her name, but I've forgotten it. But it is very much indicative of the view of the rest of the show. I'm sure you could contact Rauch through his website if you can find a small contemporary art gallery in your area to host a show. This was something of a retrospective, and included art themed on issues through several decades. Prices ranges from four to five digits. I'd say, make it so!

Halcyon - He sounded unaccented, so his name must be a reflection of heritage, not nationality. Willits is very diverse, and we are blessed with many creative people.

Kim - It is a valuable resource, owned by the City of Willits, and administered by the City Arts Commission. Amazing when you consider our small community size. It's been dry and windy this week, with temps as high as the low 90s. But as you know, it could be a lot worse! Thanks so much for visiting.

Jules said...

Wow this is my second art exhibition in 5 minutes - am getting a lot of culture today aren't I????

Louis la Vache said...

"Louis", never one to advocate the consumption of boeuf was pleased to see the roast chickens in the image....

For Sky Watch over at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo, we have a dance between the moon and the fog at midnight.