Have you ever been to a gallery show or some kind of art exhibit and wondered if it’s you who doesn’t get it or, are they the artists, just not clearly giving it? It’s like we almost need a tour guide to describe what’s going on, or what the artist’s intent was with the piece…if there was one. Sometimes free expression is just the capture of emotional or physical energy frozen in time at just that moment.
I was listening to a story on National Public Radio the other day. Some scientist was studying ant farms and trying to determine what the motivation was for all the different little ants. Where are they always going and why? Trying to discover if they had some kind of super power or hyper-sense that would explain why and how they find your food at a picnic.
After having performed exhaustive research, this scientist claimed that there are just so many ants going in so many directions at so many times, that they are bound to find something. Then other ants stumble upon it and then other ants wonder where these other ants are going and next thing you know, the ants have found your party.
The other day, I went out in search of something great and just ended up bumping into things.
Sections of scenes started to become abstract corners of the earth filled with geometric shapes. Circles and spheres, corners of squares, patches of yellow with rusty red frosting and olive green triangles. A perfectly round drop of water freezes in time.
Barnacled poles became part of a new nature where trees wore black bark and were born from balls of shell roots.
Manufactured inanimate objects all of sudden take the shape of a new animal species, as syringes swim in alien liquid made from smoke. Just beneath the surface they troll for food to fill their empty chamber.
Every once in a while people stop and stare. They sit and look out for hours, maybe days, as others pass them by and no one breaks the membrane between them. Like two bubbles floating by each other as if their distance must be kept or their bubble will burst from the collision.
A woman loses her car in a parking lot. Rather than wandering up and down rows, she stands and stares. She is unaware that moving cars are dangerously close, trying not to hit her. She stands there and remembers a time when she never lost her car. She stands still because moving forward gains her no progress.
Artists from all around the world decide to create exhibits on the beach. Each little section is a scene from their creative mind. One artist carves stones rising from the beach into bodies shaped in different positions, some topless, some laying, some sitting. Each painted to look real, right down to the incredible detail of the patterns on their towels and the sign still reads, “Caution, Submerged Rocks.”
Elsewhere on the beach are other artist’s work as sculptures created from submerged rocks. A boy crouched in glee and a man juts out of the water with his fishing pole. Are they real or are they sculptures on a beach designed to draw people to look at them, creating a constantly ever changing scene between real and sculpted people?
The exhibit on the beach is filled with classic display. People walk the beach from one end to the other as if they are in nature’s endless museum. Here we see the fishing bird exhibit, telling the story of how a fisherman leaves his catch in the bucket and the bird picks each fish out when the man isn’t looking.
An outdoor museum complete with plaques on posts in the sand, telling the stories of classic beach scenes.
Out over the water, some type of Disney magician finds a way to suspend birds in mid flight. We see the headless turn, then the dive and ultimately the rise out of the water with the fish, telling another story of life on the beach. I wonder if those birds are held up by powerful repelling magnets just under the water’s surface? Or maybe they are held in place by transparent fishing line hung on sky hooks.
They must have used some kind of colored clear resin to get the water to look like a splash.
In Chicago there are painted bulls on various corners. In Saratoga there are painted horses on various corners. In Rochester there are elaborate painted and sculpted benches throughout the city. Here we have sculptures of beach couples balanced on their hike, in their shiny tan and new sneakers. They look almost real don’t they?
Unlike the art of Greek and Roman times where the human form is portrayed by ideal meticulous muscular men and perfectly draped sensual women, this particular artist chose to shape their forms in a truly realistic posture of the times. Crowds stand around, looking at the art of crowds standing around, on the beach.
Further down the beach we come to the exhibit called, “The Readers.” Three bronze statues cast in various positions reading books while seated in colorful chairs. I wonder how they got the cast bronze metal to look so much like skin?
I was so overwhelmed by all this beach art that I had to leave and write about it. As I exited there was one last sculpture frozen in time on the boardwalk. This was not the bathing beauty made from submerged rocks or the crouching child pulled out of a boundary boulder… this was something all together different.
Carved from sun bleached boardwalks and sea washed drift wood, stood a couple looking out at the water. He was in a wheel chair and she was behind him as she had been her whole life.