Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comedy Comedy

Sketch of
Name of work: Untitled
Artist: Justin Thomas Schaefer
Date of Creation: 2009

Midway Contemporary Art Gallery

When first walking into Justin Thomas Schaefer's 2009 Comedy Comedy installation at the Midway Contemporary Art Gallery, you are stopped abruptly by this large concrete structure in the center of the room. Splattered with blue and pink latex paint, grey cinder blocks are stacked one by one; each pile being a different height. It is an untitled piece of art with variable dimensions throughout the piece. Whether or not there was a true design to the way the cinder blocks are laid out is unknown to me, as well as the interaction between the cinder blocks and the other pieces in the installation.

The interpretation of Schaefer’s artwork is ultimately up to the viewers of his installation because there is no given artist statement for his work. This was my first experience ever visiting an art gallery. And having never heard of Justin Thomas Schaefer or being given any sort of insight into his vision for the pieces in his installation, I found myself feeling very lost, confused and almost agitated after viewing his work. I’m not sure what to think of it, because I don’t know where to even begin.

Out of all the pieces in the gallery, the structure of paint splattered cinder blocks stood out to me the most based on the fact that I just don’t understand it. The only question that has come to my mind is, “Is this what I should consider art?” Or better yet, “WHY should I consider this art?” More and more I wanted to know the reasoning and meaning behind it. I feel a bit unsettled and discouraged not having a clue about an art piece.

At the same time, maybe I shouldn’t consider it anything. The installation after all is title Comedy Comedy.

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