Why the Journey Lyric? Because Today is All About trek.
(originally written October 4, 2012)
I enjoyed Professor Ruby’s talk today about process, or rather her process in general. I felt that today’s presentation was a follow-up to her first talk for this class (Methods in Art and Art History) where she did a review of the elements and principles of art and design (She also showed us today how to construct small models but I found this a more interesting portion of the class).
I feel very comfortable and familiar with Ruby’s process because it bleeds into her teaching style. Scratch that, it is a huge part of her teaching style. She is a big proponent of “presses”. I would almost go as far to say it might be her favorite word in the art lexicon.
I was proven right as i watched the duration of her presentation about herself. However, I go a much better idea of how she developed not just her body of work but her idea of “letting the process inform the body of work”.
There is a playfulness to Nell Ruby. This really comes out in her artwork. There is almost a cartoonish quality to her work–use of skewed angels, illustration, and playful construction–but it is an informed surrealism. Even with the “unreal” quality of her work, we still see recognizable objects and spaces (bathrooms, sinks, kitchens, plate of eggs) and though a little “off” we still believe the artist’s interpretation and division of space and texture. This is because she still uses the elements and principles of art and design even if she does play around with them in unconventional ways.
That to me was the most impressive thing Professor Ruby did. Her use of space (even com set spaces i.e. her set up of installation in established gallery spaces) in interesting ways, typically asymmetrical and off-center, that force the viewer to interact with the artwork. It is a skill that I wan to evolve in my own art.
The most interesting work that she showed in my opinion was her black and white silent movie. It is a take on traditional silent movies. Movies with heroines, heroes and dastardly villains The catch is that she stayed with traditional tropes in movies but she carried them out in nontraditional ways. The damsel in distress does fall for her rescuer who happens to also be a women. A fight does happen but the women defend themselves and ect.
Nell Ruby often uses video components in her installations but his is the first time that I have seen a stand alone video piece in her work. There was a lot going on in the movie artistically and on a basic level but Ruby’s sense of humor really came though and permeated this artwork.
I want to go fort and figure out a way to successfully incorporate my Peter Pan complex (the idea of never growing up and not taking myself too seriously) into my artwork. I have been trying to develop this idea for the last two years and it is still a work in progress. I believe that Nell Ruby has done this successfully over and over again in her work, so it is definitely something to think about.