The problem - and the gift - of this year's AOM seems to be that it is so huge, with 8 floors of the same layout, that it can be hard to keep all the work straight in your head. The floors start to blend together, and by the time you've been through 3 you've totally forgotten that amazing piece that you saw two floors ago. I call it getting Museaumized. So I decided to take pictures of the work I like, partly to remember it, and partly to create a crib sheet for anyone I know who might visit. Not because I think these are the best or only good works, but because sometimes it's easier to visit a big show when you have an idea of what you might see - the pieces act as touchstones for the experience.
This first one is Dave Peterson, who's showing right next to me on the 10th floor. These prints are on wood, and he made a bunch more on paper, and they're laying on the floor to the left (just outside the photo frame) to be rolled up and taken home. If you check him AOM profile, he's also posted more images, with their titles (which are important) from the series - I wish he's made them a little more complete, because I think some of the weird whimsy gets lost in the cropping.
Gennara Moore ; 12th floor. Excellently creepy crow silhouettes. I have found at least 3 other people at AOM working on crow imagery - and it's all pretty cool - but I think I like this best. The intensity of the fiery red background imparts a sense of power, which speaks to the way crows are often used as portents. My husband especially likes the painting at the bottom right, with the crow swooping in. I like the bottom left crow, with his foot up - he's got personality.
Eli Halpin ; 9th floor. A note posted on the wall says that he was inspired by the fact that giant squid hunt whales by squeezing them to death. I really love this painting, partly because the colors are delicious, and partly because the the size - about 5 feet long - works well with the subject. The woman seems to be overcome by the squid, but not unhappy about the situation. It's not quite an erotic image, but it is weirdly romantic. I should probably also mention that I was obsessed with giant squid for a while when I was a kid.
Sean Lundgren; 4th floor. This ceramics piece is called Nebula. I loved this more the first time I saw it than I did this when I took this photo, but I think that may be because it's better in day light. I'll have to go back and take another photo, to do it complete justice. Unfortunately, I can't find out much about Sean - he's listed on Margaret Boozer's Red Dirt Studio site as an intern, but that's all I can find about his work. This piece covers almost his entire wall, and each square is glazed clay that - I think - was spun flat on the wheel, with colored slip mixed in, to create the swirling pattern. I love the innovative use of the traditional in this piece, and really hope to see more from him.
Nelson Gutierrez ; 4th floor. This series, which includes four drawings (I have a photo of them that I need to add), is called Accessories. I think it's funny, and a slightly scary commentary on consumer culture and disaster preparedness - overall, a cool concept. And, it all makes me think of my husband, who is a bit of a disaster preparedness expert.