Friday, February 26, 2010

Aging Art

Found street side and promptly carted home on my bicycle handlebars last summer, three large rusted metal rings now hang on my white bedroom walls. Not an artist, and too broke to buy anything, I just like the crumbling burnt texture of the rust.

My Mother who knows of, and perhaps fueled, my love of all things old and beat up, passed along this article A Rough Idea from the National Post. She wonders to me, is this what all the young people are into these days?

Ferranti-Ballen talks with artist Casey McGlynn about the 'urban decay design trend', running somewhat parallel with the vintage style, with similar appeal just less kitsch. To appreciate the objects for their form and prior use value, to retain their patina and admire their wear - it's all about context. The asthetic is be found by placing the industrial next to the everyday.

I immediately think of 47. The ultimate example of salvaged design with minimal restoration, yet hidden under layers of graffiti, 47 remains true both to its industrial beginnings and its Parkdale persona. The space never apologies for itself, it simply becomes part of every exhibit which sets up home. In fact one of our recent artists Leigh-Ann Pahapill took it upon herself to uncover 47's physical past by buffing the concrete floor, revealing a site of multiple meanings.

Found in the Homes section, this article seems relevant for the design trends of today but objet trouvé sure ain't groundbreaking. The context has changed since Mutt's Fountain , and clearly we are still interested in allowing objects to be more than their initial forms. There seems to be something quite substantial in holding onto a piece of tangible history without a new application or twist. But maybe that's just the romantic in me, less interested in making new. Like Ferranti-Ballen says, people put a premium on the story, and isn't that what most objects are for us, a way to connect ourselves to a time.

Dear Art,
Rust and romance, who knew

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