Aesthete & Amateur 6, part 4: Xirana
The Aesthete & the Amateur, Issue #6, Part 4:
Casual Insights: the work of Xirana
Heavy Writer (The Amateur) and Eleanor Medier (The Aesthete) discover artists’ presentations.* Heavy was good natured through the first two review visits, so Eleanor rewards him by giving him a choice of all Active Gallery’s artists. He chose the work of Xirana.
Eleanor: “This show by Xirana fits our discussion about happy accidents. In her variety, I am drawn to the ones like sribbling. These black and white pieces have an innocence, a crispness. This one is expressive of connections between people— it has a swirling energy.”
Heavy: “With the quality of randomness, art becomes like a gambling game—you never know with what you’ll end up. Question is: how much control do you have? How much is creation and how much is random?”
Eleanor: “That is why the work is an accident—you do a hundred and pick one, throw away the rest. It becomes a task of editing more than anything else.”
Heavy: “You get to see something in random lines. Like watching the sky and finding shapes in the clouds.”
Eleanor: “You set up the situation for something to happen, more than to control what will happen—situational versus deliberate. To generate shapes, and then find recognizable images in them, is one kind of starting point. But unless the randomness is transformed into meaning, it just is pattern. Xirana’s work is, at its weakest, when reduced to pattern. However, there is a place for pattern—like as backgrounds or wallpaper etc. But is pattern art?”
Heavy: “In my book, art is creation. Basing art on randomness makes creation at the mercy of hazard.”
Eleanor: “Art has meaning, intention— it is more than pattern.”
Heavy: “But you must admit the random can create amazing stuff.”
Eleanor: “Sure randomness can be amazing. The editor/artist is looking for magic moments in those 100 random pieces to find just one— when everything comes together. But art inspires to take this farther.”
Heavy: “It is dynamic despite the doodle forms. What do you think they are doing? Communicating or dancing?”
Eleanor: “Ohhhh— I like dancing! There is so much movement here.”
Heavy: “Makes me also think of a circus performance. The artists are behind the scenes. It is simple and complex at same time.”
Eleanor: “It has a completeness too, like everything makes sense but without being too defined. You can look at it for a long time, and keep seeing new things.”
Heavy: “Here is an example of how random doesn’t always work.”
Eleanor: “This one is like a doodle, and it is like a thought—pondering. It has a casual flow—like the pen is thinking. The name of her show is ‘Thoughts.’”
Heavy: “But I don’t see anything in this but a splash of ink and random lines. The thinker couldn’t find his muse and has broken his quill on this paper to kill his frustration. Or he tried to get a pen to write? So is this art?”
Eleanor: “I think so. I find it expressive. Is art not expressive?”
Eleanor: “Now this I find angry.”
Heavy: “This is like our two-year-old nephew coloring this circle. He is not angry— he simply doesn’t like to stay inside lines.”
Eleanor: “It is abstract expressionist. Without bringing anything new. Contrast this one on my right, to the figurative ones we both like [please see the review of these in the in-world version of Sim Street Journal that extends and complements this review]. This is just like a burst of ink.”
Heavy: “Wrong thought? Like you have the wrong ink in your pen, and you want it out so you can put your favorite ink in? This stuff is beyond me to understand.”
Eleanor: “I don’t think these are so deep, dear. These on this wall I find just decorative. So there is a great contrast here between the works. However, it seems our favorite is also the favorite of the artist, who uses the image on her poster.”
Heavy: “Well, scribbles are scribbles. And if you can make testing a pen for ink into art, I guess you can make anything into art.”
Eleanor: “I do like that even when the work in a show, or by an artist, is very mixed, we do find the best pieces to discuss. You know dear, following artists’ careers is a difficult challenge. Many don’t have regular galleries and don’t show all the time, so catching them is not easy—not like a musician that has a regular schedule and relies on notices. Many artists are bad at promoting themselves. I can’t tell you how many Profiles have Picks that are out of date! I really hate that. They inhibit audience development because they waste the time of those trying to see the work. It is like they shoot themselves in the foot by not providing a place where their work can be seen, even if just a studio invitation like Ally’s. I have to commend her on sensitivity to her viewers, respect for those who wish to enjoy her art, and a regular show effort. However, I sure do wish that she would update her gallery! Ginger offers a professional space to enjoy her works. Xirana shows at a collective gallery. All of these artists make it easy for us to discuss them.”
* Continuing saga from Sim Street Journal #5.
See more works by Xirana reviewed, photographs, and complimentary article in Sim Street Journal #6, about to be released.
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© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.