Friday, March 30, 2012

Art Notes: In the Pit


Yeah! Let's give a hand for the return of Art Notes! If any of you have been reading my blog since the beginning- and if you have, I commend and thank you, you've got chutzpah, you- you may remember that art was a recurring theme in those early days. Eventually, I got busy, really really busy, and admittedly, a little tired of art. As a former admissions counselor for a fine arts college who reviewed hundereds (thousands?) of student pieces each year for three years, I had had my fill of looking at art and those recurring posts slowly faded into the background. After spending last weekend with Bea and Emily, I realized that I needed that time away. Like a pallet cleanse of my artless soul. I feel like I'm ready to at least talk about it again, and maybe someday soon, I'll feel like I'm ready to make again.

Anyways, drawing and painting have never been my forte. I mean if you need a cartoon cat, I'm your girl, but there is no mastery to be found here. Especially with painting, I always wanted too much control over the medium. So when I see work like the pieces above, I can't help but be deeply appreciative, along with very familiar. Like- I'm sure- many of you, I started going to punk shows in high school, and while I enjoyed myself, I never found the tangle of- mostly- male bodies in the pit alluring. I was a wallflower, and a wallflower I would stay through college when Chris and I would go to hard-core and psychobilly shows every weekend. There was nothing you could do to get me in there, and I could never understand it. It reminds me of the ball that fish make to protect themselves. I know that might be the weirdest reference ever, we've been watching a lot of nature documentaries because we're old like that.

I love the way Dan Witz was able to capture the undulating sea of bodies, the small groups within minding their own business like nothing's happening, those protecting themselves with outstretched arms, and helping the injured to the edge. It's a weird scene, but one that deserves to be studied.

What artists are you inspired by right now?


Marlena said...

HAHAH ball of fish- I had no clue what you were talking about and then I DIED in my cubicle. Best. Simile. Ever.

Anywho, I never got the moshing either. One time I got accidently sucked into one and I was absolutely terrified. The painting's amazing though- I thought it was a real picture you took. I honestly was looking for you in it in the first 3 seconds haha.

Emily said...

Yay for the return of Art Notes! And I love what you chose-- it reminds me of the gigs I used to go to... such great times. Being in Paris I'm definitely inspired by painters like Camille Pissarro but have also been completely enamored with sculptors like Rodin!

blue roses said...

that tornado of fish, whirling and churning in the water, protecting them when their own neurons can barely fire to understand what, truly, they really need protection from, is one of the greatest and most brilliant of images to be found in nature. you are not old (well, maybe), rather, you are awesome.

i have been in a legitimate pit once; i was surrounded by y chromosomes, and i ended up getting punched in the face, possibly more than once. while i loved the experience, it is probably not something i would ever repeat, at least not now.

i am so, so, so, so glad you are returning to art; i love your writing, and while i also love your style, it is encouraging to see your voice applied to other themes.

Chelle Lynn said...

Wow, those pieces are downright disturbing (in a good way.) I always have a bit of social anxiety, but when I am physically in tight crowds like that, I absolutely freak the eff out. The artist packed in a lot of energy, it's really impressive.

kaya casper said...

that ball of fish is one of the coolest things i've ever seen. i didn't know they did that!

these paintings are excellent. great technical ability and interesting subject matter.

i blogged about my first most pit experience recently. yes it was mostly male and pretty crazy but i thought it was kinda fun - once.

Sondra Primeaux said...

Those (photos?) are awesome. I always called that the periphery...referring to moshpits or whatever. Hanging on the outside and observing is not a bad thing. Have you ever heard the Suzanne Vega song "Left of Center"? Good lyrics: if you want me, you can find me left of center off of the's a good song. Anywho, sometimes I think that's where the writers hang out.

Laura said...

I'm looking forward to reading your musings on art! :) These paintings are incredible...what medium did the artist use, do you know?

hellotampon said...

I used to go to punk shows all the time as a teenager and went into the pit a few times. But as anyone can see from the photos, most of the people doing it are men, and I'm 5'2" so my face was right at elbow level with everyone. If it was all people my size it probably would have been a lot more fun because it IS kind of a rush.

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