The Artists "Review" Artists Project was launched on June 30, 2008. Below is a "review" of Lee Gainer's work, Holiday Tower, written by Jennifer Mawby. Lee provided the second jpeg, an image of Dark Chocolate Selection, as well as a brief response to Jennifer's "review."
Lee currently resides in Fairfax, VA, and Jennifer lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at jtkirkland [at] gmail [dot] com.
The artwork is enigmatic and immediately conjures up associations with both luxury product catalogs, packaging, and Asian restaurant photography where food is displayed as seemingly inedible decoration. However, the true subject of this work is not in the picture. The content of these decorative lacquer trays or glossy luxury boxes has been erased, cut out or even obliterated raising the questions, what was to be consumed, and why was it taken away? The obliteration of the precious cargo that would normally inhabit these elegant vehicles of consumption, turns both the containers themselves and the act of obliteration into the primary subject of the artwork. Therefore, both the act of consumption and the nature of consumption are under investigation.
The defaced 3-d containers seemingly float on top of the white studio seamless and flatten in space like scattered and lost jigsaw pieces. The boxes, devoid of their content, are overtly dis-functioned, fetishized, and totally useless objects of consumer presentation. The empty boxes are fodder for the growing garbage oceans and landfill mountains created through our need to package, brand and gloss.
The reference to the lacquered Japanese bento box relates the artwork further to the dangers of the climbing global price of rice and consumption of a different nature - necessity. The rice shortage is a substantial fear for many nations of the world where the lack of this basic necessity will result in a hungry population. Without vigilance, the lack of this basic staple, will turn a staple into a luxury for those that can still afford it, until even those consumers will have empty, albeit beautiful, lacquered bowls and trays.
I’d like to thank Jennifer for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review. Her impressions of Asian restaurant displays and ever-growing landfills are ones I hadn’t considered. Having other artists consider works without the luxury of a statement for guidance is producing some interesting results. This series is about the general pressures of gift giving and focuses on “the thought” behind the gift thus the missing visual imagery. I think Jennifer’s phrase, “totally useless objects of consumer presentation” is a wonderful description. Thank you again for your consideration.
If you’d like to see these and the other 44 works in this series in person, they will be on exhibit at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) from Nov. 26th through Dec. 23rd.
By Lee Gainer
Pam Farrell on Ken Weathersby
Paula McCullough on Aric Calfee
Lee Gainer on Leigh Waldron-Taylor
Aric Calfee on Paula McCullough
Matthew Ballou on Heather Levy
Giovanni Garcia-Fenech on TJ Norris
TJ Norris on Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
Susan Tolbert on Mary Klein
Heather Levy on Gail Vollrath
Sharon Butler on Matthew Ballou
Mark L. Power on Steven Alexander
Steven Alexander on Mark L. Power
Molly Norris on M. Trigos
Ken Weathersby on Joseph Barbaccia
Sondra Arkin on Susan Tolbert
John M. Adams on Sharon Butler
Michael Paul Oman-Reagan on Brent Hallard
Daniel Mafe on Pam Farrell
Joanna Knox on John M. Adams
John Lucien Grillo on Joanna Knox
Brent Hallard on Lisa Klow
Joseph Barbaccia on John Lucien Grillo
M. Trigos on Michael Paul Oman-Reagan
Mary Klein on Imants Ozers
Richard Schemmerer on Michael Konrad
Michael Konrad on Richard Schemmerer