Firstly, I am sorry for not blogging for three weeks. Film shoots, travel, extreme fatigue, and blatant laziness kept me from myself.
On Tuesday, April 15th, I went over to the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University to review the opening of an art show named "I'M A REAL GROUP SHOW". Though there was a lacking theme, artists Natalie Kiwan, Christopher Richmond, and Hannah Rogers had shared their mixed-media artwork.
Kiwan had an interesting hanging canvas that looked like a more sophisticated mobile, even bearing artifical clouds. That's right. Clouds.
Rogers' work was pretty modern. I personally have a fascination with projection and always approve of projection as an art. She had a sort of video mosaic of people's faces projecting onto a wall. I wish the room had been a little darker for this installation.
For the real flesh, a good friend of mine, Christopher Richmond had presented his large collection of photos of corridors as well as candid shots of people sleeping in waiting rooms. With the money recieved from a recent grant, Richmond had hardbound 8 copies of the collection, titled "This is Institutionalized Space".
The photos had a nice rhythm when flipping though the pages. Every photo had the same form looking down a long cluttered hall of a hospital or something similar, with only furniture and colors changing. I wasn't looking at the furniture in the frame, rather, I found myself lost in the hallway after each subsequent photo. Some would find the shape and form monotonous after a few photos, but I find discipline and meditation in such presentations bold.
The latter half of the book focused on people sleeping in waiting rooms. I liked this for two reasons:
a) The pictures are calming. There is a sort of cathartic peace in looking at an image of something resting. The last photo of the book uses space so well to capture a woman sleeping in a chair with vast wall above her.
b) Imagine this guysneaking around in a hospital illegally snapping photos of people sleeping. Chris told me he had to run from a woman who witnessed his creepin' on some sleepin'... I was sad that I missed this.
Richmond's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder shone through with his flawless display of the books, each with it's own podium and chair to ensure premium comfort for patron viewing (or judging, if you're a dick).
He even had neatly laid out white cotton gloves for people to wear to prevent smudging the pages...
Richmond brought balance to the OCD quirks with his one-of-a-kind refreshment table. Soft drinks, water, pastries, fruit, cheese, and the non-offensive usual Guggenheim installation snacks were present of course, though were dwarfed by the plate of free Chesterfield 100's. This is a surefire way to win over the heart of 4/5 college art snobs (see left). Though I recently had quit smoking, I had to indulge in the novelty of free smokes with my buddy, who also doesn't smoke. The 100's were brutal. I wished I smoked with with the white cotton gloves from earlier.
Upstairs was awesome. A dark room with one screen projected and a set of headphones. Richmond had wired a security camera to cover the live exhibit from above for the voyeuristic viewing pleasure.
Richmond's fine gift for taking photographs of hallways, voyeuristic shots of people sleeping (or live patrons), and neatly presented work all came together for a nice enjoyable evening. Whether it be the fine art, the company of friends, or the free nicotine, the patrons were bearing smiles. Success.
Chris Richmond is a fine photographer and cinematographer pursuing a BFA in Film Production and a Minor in Art at Chapman University. He consumes store bought sushi, chewing gum, and cigarettes. Please look over his work at his website at http://www.chrisyrichmond.com.
-jc del barco ii
newfound art snob/former smoker/amateur