Art bombed at home – and I loved it!

An artist sent me two works from her multiples series on Monday, out of the blue and just when I was feeling a bit down, like I was broadcasting into space. Hey, bloggers in other industries get sent shit all the time to review, so to entice and market different brands or products – like a popular movie blogger will received free passes to the preview of a new film. I was expecting and received invites to art receptions but it never, never occurred to me I would be sent actual work in the mail.

This is way cool, and I love it. I love what Nathalie sent and I love the idea of being sent work to review so much that I am going to review the shit of this. I want people to send me their shit and I will always review it on this blog. Now in the mean time, I need to get a mailing address…

Two multiples by Nathalie Quagliotto

What could be in this box? I remember I reviewed an exhibit she curated a little while ago … how did she know my address? It’s light and very well packed.

whaaaaa!? This is a real work, and very cool work. This looks like some sort of tug of war device for angry children, but that kind of describes relationships. This is a sentimental and sappy spoof toy on first blush, then a split second later it was very apparent it is a bleak assessment of the love and the human condition. The packaging and labelling are very corporate, and I also had a Orwellian sense of absurd horror that powers had decided this is what I (we) want, so were going to sell it to us. It’s also signed by the artist, which is some condolence to my invoked existential angst.
The artist in me wants to know how she did this – can you melt candy and re-form it? Isn’t making candy a mystery recipe and closely guarded industry secret?

And the second object is … a bunch of objects in a box. An all-yellow jigsaw puzzle! With a title such as “THE SAFETY YELLOW PUZZLE” my brain jumps to a perceived commentary of “relationships are hard work and it all ends up the same” and “you can both pretend to be happy by putting this together” ( No, I am not experiencing any trouble in my personal life and projecting onto this). I love the corporateness of the packaging, the suggested activity inherent with the materials she’s used and this yellow business. This work deserves more of my attention ….

I am going to use this puzzle the way it was intended to be used and form a relationship with it. I am going to introduce this conceptual Montreal art to the City of Hamilton.

After assembling the work* I took it up to the look out point on the escarpment at night. The lights are so beautiful, and the industry fuels the imagination. I think it was too soon though, and both the puzzle and I felt a tad awkward.

There is where the puzzle really started to shine. As the steel and coke factories churged and spewed, the puzzle quietly stole the show with a certain glow about it. I think it was letting its guard down, despite being so complex.

Time to enjoy’s the area’s nature and beauty, and what better way to do that than visit one of the many waterfalls complete with 500 other people. No one seemed to mind we were a mixed animate / inanimate couple. I though the blue really brought out the yellow, and the puzzle took this as a compliment.

Speaking of yellow, here is a portrait of me holding the puzzle in front of me wearing a yellow shirt looking at a man in the distance wearing a yellow shirt, with my son looking at me. Soon after this photo the puzzle went back into its box and we have not been out together since.

If I had been smarter during my career, I would of collected more smaller works and multiples from artists along the way. Quagliotto’s multiples are available on her website so check it out. Thanks for sending me some of your work, Nathalie!

I did try to spend some time with the “FUSED YELLOW LOLLIPOPS” but it was way too confusing (click on picture to see the full 360 panorama).

* I did not, in fact, open or construct the puzzle. Are you crazy!? I kept this work safe and instead photo-shopped my journey.

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