For one thing, globalism allows artists to offer fascinating commentary on cultural hybridity as well as assert the unique national perspectives that keep us from merging into one multinational headcheese.
Chinese-born artist Caomin Xie offers his own idiosyncratic global perspective fashioned from time spent in Shanghai and the American South. Born in Shanghai and awarded a master of fine arts from Savannah College of Art and Design, Xie is now the head of the art department at Clayton State University.
Xie will exhibit paintings and video works that exemplify the hybrid of East and West from Sept. 21-Oct. 1 in a gallery space off the lobby of the Millennium in Midtown building at 10th and West Peachtree streets (contact mstanley@ mindspring.com for more information).
Xie has jumped a number of cultural hurdles to arrive at his present work, not the least of which was a radical leap in style from the Socialist Realist monuments he was forced to create as an art student in China, to the Western practice of painting as a highly individual, psychological, intuitive undertaking.
When Xie first came to this country, he learned to speak English by watching TV.
And that early, alienating view of a culture seen through the strange rituals and language of television haunts his work.
Xie's subtle, slightly eerie paintings replicate the actual look of a television screen and the existential chill of living in an image-dominated reality. The 25-plus paintings that will be on view at the Millennium have the sickly tints and staticy look of something viewed through an on-the-fritz TV.
Xie achieves some of that hyper-artificiality by using pure pigments to give his paintings their ersatz aura. Erasing background details and focusing on contemplative moments, Xie isolates his subjects in space.
In Xie's paintings, the television screen becomes synonymous with a deep loneliness and estrangement. The artist's chosen imagery, of erotica drawn from movies like Salo and The Center of the World, add yet another layer of solitude -- the naked female torsos or kissing couples only serve to evoke an absent viewer watching from his or her own lonely perch.
As indebted as they are to the image-dominated West, Xie's paintings also assert Xie's Chinese heritage. They express both the frenzy of desire that TV pipes into living rooms, but in their quiet, meditative qualities, an Asian emphasis on tranquility and thoughtfulness.
Globalism has recently washed up in abundance on Atlanta's shores with the arrival of Strange Planet (through Nov. 5), a two-part show at GSU's School of Art & Design Gallery and Saltworks Gallery.
The artists come from China, Mexico City, Berlin and other locales dealing with the eccentric and troubling aspects of living in a hybrid, global bubble. Most successful in depicting the contortions of a divided cultural consciousness is Candice Breitz's brilliant video project "Alien" at Saltworks, in which the artist has an array of new German immigrants from South Africa to Malaysia lip-synch to hilariously nationalistic (think mountain climbing, godliness and manly pride) German songs. Behind globalism's promise of inclusion for all and erased national boundaries lies the awkward truth that wholeheartedly embracing another land as one's own isn't without its difficulties.
Also shrewdly funny is artists Eduardo Abaroa and Ruben Ortíz-Torres' "Calimocho Styles" (named after a culturally schizophrenic Spanish cocktail of red wine and Coca-Cola), including a video in which figurines morph endlessly into one lump of cheap, crappy tchotchkes, from Buddha to Mickey Mouse to Bart Simpson.
The eight artists
curator and artist Travis Pack has assembled for his charming group show Lo-Fi at Eyedrum Art & Music Gallery (through Oct. 11) celebrate all things low-tech. The show is a beguiling medley of kitsch, folk, whimsy, nostalgia and psychedelia that seems in most -- if not all -- cases inspired by the kind of innate, fertile and free-form imagination that defines childhood.Castleberry Hill continues to show promising signs of growth, including the arrival Sat., Sept. 18, of Krause Gallery on Peters Street (www.krausegallery.com), helmed by husband-and-wife team Benjamin and Kate Krause. Benjamin, who relocated to Atlanta from L.A., has a background in film and hopes to apply some of his interest in indie film to his gallery. Krause Gallery is offering what he calls "value-based pricing," with the bulk of work costing less than $3,000. "Especially in this area, I think a lot of art is overpriced and people can't enjoy it," says Benjamin. A group show of their core artists opens Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. and runs through Nov. 4.
Don't agree totally, although Jiha does have a point. But her use of the decorative…
Oh! And, full disclosure, I make paintings w found photographs, often w permission, often not…
When I was younger, and still today, I loved listening to Public Ememy, the Beasty…
If you're going to "borrow", ask permission first. If you can't ask for permission, don't…
You might be interested in taking a look at McClanahan's previous book, Crapalachia: A Biography…