When was the last time you participated in art? I ate a piece of bittersweet hard-candy from the some 170 pounds of piled candy in the corner of gallery space in the contemporary art section of the new Modern Wing. I say bittersweet because the piece of candy was part of the work "Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991 made up of multicolored candies, individually wrapped in cellophane representing the artist’s lover, Ross Laycock, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991. The 175 pounds of candy corresponds to Ross's ideal body weight-- as viewers take away pieces of candy from the pile it symbolizes the wasting away of love and loss. I took one piece of candy at the opening day of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute-- the instructions are to take only one piece. Although I wanted to take a hand full!
I came back to the Art Institute several time to participate in Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is is so sweet and so delicious. I'm not the only one in Chicago who thinks so because soon the sculpture was gone. There simple wasn't any candy left. This baffled me piece this sculpture is one of my super favorites in the whole museum. There on the wall tag it said "endless supply" of candy pieces. But it had ended. Now what? Was this masterpiece of art gone forever? Of course not it will never pass into nothingness, they will simple have to make more candy.
This brings me my main point, Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991 is a what is know as a multiple. There are three basic categories in art. When I worked at a wine bar we broke all of wine into , Red, White and Sparkling-- there was also Rose and dessert wine but those were not main categories. In a similar way, I would say there is in contemporary art, Unique Objects, Multiples, and Time-based Works-- there is also Fiber/Fashion and Graphic/Design but lets stick to the big three.
Unique Works include: Handmade-Sculpture, Painting, Handmade-Drawing, Collage
Multiples: Photography, Prints, Drawings, Etchings, Computer Animations, Films, Videos,Instructions,Sculpture, Artists Books, SilkScreens, Ceramics.
Time-based : Digital Art, Mail Art, Architecture, Public Art, Online Art, Performance Art, Installation Art.
The most defining characteristic of unique works is that the artist intends to make only one of them. With multiples the artists intention is to make many versions of the same work of art. Lastly, with time-based artwork the intention of the artist is to engage the viewer over time and the artwork changes over time.
Wednesday, June 24
at 1:59 PM