This is definitely a flash-from-the-past...October 2009, to be specific about the flash point. I was cleaning out my drafts/unfinished posts and found images from a great visit to the Kohler Art Center in October 2009 that I never posted (how could that be?). My goddaughter and I went to experience an exhibit I knew she would fall in love with, the work of Xenobia Bailey. This was the third (or fourth, or fifth) time I had seen the exhibit and it was fresh every time. Her work is exciting, accessible, comforting and graphically stunning as well as complex...the kind of complexity that doesn't take itself too seriously but makes a strong comment. I love constructions that create a space that envelopes you...not like a hug, but rather more of an environment that surrounds you as a viewer/participant and transports you. Installation art is a difficult medium and Xenobia's work is an example of parts making the whole succeed. Her work is separate pieces that stand strongly on their own, but when combined enhance her Neo-funk vision of life.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Kamwas obsessed with this tea setting and the crocheted "living room" area. It had a feel of a classic tea setting in a pristine living room...you know "don't-go-in-there-and-break-anything" vibe, except you can't break a crocheted environment (the china, yes admittedly). My girl is a budding ceramicist. She told me once she loves clay like I love paint. So, I know she isn't joking.
All the pieces, according to Xenobia's gallery talk, continuously evolve, year after year. Nothing is complete. As a viewer, I get much better insight hearing an artist talk about their work instead of simply reading about it or hearing a curator or gallerist or critic discuss the work. I also recall her discussing the development of her fiber obsession ranging from all natural handmade fibers which then turned into using more cost effective acrylics in order to make the work she does currently. Funny to look back on it, having developed my own wool obsession in the following few months. Hmmm.And her insanely amazing crowns leave me speechless (-ish). She has an etsy site as well for a select few pieces from time to time.
And, proof that I actually met her (cuz I am a super social butterfly baby)...here is the fantabulous Xenobia Bailey in our living room petting the studio assistant, Julie. Xenobia was great fun. Della Wells and I picked her up in the morning from her residency loft in Kohler, stopped to take Julie out, then met Mutope J. Johnson (hey, I'm diggin' the look of this new blog) at the Maharaja for buffet and then we spent a gazillion hours at area thrift stores...ah, it is all coming back to me now. Good times, great work. If Xenobia Bailey's work (or her person) come to a city near you...don't walk...run to go and see it again and again.
...and a big thanks to everyone who came back to start reading the blahblah again. Much appreciated.