I spent the evening at the Stutz Artists Open House in Indianapolis. For those unfamiliar with the Stutz Building:
Harry Stutz, founder of the Stutz Motorcar Company, built and headquartered his car company at the present day Stutz I and II [buildings] from 1911 to 1919. Stutz is remembered for many things, including the Bearcat which raced in the first Indianapolis 500 and was built at his factory.The factory is now a business center and art complex with studios and gallery space. More info.
I had high hopes. After all, if you can afford to rent studio space in downtown Indy, in the heart of the best known art complex in town, you are FREAKIN’ AWESOME, right?
Some of the artists actually were FREAKIN’ AWESOME. It was certainly not the common thread.
Most of them just seemed to be average Joes, producing average art. Not a bad thing. But what I found interesting (and confusing) was that the ones who produced stunning work, full of both comprehensible symbolism and beautiful design, were the ones whose studios were mostly empty of crowds.
The crowds were shoulder to shoulder in the studios full of formulaic, generic style art. Granted, it was well done. The perspective was perfect, the chiaroscuro impeccable, the subject matter well composed, if less than original.
Was is because they were more generous with their food and wine? Was it because I can’t tell a stunning work of art from a piece of crap? Was it because the public wants what they are told that everybody else likes (referrence the popularity of Thomas Kincade)?
I don’t know.
That’s why I’m confused.