Artists Karen Chu, Patrick Grugan, Julienne Hsu, Summer Janelle, Mike McLain, Laurence McNamara, Daniel Porras, Brian Rochefort, and Emily Smith inaugurated a new alternative experimental exhibition space, thinhstudio in Hawthorne, California. I wrote a short essay to compliment the show.
Essay by Mario Vasquez
The Medley of the Mix
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
William A. Foster
When one thinks of the word “medley,” it instantly becomes associated with a musical arrangement. It is also defined as a, “An often jumbled assortment; a mixture.” In this sense, it becomes a perfect metaphor for the art of the 21st century, where nothing dominant and everything is mixed within the social, economic, political and identity dynamic that is the contemporary.
In 1911 contemporary art was beginning to shift away from the visual language that was the 19th century. There was Cubism, Expressionism, Fauvism, and Futurism. All defined the early 20th century. It was painting, sculpture and architecture. This was the art of 100 years ago. So what makes the art of 2011?
Artist in 2011 have a wide array of styles and visual tools to express themselves in multiple ways and approaches. Styles? Artists today are not bound by the avant garde or modernist conventions of the now. They are truly free to choose the vehicle in which to make a new visual language to communicate to the viewer. The visual vocabulary of the 20th and 21st centuries acts as a tool box where the artist acts as a strategist. Thus, the artist creates a medley of the visual.
In “Medley,” the emerging artists all reflect this approach. They approach various issues and practices using the various techniques, styles, and practices of the past. They thus create a medley , a mixture of everything to create something new. It is a sign of the ages as hybrid form the visual language of today.