Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fake a Cubist Painting

Artist Research Paper-> Alex Bag

Alex Bag

Alex Bag was born in New York in 1969, and currently resides in New York City. She received her BFA from Cooper Union in Downtown Manhattan. Her work is largely influenced by pop art and television, both which she dislikes. Her first solo exhibition was in the 303 Gallery in New York, New York just three years after she graduated. She has lectured at several universities, and has her artwork in galleries around the world. Some of her work was largely influenced by her mother who worked in the entertainment business as a children’s show hostess in the 70’s.

Bag’s work is erratic and nonsensical, elaborating the chaos of modern propaganda and television. Howard Halle, writer for the Time Out New York Magazine said of her work: “Bag, at times, seems to try to work in themes of light vs. dark, or good vs. evil.” With titles such as “The Coven Services for Consumer Mesmerism, Product Sorcery and the Necromantic Reimagination of Consumerism,” it is inherently evident that a large part of her technique and style is chaotic sequences of clips and images in no apparent order or meaning. “[Bag] uses her VCR like 1970’s artists used photocopiers. At this point Bag’s intrusion in the process became more blatant as she ran from one VCR to the other adjusting the volume, quick-changing cassettes and handing out beer and pizzas, creating a ‘couch potato’ ambience that clashed with the formality of the gallery,” says Robin Neate. Bag often uses bits and pieces of seemingly random and unrelated to form a moving and influential style of art in film that is largely unique to herself. Michael Kimmelman stated in the New York Times, “She skewers the art world that adores her for doing so; she’s an insider making inside jokes.”

From what I have seen, I feel that Bag’s work is efficient in getting the moral of the piece across. However, she does it in a very chaotic and roundabout way, and I cannot help but think that she could do it with much less fluff and repetition. All it serves to accomplish is make the viewer come to be increasingly bored and feeling very awkward as it repeats previously shown images and clips, and brings no new images or ideas to the presentation. It makes me think of Andy Warhol’s work, but instead of still life, more so emphasized on motion and sound. But perhaps that is the intent? Whether it is the style she intended to portray or not, I feel that the style works far better with still life and images rather than motion and films. Repetition and irrelevant detail can provide many important aspects to an artwork, but in the few pieces of Bag’s work that I have seen, all that it serves to do is confuse and overwhelm the spectator. While Bag’s work is influential and there is heavy meaning and detail put into her work, it most often gets lost amidst all of the pop art styled images and video clips.

Works Cited: