Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Life after Christmas

A pile of Paul McClure's metal tags from Chicago

Christmas is over and hopefully we all have a few days to relax.  In my case, that means finally getting to the pile of catalogues I want to enjoy.  Not just read but enjoy.  Mull over, stroke the photos…

I will finally get to have a leisurely visit with Quintet, the jewellery and metal art catalogue featuring Shona Kearney, Martha Glenny, Paul McClure, Wing Ki Chan and Katherine Miller.  Good stuff all round: lovely wrap around cover with a tab closure, embossed design and close to 90 pages.  Not for a quick read.

While I was in Chicago I got to meet Paul McClure.  I was intrigued to discover he had a surprisingly sunny disposition and a great sense of humour, something you don't take for granted from a man who makes such serious work.  He was giving away these GATC brooches.  Here's what they say on the card: The LOVE icon of the 1960s by American artist Robert Indiana is re-imagined as an icon for our genetic age.  G, A, T, and C are the symbols used to denote the four nucleotides that make up the genetic code of the DNA molecule: Guanine, Adenine, Thymine and Cytosine.

GATC is a biological acronym for the code of life.  The metal tag is folded over clothing and worn as jewellery about the body, on the body.

The other catalogue I am looking forward to digging into is Michael Massie's 50@50, produced by his gallery in British Columbia, Spirit Wrestler.  Michael kindly sent it to me along with a letter reporting on the opening and sales.  It's been almost ten years since I did Michael's big show for The Rooms but he still keeps in touch; that's the mark of a pro.  The only thing I noticed is that he still doesn't sign his catalogues!  That's something his collectors complained to me about back in 2002.  Remember kids, when someone buys your art they are collecting you too.  Enjoy the attention.

Greg Payce is another artist whose career I've followed with interest and who has maintained contact with over more than a decade.  Check out his fabulous feline Christmas card.

Finally, one my all time favourite Christmas card comes from Ingrid Jenkner (Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery) and her partner photographer George Steeves.  Their's is an envelope I always open first from the mail pile because I know I am in for a treat: subtle, eccentric and outspoken all at once.  I'll try and post the image if I get permission.

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