For this week’s art gallery’s artist conversations, I felt as if I were very limited on artists that I could speak with. From what I remember, I only saw one artist out speaking with students. So rather than feeling the need to speak with that artist because she was the only one out, I decided to take matters into my own hands and write about an artist that wasn’t present at the galleries. I wanted to write about art that I chose because I enjoyed it and wanted to talk about it, not choose a gallery just because that’s the only artist that was available to speak with us at the time. So with that being said, I decided to write about Katie Bickerstaff’s presentation in the Werby Gallery.
Upon entering the gallery I noticed a sign that read something along the lines of, “Warning: Contains adult content such as nudity” and with that forewarning, I was a little nervous as of what I might see when I enter the doors. However, all I saw was a bed covered in sheets and blankets that displayed a continuous print of nipples. After seeing that the nipples is what the sign was warning us about, I couldn’t help but think, “that’s it?” And after some thought, I realized that this is exactly the point that the artist, Katie, is referring to; and I completely agree.
Nipples are just nipples. Nipples are played out to be such a bigger deal than they should be; and more specifically, women’s nipples. When looking at the room display covered in prints of nipples, viewers can’t even tell if they belong to a woman or a man. Nipples are merely a simple body part that both genders have and for whatever reason, one is sexualized and the other is not.
As I walked outside the art galleries, wondering which gallery to enter first, I noticed the Marilyn Werbie gallery. It was darkly lit and I assumed it was going to be like the previous art galleries that had dim lighting, some sort of video playing or something like that. With that thought in my mind I wasn’t really interested in viewing the gallery because to be honest I didn’t really like the previous ones that I assumed it would be like. However, when I entered I was pleasantly surprised. This gallery was nothing like I expected it to be and was unlike any others I had seen.
Matthew Dumpit created an art gallery based around the movement of shadows and the images that certain object’s shadows create. His gallery displayed objects such as a metal chair made out of welded wire, little interactive figurines on the walls, and a sort of crystallized light show. The chair made from welded wire was able to pick up light and have it shine through and emphasize different aspects of the chair, to form an almost identical image of the chair on the wall. I thought that was really neat because the typical shadows that you see would just form a solid silhouette, but with the positioning of the welded wire you could actually see different dimensions of the chair. Matthew stated that this particular piece was inspired from the Victorian Era and took the inspiration from his home town in North California.
The figurines on the walls had pieces behind each model in which you could pull the lever, and it would maneuver the whole figurine to move a certain way. Once the figurines start moving, you can see how the shadows behind it replicate an image. There was one particular figurine that when moved, it looks like a bird flapping its wings. Matthew also stated that this particular piece was the hardest piece to make in the whole collection.
Another aspect of the gallery was a light that moved back and forth on top of metal sheets placed on the floor. The light shown on the metal sheets reflect a crystallized-like light onto the wall. In my opinion, the light resembled similar to what would be a water reflection, almost like the reflections of water you see inside of a pool at night time. The combination of this crystallized light and the swaying motion made me feel like the gallery was underwater on a moving boat. Matthew stated that this piece was his favorite out of the gallery, and I have to agree and say this is my favorite as well.