Amy Young: Monsters, Saints, and Cool Summer Dresses
September 3, 2011
Monsters, Saints, and Cool Summer Dresses
September 16, 17, 22-24
Reception for the artist September 16, 7- 11pm
Monsters, Saints, and Cool Summer Dresses showcases three series of special-edition pieces created by Amy Young: Little Monsters III, ed. 50; Subway Saints III (mini), ed. 50;
See Me Tell Me Shifts (Graffiti), ed. 25.
Young explains: After a 17 year hiatus, (spent pursuing an MA, selling art for a living, and teaching), I have returned to art making. Since last summer (2010) I have created and placed hundreds of tiny pieces of street-art in New York, London, Paris, and Seattle. And, so that other people could participate in this project, I began the blog: seemetellme.blogspot.com/ .
The See Me Tell Me series is based on the following set of rules and parameters: First – The materials should be non artistic low-art stuff found at any office supply store, hardware store, or notions shop, Second – While an idea for a work might take days or weeks to work out, the actual crafting of each object must take no longer than 5 minutes, Third – The works are placed into the world, or handed out for free, Fourth – In contrast to many street artists/graffiti artists, I identify myself by putting my web-site address or QR code on the works. I do this to elicit viewer responses; I want to know who collects a work and why.
The Little Monsters series is based on the Greek, Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic Revival faces and gargoyles you see on buildings all over New York, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, and Athens. I found (or shot) a selection of these images and made them all into Little Monsters by mounting the images on the front of clear 2” x 1” x 1” plastic boxes, darkening the backgrounds with gaffer tape and lighting them with LEDs. I also filled them with silver balls to reflect the light and to rattle, when shaken.
The Subway Saints series is inspired by my obsession with (and daily immersion in) the subway. They are also inspired by Walker Evans’ great work, Many are Called.In 1938, Walker Evans began surreptitiously photographing people on the New York City subway. With his camera hidden in his overcoat he captured the faces of Depression-era riders, each wrapped in their own unguarded private thoughts. Evans’ work represents portraiture in its purest state. Inspired by Evans’ series I shot about 250 clandestine images in the subway. To create a Subway Saint I print each portrait in color and assemble it into an accordion-style book, complete with gold-leaf, beads, glitter, found papers and objects. I place each book into a 2” x 1” x 1” clear or colored plastic box. On the verso of each box is an image of Evans’ Contax folding camera.
The See Me Tell Me Shiftsare based on the thin, simple, summer dresses worn by fashionable New York women. For the first two series of See Me Tell Me Shifts the little dresses were decorated with the patterns I found in museums, galleries, and art fairs and heat transferred onto the surface of paper. But the imagery for this newest series is the street art and graffiti I have seen in London, Paris, Bushwick, Williamsburg, Chelsea and Soho this spring and summer. The front of each dress is made from Japanese rice paper cut in the shape of a shift or sundress. The back of each dress is a snippet from a shopping bag and provides contrasting sources – the free vs. the bought. Each dress is hung from a small, handmade, twisted-wire hanger.
Viewers of the exhibition are requested to take one of these works.
They register their acquisition on the tag beneath each work and comment at seemetellme.blogspot.com about the new addition to their collection.