If there's one thing I could do well besides blog (God, that is so sad...), I wish it was art. Yes, art's been on my mind lately, as I try relentlessly to track down a giclée print of Arkhip Kuinji's "Moonlight Night on Dnieper." (By the way, it's f*cking impossible to find.)
And while my skills at finding Internet things to have shipped into my life are failing miserably, my skills at finding random Internet contests that I wish I could enter are tremendous. In particular, I'm talking about this competition, sponsored by the Washington Post.
While I suspected at first that the "Real Art D.C." contest would probably just feature a group of performance artists in popped collars stepping on the glass of Marion Berry's broken crack pipes whilst wearing Crocs on the Mall, I was pleasantly surprised to find first finalist, Joel D'Orazio, and his work, instead.
"D'Orazio transforms -- 'violates' might be a better term -- vintage furnishings into artworks. His pieces don't participate in the (let's admit it) too-hot furniture market and, in many cases, no longer even function as seats."
Hot damn! What a coincidence! Just when I was trying to unload an extra, functioning and, actually, very comfortable couch (email me, if interested!), this idea of buying something totally unusable to replace it came along! But why? Why would someone turn a usable chair into a totally unusual objet d'art? What the hell is the point?
"For D'Orazio, making chairs and making paintings (which he turns out in droves) is instinctual stuff; he considers them open-ended experiments in form and color. There's no big idea here."
And that, e-friends, is why I think I love this contest so much. It lets non-visionary visionaries like D'Orazio in. I say this because I've been making my living lately editing post-modern Russian art catalogues, in which every other artist has some "big idea" that usually boils down to something along the lines of this, "Blah blah political oppression blah blah consumerism blah blah [insert other grand idea] blah blah and that's why I covered myself in honey and rolled around naked in bees to the beat of one hand clapping." Jesus.
People (myself included) often complain about the lack of creativity in DC. We say it's too utilitarian, it's too square, some people even complain about it being too clean (now that's just kind of silly). But you know what? Sometimes utilitarianism, while kinda boring, seems a lot more hip and a whole helluva lot less cliché than honey-covered art school students trying to feed the starving kids in Africa by wasting so many precious calories that the starving kids in Africa could be eating. And let's be honest, I'm also not really one who wants to have anything having to do with live bees in my house. (That's why I surround myself with cell phones.)
And while I also probably won't purchase a D'Orazio original anytime soon, at least they're fun to look at.