“Souvenir” paintings and installation June 15, 2012
by Carla Malone Steck
at the Todd Weiner Gallery
The paint of her images is still wet and a few images ache for transcribing. Cardboard, painted and unpainted fills her studio. Yes, cardboard. You may have disposed of some today. Carla will create a room with wallpaper evocative of James Ensor’s “Demons Thrashing Angels and Archangels” 1888. In her room, you’ll hear the Beach Boys sing. On the wall, over the wallpaper, she’ll share a few souvenirs of her journey thus far. Her friend, Thomas Cobian, created a neon-lit souvenir for Carla’s show. Cobian’s light will help light up Carla’s room.
That’s a bit about what you’ll see yet the bits have yet to be installed on the 12’ x 27’ wall in Todd Weiner’s Gallery. So, after the paint dries and Carla stacks the cardboard, the art will continue as she arranges, pastes, pins, shifts, and “velcros” (verb?) her souvenirs in Todd’s room which she will make her own . . . for a while. After all, this is cardboard; light, perishable, recyclable, brown, corrugated, and transportable.
Carla intends to transport you. Her passions include a desire to bring the magic of art to others. The operative verb = bring. The art may move you to memory and you may wish to move the art from her room to yours. The result of this show could be a blank wall.
These words fly by your eyes, left to right. We often fly by art. Visit an art museum, and you may remember the walking. Sore feet could be a souvenir. Stop by the gift shop and you may feel a tug to get something small, a token image, maybe just a postcard of that painting you stood before a few minutes before; the one that helped you feel something or the one that reminded you of someone or catapulted your heart to the past. It’s just a card but to you it’s much more than that now that it sits between pages of your journal or on your refrigerator door.
Carla’s project, her show, Todd’s space, Carla’s room, Thomas’ pink neon, is not about them. Painted, installed, illuminated, it becomes about you. The artist wishes you linger and rest sore feet, fill hungry heart, brighten eyes, follow lines, listen to a jukebox, make up stories, remember a few, peel wallpaper, discover James Ensor, plan your next garage sale, and have fun.
souvenir - suːvəˈnɪə(ɹ)
etymology: 1775 “a remembrance or memory, from the French souvenir, noun, also a verb “to remember, come to mind”, from the Latin sub – “up” + venire “to come”. Meaning “token of remembrance, memento” first recorded in 1782.
photo by wordherder at flickr