Up & Coming Weekly

December 08, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1316227

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Page 13 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM DECEMBER 9-15, 2020 UCW 13 COVER STORY Hamilton's painting evokes an aesthetic sense of presence, calm, beauty and structure. Cartier's work is ethereal, moving parts create a whole, we sense process and the act of looking. Whereas Hamilton's' pictorial space is about volumetric form, light and the effects of color; Cartier's work is about decoding messages and signs. In both works there is a time element. In "ree Brushes" we sense the artist is sharing a long period of contemplative looking. e exact opposite, Carti- er's "Ever Knew" are the many references and signs we overlook and do not see during the day. One could say the attributes of each work is con- veyed online. But it is not impossible. e online ver- sions are pictures of a picture (the painting or mixed media). e absence of material results in passive looking. Seeing the actual constructed work is a visceral activity, an active experience which includes the physical presence of the object themselves. Even though "ree Brushes" is enjoyed for the illusion of space that is created on a flat surface, it is still first and foremost, an actual object in space that has literal texture, density and weight. Even though most viewers do not think about the qualities inher- ent in the object, those inherent characteristics are integral to the overall authenticity of the work and are not present in the online version or the repro- ductions in this article. One could say those same aesthetics are com- municated online. My answer would be there is a resemblance, but it is not the same. We do not see or experience the physical depth of a painting medium or the tactile edges of mixed media work in an online version. We do not see the differences in the actual surface of the color from spray paint, the chalky quality of pigment blown onto the surface compared to the color of suspended pigment in an oil medium as leaves a tube of paint. As an analogy, you do not need to know the sci- ence of a sunset to enjoy it. But the sunset would not exist without the science. And experiencing a real sunset is better than a reproduction. at premise relates back to the authenticity of the sunset which exists in time and space. So, it is with a work of art. No matter how close technology can bring us to examine a microscopic, detailed surface of a paint- ing – images in this article and online are reproduc- tions. is idea was explored as far back as the late 1930s by Walter Benjamin in his book titled "e Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." e early 20th century was the beginning of mass communication, mass culture and mass commodi- fication. Within that context, Benjamin emphasizes the value of an authentic work of art is the result of its "aura." It is the "aura" we enjoy and that includes the object's presence in time and space. It is the same with a sunset, the validity of seeing the real over a reproduction is its physicality, its "aura." In closing, I would like to share a personal story which summarizes everything. After seeing the paintings by Vincent Van Gogh in books and online for over 20 years, I had the opportunity to see a body of his work at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Upon seeing the real work, I immediately real- ized, after so many years, I had never really seen a painting by Van Gogh. What I had experienced before going to the exhibit, were not remotely com- parable to seeing the real painting. So here we are, on the precipice of an increasingly changing technological future. And since, accord- ing to Benjamin, "our sensory perspective is not completely biological or natural, it is also historical," what does the future look like for us? How will the internet influence what we value? What choices will we make to prioritize what we do with our time, and how will we choose to deal with increasing mass media and internet overstimulation? Perhaps it will not be gloomy, but it will have the opposite affect. We will take action to deal with internet sensory overstimulation of information by doing more of the activities we know helps: critical thinking and reflection, take a walk during our lunch break at work, visit parks or take long walks during the weekend, go to the theater, a musical perfor- mance or to a gallery. e exhibit Artists Who Teach 2020 is a good place to start and if you take the time to look at each work you will leave the gallery with a sense of pleasure unlike seeing artwork online. Please note the exhibit will not be up for long, until Dec. 19. e gallery is not open Monday- ursday, but only open on Friday and Satur- day between 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Like all businesses everyone is required to wear a mask when they enter the gallery. e exhibit was possible by a grant from the Fayetteville and Cumberland County Arts Council. For information mail ewp-arts@hot- mail.com or go to their website: https://www. ellington-white.com/ SONI MARTIN, Gallery 208 Curator. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. "Made in USA" by Dan Kuehl from Roanoke, Virginia "Life Series" by Jennifer Salzman from Creswell, Oregon "Breath" by Paul Adams from Lindon, Utah

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