The Lighter Side of Figurative Art

"Some works might make viewers laugh out loud; others may provoke a smile while still others will probably induce no more than an unexhibited amusement," (SJMA "The Lighter Side of Bay Area Figuration", 1).Susan Landauer says this in regards to the latest exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art.The show offers a wide range of pieces from the technically proficient to the texturally interesting; all had a lighthearted quality.I found "Joe Bot" by Clayton Bailey and "Untitled" by Joan Brown to be two particularly interesting pieces that typify the exhibit.
The Lighter Side of Bay Area Figuration is akin to Michealangelo's whole career on a bohemian vacation (Hawaiian shirts included).Works exhibited demonstrate an array of concepts from "auto biography and Surrealism's love of the bizarre and evocative juxtaposition to social and cultural taboos" (Chadwick, 309).The chosen media of the exhibit include metal and glasswork along with the more traditional means of art such as painting, sketches and plaster sculpture.
Imagine the David with a light show in his chest, carrots for feet and a dog staring up at him with wide curious eyes.If the reader can imagine this then she will be fully prepared for what the SJMA has to offer. It integrates a keen sense of technology(Clayton equips his dog sculpture with a motion detector so it emits and electronic bark as museum-goers walk by) while preserving the classic concepts of anatomical study and what might be considered "Salon" training in mid-nineteenth century Paris.
Clayton Bailey's sense of fun exhibited in his "bot" sculptures has infected popular opinion of him.He is "credited with being the zaniest" of his fellow northern Californian peers.An excellent piece to explore his "zany nature is "Joe Bot," one of his latest pieces.Clayton Bailey emphasize…


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