There's a unique exhibition going on at MoMA in New York City featuring the work of assemblage artist Robert Rauchenberg. Because Charlestonians enjoy super cheap direct flights to NYC in the summer, it seems like everybody we know is headed to see this rare collection.
But assemblage art...what the heck?
Pablo Picasso's 3D cubist works from 1912 are widely considered the start of the form. Let's have a look at Still Life 1914:
Around the same time other dada (experimental) artists used assemblage to explore the subconscious and dreams - remember, this is about the time Freud's writings became popular. During this time we also start to see 3D assemblage art that was meant to be surprising or unsettling. It was also meant to disrupt the traditional art gallery structure which artists felt had become too commercialized.
Later artists, such as South Carolina native Jasper Johns, continued to develop the medium. This is Target with Four Faces:
Today the term assemblage is used almost interchangeably with "found object" or "mixed media" art. (Drawing the line is up to the artist.)
Today's assemblage artists aren't necessarily out to disrupt the gallery system or the idea of what constitutes art in the way of 1920s artists. Instead, this form of art depends on creating a cohesive work of art out of bits and pieces of other things. There can be a clear meaning or the meaning can be subjective or reflective of the subconscious. When you look at a piece of assemblage art, pay attention to movement, texture, contrast and other subtleties that are just as important to the work as form. You'll have even more fun if you can look at a piece and interpret it in the way you would a strange dream - symbolically.
Assemblage artists are fairly rare in the south, especially if the artist isn't identifying with the Outsider genre. (If not rare, we can at least say with confidence they are soundly outnumbered by fine artists.)
However, you can see assemblage art by local artist Robin Howard in our gallery. Robin's art is part of the South Carolina State Museum's traveling exhibition this year, and her Charleston Box #31 recently won an Honorable Mention at the Palmetto Hands competition.
Robin is a scientist and archaeologist by training, and full-time freelance writer and artist working here in Charleston. Her love of the natural environment is obvious in her pieces, especially her Charleston Box series. Recently we've seen some color creep into her work, as well as the literary influences and dream / subconscious inspirations inherent to traditional assemblage:
"Force & Matter" 7" x 6" x 2" $278
We have a few pieces from her Charleston Box series, and the pieces above from her series entitled The Reader Will Have Observed. Stop by this weekend and check them out They are signed and have a unique handmade metal id tag for future valuation. They're also well priced and and are sure to add interest to your personal collection. Plus, we've got the air conditioning cranked up so you can ponder in comfort.
Congratulations to Art Mecca artist Daniella Fishburne on being accepted to the ANIMA MUNDI festival art show in Venice, Italy!
The ANIMA MUNDI festival, curated by Luca Curci and Andrea Chinellato, will be presented in Venice at Palazzo Ca' Zanardi and other prestigious venues and historical buildings, in the months between May and November 2017, during the period of the 57th Venice Art Biennale. ANIMA MUNDI consists of 3 main events: RITUALS, CONSCIOUSNESS and VISIONS. During these main events, will be presented works of photography, painting, sculpture/installation, design and architecture, video-art and live performance.
Daniella has been invited to participate in the third event called VISIONS, from September 14 to November 26, 2017. The works selected are from her Portraits of Wonderland series, inspired by Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, but with a twist. This series also won second place in the 2016 International Fine Art Photography Awards, in the amateur photomanipulation category.
See more of Daniella's work at Art Mecca and take home your favorite.
Well done, Daniella!
The Magpie and the Raven by Daniella Fishburne
Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat by Daniella Fishburne
We have two incredible jewelry artists at Art Mecca of Charleston. Kelly Wenner Grossman and Mackenzie King, co-owners of the gallery, both have studio space on site. Mackenzie makes bold, colorful enameled pieces from recycled metal. Kelly makes delicate necklaces and bracelets that are perfect for layering or claiming as an everyday statement piece.
Jewelry is the finishing touch to an outfit - it can provide contrast, texture, color, or sparkle that makes a look polished. It's much more fun to wear a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry than to wear something that's one of seven million just like it.
Here are some tips for choosing the perfect artistic accessory:
Layering necklaces and bracelets is the easiest way to put together a unique look. If you don't have pieces that layer, choose a piece that is built in layers such as this necklace by Kelly.
Long necklaces flatter everyone
Long strands cause the eye to travel up and down, making you look longer and leaner. Long strands look great with clean lined clothing such as boat neck blouses and shift dresses. Kelly's adjustable necklace allows you to change the length of this piece to suit your outfit.
Every outfit needs three accessories, even if you're just wearing a simple sundress and sandals. Choosing a streamlined necklace like this one means you always have a go-to piece that works with anything.
Add something bold
The surest way to add interest to an outfit is to add a bold accessory. Mackenzie is well known for her bold jewelry, such as the necklace below. There's plenty of visual energy in this piece so it's perfect for spicing up plain tshirts and dresses.
Buy classic clothes and update them seasonally with accessories
This is a game-changer, especially if you're a fan of the capsule wardrobe. Keep your clothing classic and simple and change up your look every season with unique jewelry. With a show-stopping necklace like Mackenzie's circle necklace, even the most understated outfit becomes memorable.
Artists know that if a work is lacking energy, contrast is your friend. For example, this statement piece from Mackenzie has an orange focal point is the perfect contrast for a predominantly blue blouse or dress.
Handmade jewelry is simply more interesting than jewelry that is mass produced. Take time to build a jewelry wardrobe of bold and understated pieces of different sizes and lengths and you'll always have the perfect finishing touch.