New Generation Detroit

I went to visit this art exhibit on Friday September 7th, the opening night. I had never been to the Meadowbrook Art Gallery so I had no idea what to expect. It was a smaller gallery than I thought it would be, but it didn’t matter when I took a look at the pieces that were on display. This exhibit was definitely edgy and not really what I’m used to seeing. I could tell that these are new artists that are beginning to start a new trend in today’s modern art world.

Each artist had a completely different style than the next. I mostly saw very surreal paintings that intrigued me and made me try to uncover why the artist had put the images together in such a way. Another very key point that sticks out in my mind is the broad use of color. I loved how much this display had! The images came to life for me because of the bright colors that were seen throughout the paintings. Some of them just wouldn’t have worked or been as eye pleasing without color and the right colors.

As I walked around the gallery, I noticed that accompanying most of the artists’ works were their rough sketches that showed the different stages of the work being pieced together. This really showed the viewer just how much went into each piece and the artists’ train of thought as they developed their work. One of the first artists that I noticed was Matt Gordon. Even though I could barely make heads or tails of half of his work, I couldn’t stop staring at it. Each piece contained obscure and almost depressing images thrown together in a way that was amusing and whimsical.

One piece titled, Carpel Tunnel Can and the Sweet Fuzzy Peach, was done in acrylic on canvas. This was one of his larger paintings. It pictured life-sized bunnies with dark features roaming around in a realistic country landscape. He also did a piece called Wax Museum (I think that was the name). It had a bunch of well-known people in it, including Walt Disney and some of his characters. It contained so much detail I really had to stare at it for a while to catch everything. The colors he used throughout each piece were darker, but still very bold and had a lot of contrast.

There was also another artist whose name I forgot to jot down. They had done many portraits in vibrant colors. The brushstrokes were sketchy and created a lot of movement. They almost looked like caricatures compared to the photos of the real people used. It really looked like the artist had captured each character of their subject. I think my favorite artist of the exhibit was Paul Snyder. He created very surreal oil paintings on linen that I really enjoyed. Fairytale pictured a young woman standing in the foreground of dozens of Barbie heads.

It represented false beauty in today’s society as being seen as a “perfect” doll-like figure. His method was to use a projection screen with one image, in this case the large Barbie doll heads, and have his subject, the woman, stand in front of the screen. The colors he used in his pieces were so bright; it made the subjects stand out better. Another great painting untitled School, showed as little girl cutting a male face out of a photograph. She was painted standing under an ocean while bright orange fish swam all around her.

The fish really caught my attention. The message of this painting was the pressure of conformity in society for young girls to be submissive and seen as mans’ possession. Snyder had a message or theme in each of his pieces that the viewer could relate to easily. I am glad I attended the opening, not only for the free food, but also because I had a chance to hear different takes on the works and the artists themselves comment on their technique and style, something I had never witnessed before. Overall, it was an excellent showing.

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