Archive for the ‘Birmingham’ Category

Stephen Smith’s “Two Kilts and Three Marios”

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Graphite on board 14″ x 11″

Stephen Smith


Stephen Smith


Stephen Smith


Stephen Smith

Birmingham News story on now missing local Banksy work

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Wall believed to bear art of British artist Banksy vanishes in Birmingham

Thursday, September 04, 2008
News staff writer

Although the image of a lynched Klansman was covered in black spray paint, a wall that possibly held a painting from famed graffiti artist Banksy disappeared Tuesday afternoon.

Marc Schiller, founder of the New York-based Wooster Collective, a Web site that tracks Banksy’s career, said it is not unusual for people to take walls where the British artist has left his work.

The Birmingham image was painted on the side of an abandoned Bush Boulevard Chevron on Friday, when the artist was rumored to have visited the city. First someone completely painted over the image, then later the entire wall vanished.

Banksy, whose name has never been publicly revealed, has sold works for millions, including one purchased earlier this year by celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for approximately $1.7 million, according to news reports.

Because of such reports, people often take the artist’s works, which are often spray-painted on the sides of buildings using stencils, Schiller said.

“Everyone is looking to exploit his work,” Schiller said.

However, because the image was painted over, Schiller said it is unlikely there will be a big payday for whoever took the wall. “What they took was not the piece, it was a wall with spray paint on it. The piece was ruined before it was taken,” Schiller said.

It was unclear who painted over the image or who took the wall.

One community resident said Wednesday she thinks it was someone in the Bush Hills neighborhood who did not understand the message the artist was trying to convey.

“It was an unknown; it was a mystery, but it didn’t look like a positive thing,” said Gwen DeRu. “Some people in the neighborhood didn’t want it to bring trouble.”

DeRu, however, said she believes Banksy is an “artist who, in his own way, is trying to pull the world together.”

“This is an internationally known artist and this is his artwork here in Birmingham. It shouldn’t be something people should want to see destroyed,” DeRu said.


Marlene Rose at Hawthorn Gallery

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Perhaps the easiest artistic genre to get away with is abstract sculpture. It generally takes no talent and very little training. You can make just about anything and it appears sophisticated. If you use glass or anything shiny all the better. As little new can be said about the abstract sculpture of the past quarter century basically what we’re left with is pretentious interior decoration.

If you’re looking for something to match the sofa it can make a fine investment as long as you don’t spend too much. You might be better off just displaying some melted plastic or unrecognizable machine part in your foyer. When you explain to your friends that they are admiring part of a tractor’s drive shaft they’ll think you’re brilliant. But if you drop a couple grand on some melted glass and randomly bent metal they’ll think you’re just a chump.

Marlene Rose has to drape her creations with a bit of nonsensical art speak to get the rubes to break open their checkbooks. The following is from her website:

“Her goal as an artist is to create life in what ever she makes. In simple terms, she makes the pieces come alive revealing the true and unique source of life energy in each creation.”

See, she’s creating life, like Dr. Frankenstein.¬† She’s revealing the true source of life energy.

Hang on there’s more:
“The glass immortalizes a glimpse of something fleeting beyond the moment, taking that moment and freezing it over.

“I call these pieces Evocators. They are kept moments, shards of what I have seen, unnamed emotions, visions, concepts, memories. They call back; and they are the vehicle on which a viewer’s vision can ride away.

“The glass is there only to see through.”

Vehicles on which a viewer’s vision can ride away. O’RLY?

Opening reception is April 11, 5-9 at Hawthorn.

Out of the Myth

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Christopher Lowther has an interesting exhibition up at the UAB Visual Arts Gallery until April 11. The show features a number of video installations dealing with the representation of sexual preference in cinema.

NorDys Gallery Closes March 21

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

NorDys GalleryOh well, now Birmingham has one less gallery. NorDys opened 7 years ago in a pretty big space on 3rd Avenue South. I’m not sure what you should call the sort of art they showed there. It’s definitely decorative. Most of this kind of work is an extension of collage and multimedia. Sometimes there’s some drawing or painting involved but there’s almost always some sort of random splotches of color or something glued to the art.

Here’s a typical example of NorDys art by Shawn Brasfield:


Brasfield is a little more progressive than most of the NorDys stable in that he uses cartoon elements that wouldn’t have been accepted in fine art circles until the 1990s.

Much of the work shown in the gallery has been multimedia assemblages such as that of Chris Ellis which will be featured at the final show that opens March 14. Here’s an example of his work: