Monday, April 12, 2010

OsCene Artist Spotlight

Come into the Museum now to check out our current exhibition, OsCene 2010: Contemporary Art and Culture in OC. OsCene 2010 is a survey of contemporary art and culture in the OC featuring some of the most provocative painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, multi-media installation, video, architecture, performance, music, and design that Orange County has to offer. One of the many talented artists on display at Laguna Art Museum is Kendell Carter, a Long Beach-based artist.

Too Black... Not Black Enough, Kendell Carter (artists standing in front of his piece), 2010

About the piece: Carter’s installation Too Black . . . Not Black Enough plays out the discourse of “blackness,” not just in western society, but also in the realm of contemporary art. Each set of objects in the installation provides a marker for this conversation: the tight rope becomes the apparatus for this discussion that hinges on the contradictory context of the two paintings, executed in identical fashion and installed on opposite ends of the rope. The text on one painting reads “too black” and on the other reads “not black enough.” Emphasizing the challenge—and perhaps disorientation—is the diagonal stripes along the walls where the paintings hang. The aspect of spectacle is heightened with the photo-ready sponsor wall—Grounded Studios—the name of Carter’s personal studio and black and white balloons, which add to the sense of celebration to an absurd extent. Undertones of cynicism are carried out in the installation, particularly by the gold shoes, which serve as a twofold metaphor: (1) a medal for accomplishing the balancing act on the tight rope, and (2) a reference to the tradition of shoes hanging from power lines as a marker for a location where drugs are sold. In the installation, the hanging shoes are a symbol of the compulsion of the duality that this discourse holds. A changing presence in the installation is set by the balloons that will slowly deflate and sink to the floor, signaling the end of the spectacle.

To learn more about this artist and the rest of the artists in the OsCene, download Laguna Art Museum's iPhone App for OsCene 2010 for FREE!!

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