Including more than 200 undergraduate students, SAIC BFA show in Fall 2016 opened on November 19th at Sullivan Galleries.
Due to the conflict to the annual art sale at SAIC, only a few people visited the BFA show at the opening. One advantage of having that conflict at the opening is that the viewers who are the most eager were able to explore the most of the space, time, and freedom at the show. I, as one of the eager visitors, stepped into Sullivan Galleries the moment when the door opened.
Personally, I find this year’s BFA show more engaging because some of my good friends have their works at the show. The difference between seeing a regular art show v.s. a graduation show is my familiarity about the artists. I was able to recognize some of the works without checking the names of the artist. My strong knowledge about the artists has reinforced my understanding of the works and the concepts. On the one hand, I was able to connect with some of the pieces more. On the other hand, my interpretation has been rudely distracted by my emotional/sensational familiarity.
Standing from a biased perspective as a viewer, I later tried to be an honest friend by criticizing Eddie Shen, who places his work at the gallery entrance, for “having a good idea but a shitty craftsmanship.” The idea of hiding a magnet inside of the pedestal and having calabashes floating freely is excellent. In fact, it could be one of the best ideas in the entire show, in my opinion. But the presentation of the overall work is a disappointment: exposed hot glue, uneven paint on the pedestal, a non-functional earphone, and badly-cut edges. The closer I look, the more imperfections reveal.
My overall experience of viewing this piece is very similar to a typical love story: falling in love at first sight but falling out of love with disappointments and bitterness. However, this experience isn’t too surprising to me due to my familiarity to my dearest friend.
One of my favorite works at the show is untitled. Besides the knowledge of the artist’s name, Amadeo Morelos, I have no further information about the work nor the artist practice. However, I’m deeply in love with the presentation and the concept. Underwears, let’s assume this is the title of the works for an apparent reason, is simply smart, elegant, fun and extremely attractive.
The artist chooses G-strings, an erotic yet meaningful symbol of male bodies, and expands its representation and presentation with different colors of the “skins” and sizes of genitals to test audiences acceptance and recognition of homosexuality and other controversial topics.
When starring at these playful objects, for the first in my life, I had a lustful fantasy at the school art gallery.