July 9, 2011

We went down to the Capitol Square today, not to see the Art Fair on the Square per se...

... because I'm not a fan of the art...



I mean... are these people completely sincere, completely insincere, or do they span all the possible gradations of sincerity and insincerity... and does it even matter? Those mesh female forms twisted slowly in the wind... to what end? Something like wind chimes? [ADDED: By "these people," I mean the vendors.]

Note the Capitol in the background behind the trees, suggesting my real purpose in coming down to the Square. I wanted to see how the art was interfacing with the politics. Would there be any protesters in amongst the art fair folks?

The hunger strike guy was there:



I love the outfit on the art fair lady who stopped to absorb his message. Was it art? Ah, what is art?

I had the idea that this was the best art at the fair:



I love it! So pop and so graphic and greasy. Have some:



Or walk right by:



Enough about the fair food. Back to the hunger strike guy. He was the only protester I noticed. Well, him and some man who'd painted "Recall Walker" on his black umbrella parasol.

104 comments:

Meade said...

Back when I lived in the South, I noticed that the proper pronunciation for "power saw" was parasol.
I loved that.

ricpic said...

Hold corrupt billionaires accountable!

Why not sez I as I stroll by munching on my deelectable gyro.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I mean... are these people completely sincere, completely insincere, or do they span all the possible gradations of sincerity and insincerity... and does it even matter?

I find in an art fair what matters is what sells.

mesquito said...

That obese fuck has been on a hunger strike for 24 for days? Another 5 weeks and he'll be merely fat.

ricpic said...

We want the old indomitable Jason avatar back!

chickenlittle said...

Fart Air On The Square

Big Mike said...

That fellow looks as though he could go 24 months on his hunger strike and still be obese.

I suppose he's the typical left-wing hunger striker -- the kind that somehow manages to gain weight while allegedly not eating.

Amazing how that works.

mesquito said...

I mean... are these people completely sincere, completely insincere, or do they span all the possible gradations of sincerity and insincerity... and does it even matter?

It's like those shitheads nodding thoughtfully at a jazz festival. Phonies.

Michael said...

The artists are, every one, serious about what they are selling.

The guy is on a hunger strike and refusing to eat something, but what? What kind of food has he forgone in his valiant and apparently successful effort to fix things? He is taking in some kind of sustenance. I am sure of that. But what kind? What suffices to fulfill the bargain he has made with his sign, with his life?

MarkG said...

There were two guys sitting there. Maybe they take turns. That's how I'd do it.

edutcher said...

Well, everyone else was well-fed.

PS Some of the "art" looks like they ought to be statuettes awarded at the AVN Awards.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Those mesh female forms twisted slowly in the wind... to what end? Something like wind chimes?

Not having seen the work in person, I may be wrong, but it looks like a mobile to me.

And I like them, probably because they remind me of one of my favorite sculptures, I, you, she or he...

Cedarford said...

The hunger strike guy looks like he has months to go on his "strategic calorie reserve" before any problems occur.
They ought to make the fat fuck do a weigh-in.
I suspect that by hunger strike he means he pledges to eat nothing at a protest.

Not quite as funny as the obese 260 lb welfare mammy hauling her pod of little whales behind her and screaming at the supermarket checkout counter that food stamps won't cover the suffering of her starving chilluns given the increase in grocery prices.
(Made funnier by noting the 8 dripping and giving off vapor ice cream containers she had stacked up)

XWL said...

Competitive eating has a sanctioning body, why not hunger strikers?

LarsPorsena said...

Next time you see 'vet' protesting, ask to see his DD214.

S said...

I see that any further comment on the hunger strike guy would constitute piling on. I'm glad I'm not above that sort of thing.

My initial thought was, "is that the after picture"?

My second thought was, "he isn't eating something as that picture is taken, is he?" Does his hand just happen to be near his mouth?

rhhardin said...

Winding in the wind.

I had my first problem with that in high school, with Roland winding his horn.

rhhardin said...

Hunger strikes never made any sense at all to me.

It seems like a problem that solves itself.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Question, do umbrellas become parasols when they are used in sunlight? And can I just call them sunbrellas?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Wait, why am I asking you people what constitutes a parasol, you're from freaking Wisconsin! When I want to know what to call a snow shovel, I'll ask you guys.

They're not parasols, people, they're sunbrellas!

Ann Althouse said...

"I find in an art fair what matters is what sells."

I agree. My question needs another dimension so that it inquires not only into the degree of sincerity but the nature of what they are sincere about.

I'd like to see that plotted on an XY graph.

rhhardin said...

Nobody ever apologizes by saying they were insincere, for some reason.

rhhardin said...

Formal is halfway between sincere and insincere.

nevadabob said...

"The hunger strike guy was there."

Guy is a complete fraud. If you follow him AFTER the event is closed, he goes directly to Burger King and eats two Whopper meals back-to-back.

He's gained at least 5 pounds on his alleged hunger strike.

nevadabob said...

"The hunger strike guy was there."

Guy is a complete fraud. If you follow him AFTER the event is closed, he goes directly to Burger King and eats two Whopper meals back-to-back.

He's gained at least 5 pounds on his alleged hunger strike.

nevadabob said...

Google sucks. Either errors, or double posts.

God they suck.

GET. OFF. THIS. PLATFORM.

Patrick said...

What's fraudulent about spreading a 24 day hunger strike out for 48 days? He didn't say consecutive.

I think i am in the 360th day of my hunger strike against old Lucille Ball reruns.

MarkG said...

Yeah, and that's who I blame my typos on. Google.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: I agree. My question needs another dimension so that it inquires not only into the degree of sincerity but the nature of what they are sincere about.

Why judge their intentions when we can judge their art? That's what all artists are afraid of after all, which is why they always try to distract us with "What is art?" lest we ever wonder "Is it good?"

Carol_Herman said...

CALDER!

I'd have bought those twirling mesh "things."

I've seen CALDER! It's breath-taking stuff!

And, even here ... these figurines look terrific. Were they sold individually?

Alex said...

you see it's cruelty to deny "hunger strike guy" his 3rd Whopper Meal of the day.

Alex said...

I wonder how many "bloomin' onions" those fat liberal fucks consumed today.

traditionalguy said...

The brain's ability to make decisions (volition) is definitely in question on seeing that Food Court sign.

My body says. "I want one of each."

But the fasting guy appears to have shut that voice down.

Does that mean his brain has quit agreeing to obey his body?

Fasting is a learning experience when it comes to men's volition overcoming the body.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

I wonder how many "Jumbo turkey legs" those fat liberal fucks consumed today. FFS - are we supposed to believe these government workers are so downtrodden when they can't stop stuffing themselves?

DADvocate said...

What is it with women wearing boots with shorts? Even men in shorts know better than that.

nevadabob said...

"Well, him and some HOMO who'd painted "Recall Walker" on his black parasol."

FIFY

MarkG said...

Boots on women make the legs look good. Not those legs, though. Way too skinny. Althouse should've counseled her on her eating disorder and then bought her a turkey leg. That would've made a good post.

FB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kqb said...

I thought Art was a window washer.

ChipShot said...

Ann, if you had stopped by a booth about 10 down from the sculptures in your picture, you would have found a fan. I checked your blog tonight to see if you would post something about the art fair.

For an art fair artist perspective I say that most of us are very sincere about our work. We love making it and would probably stay cooped up in our studios all year, if we could. But we have to eat and pay the mortgage, so we drive 20,000 miles a year, set up our tents in all kinds of weather and hope that people who appreciate what we do will part with their hard earned dollars to bring a little joy to their walls.

Many of us have tried the gallery route, but that is more political and treacherous than than putting yourself and your work in front of the people. If they like and buy it, you survive, if not you fail. It is the ultimate sink or swim.

Cheers and keep up the good blooging.

FB said...

1) I thought your lines about the hunger-striker being your favorite work were begging for a link to Kakfa's short story:
http://bit.ly/k5utR
(It's a good short read).
2) Wandering wondering at an art fair about sincerity does my head in. I would be the member of your party dropping subtle accusations of class-ism for your questioning of their "sincerity", then I would admit that I had been wondering the same things. I wonder about these things all the time unfortunately.
3) What is "sincerity" anyway in this case? Is it channeling all your sexual frustrations into a piece of material whist subconsciously haranguing yourself for your post-MFA career collapsing into mediocrity on a fine Wisconson afternoon. And a debt payment due. Is that contemporary art? I really dunno.
4) I know a guy who makes bottle-cap folk-art. Yep. I know a guy establishing himself in the fine arts market. I think that they are both "sincere" about what they are making. The sincerity is evidenced in the *production* of the piece. Both of them would love to sell their work. The fine-arts guy is just a little more cynical about it.
But, really, i guess you are just wondering if this was made for passion or profit. But, Papa Picasso did away with the need for that distinction years ago.

Roy in Nipomo said...

[A]re these people completely sincere...

In my limited experience with art shows, they are "commercial" artists. They are at the shows primarily for their income and not their "art." This does not make them insincere, just practical.

A lot of the "art" at the shows I've attended looks more like "crafts" to my uneducated eye, but I have seen (and know) some real artists that attend, too.

Titus said...

Anyone who takes a look at that food faster knows he isn't fasting on anything-except Culver's Triple Butterburgers.

Titus said...

He's got bigger tits than most women.

Those are not nice tits at all.

tits.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know what they looked like in person, but the mesh people look neat in the picture. It looks like they're doing acrobatics on the poles.

Freeman Hunt said...

Hunger-striking could be a new diet program. You travel around to whatever protests are going on with a lawn chair and a hunger protest sign. The other protesters and sympathetic looks from passers-by might give you tinglings of moral superiority that would help you stick to your no eating plan.

When you get as skinny as you'd like, you go home and eat whatever you want again until it's time for another strike.

Will Cate said...

Ah, funnel cakes... festival food from the Devil himself.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Carol_Herman said...

CALDER!

I'd have bought those twirling mesh "things."

I've seen CALDER! It's breath-taking stuff!


Carol, come to Grand Rapids sometime. We've got a huge Calder work, La Grand Vitesse. It's a stabile, not a mobile, but still awesome. It's our trademark, more or less.

And then check out the Frederick Meijer Gardens, one of the best sculpture parks in the world. It has a small Calder work. It also has some large works that look like Calder's, but they're actually by another artist with a name something like Lieberman. Plus they have two Rodin's, a Degas, a Goldsworthy arch, and Nina Akamu's American Horse, a 24 foot bronze inspired by Da Vinci sketches. The range of styles and themes there is incredible.

And if you come here between September 21 and October 9, you can check out the third year of ArtPrize. For nearly three weeks, all of downtown becomes one giant art exhibit, with art displays in bars and offices and everywhere in between. It's very much a "people's show": the businesses volunteer to show pieces; they select the pieces they want in their business; the artists are encouraged to discuss their work with the public; and then the public votes on the prizes. Last year we had 192 venues, 1,713 artists from 44 states and 21 countries, and $474,000 dollars awarded in prizes.

Ann Althouse said...

"1) I thought your lines about the hunger-striker being your favorite work were begging for a link to Kakfa's short story:"

You misread that. My favorite art was the food sign!

Big Mike said...

Hey! Good thing I took another look. Funnel cakes - check. Polish sausage - check. Italian sausage - check. Corn dogs - check.

But, but, but ...

WHERE ARE THE BRATS?!?

And you claim this "art fair" was in Wisconsin? Ha!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Big Mike said...

But, but, but ...

WHERE ARE THE BRATS?!?

And you claim this "art fair" was in Wisconsin? Ha!


It's Wisconsin. You don't have to advertise the brats, they're assumed.

The reason why all those other foods need those honkin' huge signs: so that people will realize they exist, instead of reflexively ordering brats.

Donald Douglas said...

Twiggy was at the fair?

Lem said...

No Wieners?

How soon they forget you.

MarkG said...

I'm thinking Pulitzer Prize in photojournalism here

who-knew said...

Thank you KQB. It's the Madison answer, at least if you remember Madison in the 70's.

Dustin said...

It's so hard not to laugh at a fat dude on a hunger strike.

It's practically cheating.

I hate to say it, but what a funny comparison between Gandhi and the modern chubby American.

Anyway, if he's really not been eating for that long, his health is in extreme danger. Even if he doesn't look to me like he's been on a hunger strike that long.

It's pretty clear by now there's nothing in this bill worth dying to prevent. This man probably has a mental illness, so hopefully someone who knows him has the heart to help.

Moira said...

It figures you wouldn't care about art.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

New around here, eh, Moira? Stick around a while, and you may understand how foolish that snark was.

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

She did not say she wasn't a fan of art but of the art, signifying this particular show.

The question I have is why sincerity or intent should matter at all for art. Either you like it or not. It appeals or it does not.the gradations are in talent and beauty, determined by the beholder.

Contra prevailing art theory, sincerity, intent, politics, and vision have little bearing on the question "Is it art?"

MadisonMan said...

Right after my Mom died today, the power went out at her house. Spooky! It came back on just before the Hospice Nurse arrived.

She lived a good life, and left in her own bedroom. Now I get to worry about Dad living alone. Sigh.

Pogo said...

Good to hear from you, MadMan. Sorry for your loss, and my prayers to you and yours, and that life with Father is at least for a time peaceable.

Meade said...

Yes, MadMan. Pogo speaks for us as well. Sincere condolences.

Lem said...

Same here MadMan.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

MadisonMan,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you could be near for her, and for you.

Dustin said...

Madison Man,

I'm sorry for your loss. Best wishes to your family. I would want my mother to have the comfort of her home at the end of her life, but I'd be very sad. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

MikeinAppalachia said...

MadMan-
Condolences, prayers for you and your father,

Peter Hoh said...

I prefer watching real women play soccer over mesh figures of women twisting in the wind.

But alas, my wife had projects in mind, so I missed today's games. t

The big news -- the Japanese women beat the host country in the Women's World Cup. A huge upset. The Japanese goalkeeper had a big game.

And France beat England. The irony is that in the last round of group play, England beat Japan and Germany beat France.

US vs. Brazil at 11:30 a.m. eastern time on Sunday.

Peter Hoh said...

Condolences, Madison Man. Can't say it better than Pogo.

Hope you and your father figure things out moving forward.

HT said...

Chip Shot, thanks for the artist's perspective. I love going to art and craft fairs, and looking at what everyone's been working on. Some of my most treasured items were purchased at fairs like Sugar Loaf.

I liked what you said.

Carol_Herman said...

Dear Madison Man,

My mom used to say the luckiest people in the world died in their beds.

And, you said "the lights went out." Sounds like the curtain parted, easily.

Hope you can make your dad smile with all the loving memories we collect over the years. Those are the gifts we get to keep.

Trooper York said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom Madison Man. That is one of worst days any man has to face.

You and your Mom and Dad will be in my prayers tonight and at Mass tomorrow.

May she rest in peace.

reader_iam said...

I mean... are these people completely sincere, completely insincere, or do they span all the possible gradations of sincerity and insincerity... and does it even matter?

Are you talking about the physical, local Madison Art Fair, or the virtual, local Althouse Comments Fair? Your question seems entirely appropriate and proper in both contexts.

For my part, this is a sincere question, if not entirely a serious one.

reader_iam said...

I will say, and am more than happy to daresay, that a fake hunger-striker has way more traction in summer on the grounds of the Capitol Square than it would in any season on various key places amidst the Internet.

reader_iam said...

Wait. What?

Carol_Herman said...

Ann, You know I wish you got the name of the artist who did the mobile, in Picture #1.

Each leaping figure is different! They're not massed produced.

Gosh, I would have bought that mobile.

I also wished I knew the camera you are using. The lens on it is spectacular. As large as a fish eye. But not distorted.

Amazing photography.

Chip Ahoy said...

There was a bird at work who brought in a few art fair type things her dad made. They were biplanes formed out of beer cans. She was completely sincere in her admiration of her dad's work, and he was completely sincere in his production-eclat of beer can biplanes. I think he also made beer can whirligigs. They were pure crap. Nonetheless, she took orders and sold them by the dozens apart from the art fair. I cannot imagine a more awful way to decorate anything but there they were, on distribution day, a whole box full of beer can biplanes, distinctive red and white, Budweiser printed in every direction.

On the other hand, I see some really fine things at the People's Fair and at the Cherry Creek Art Fair.

reader_iam said...

MadisonMan:

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her. May the soul of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

reader_iam said...

I wish the best for you and yours, MadisonMan in every way. You've always referred to her so fondly and respectfully, and I think it's safe to speculate that she was proud of you and, so very also, how you did her proud in how you've raised your children as well. Peace and blessings on you all.

Clyde said...

Hunger-strike guy doesn't look like he's missed any meals. If he hasn't eaten in 24 days, he's still got at least a couple of weeks to go before he's optimum BMI. I'm sure that the Obamacare people would approve.

Clyde said...

Madison Man, I'd like to add my condolences on your mother's passing. May her memory remain crystal-clear for you and your father.

Deborah said...

Madison Man: may her memory be a blessing.

Freeman Hunt said...

MadisonMan, condolences to you and yours. Joining with others in prayers for all of you.

Bob_R said...

Sorry for your loss MadisonMan.

AllenS said...

Sorry for your loss, MadMan.

Jess said...

MadisonMan,

My condolences on your loss. You and your family are in our prayers.

ChipShot said...

Carol,


The sculptor's name is Michael Gard, he is out of San Fransisco and each piece is individually made and NOT mass produced.

If you make it to the show today he is in booth #439, or you can find him on the web at MichealGard.com -- Fair warning individual pieces start in 4 figures and mobiles are obviously pricier than that

DaveW said...

Sorry about your mom MM. Hope you can work out something to take care of your dad that works for you. Being alone as you age is hard, and taking care of an aging parent can be very tough duty.

marylynn said...

Madison Man
So very sorry. Those of us who have gone through that know how you are feeling. Blessings to you and your family.

TosaGuy said...

MM

My condolences.

KenK said...

That guy's on a hunger strike? How can you tell? Just askin'.

roesch-voltaire said...

Mad man always difficult, even when expected, the loss of a parent, but take comfort in a passing that took place at home-- something few are able to do these days.
"The Art" what a strange use of the article lumping all together as though the observer has some superior vantage point and knows that not one of these artist could possible be good artist. I suspect Althouse in her wisdom would have walked right by the first exhibit of Cy Twombly at Leo Gastelli's Gallery in 1960.

Penny said...

I too went to an art's fair yesterday. Aren't they usually good people watching opportunities? Here's my favorite.

A young girl about 17 is talking in animated fashion with an artist who just sold her a pink scarf. The artist tells the young lady that she has a wonderful personality, and because of that, she is going to do something that she very rarely does. My curiousity piqued, I turn around to see the woman hand this very sweet girl... her business card.

Carol_Herman said...

Chip Shot. At 7:23 AM

Thank you so much for the artist's name. I Googled it. He's a young guy. Born in London. But his work has never been shown there.

There's a YouTube clip where I got to see these figures are larger than life size! He describes how he first makes a clay sculpture. Covers it in wax. And, then, over the wax, he hand-weaves gold covered copper wire. (A company in Germany produces this.) And, he also weaves aluminum and silver.

A large figure takes 40 to 50 hours to complete. And, I'll add that I'm star struck.

I LOVE CALDER! And, this has the magical allure I get when I look up, and am enthralled.

I live in Pasadena. Perhaps, the next time there's an art fair, I will go and look? I can stare at this stuff for hours.

Now, do you know what camera Ann is using? She makes photography seem effortless. And, Glenn Reynolds says he's very jealous of her fish eye lens.

None of her pictures distorts the way I remember you'd see the fish-eye do. (Fish eyes just looked like concave mirrors. The center was the largest point. And, all the distortions curve.

I've got to add that for this post, the pictures are the main thrill.

Multielvi said...

Hunger strike guy is none other than Hallis Mailen, who was immortalized for being photographed sleeping in the Captol rotunda back in February.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27294537@N04/5493750170/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seiu/5484351277/

Fred4Pres said...

the hunger striker looks like he is cheetin.

Penny said...

"the hunger striker looks like he is cheetin."

Dieters are appalled!

Milwaukee said...

MadMan: What Reader Iam said.

Mom's are special.

The Courage That My Mother Had

Edna St. Vincent Millay

The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.

The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.

Oh, if instead she’d left to me

The thing she took into the grave!—
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.

Milwaukee said...

Once upon a time Madison had a homeless fellow who made a few bucks washing windows, and his name was Art. So a t-shirt was available with his picture on it a question and an answer.
The question: "What is Art",
then the picture of Art's face, and
The answer: "Art is a window washer in Madison."

I understand one winter he froze to death in a door way. I obtained my copy of the shirt in the early 1980's.

Kurt said...

DADvocate asks: "What is it with women wearing boots with shorts? Even men in shorts know better than that."

That is a good question. I was going to ask where the "men in shorts" tag was for this post, but that picture may necessitate a new tag for women in boots and shorts.

Of course there are some acceptable boots for men or women to wear with shorts--such as hiking boots, preferably when the rest of the outfit is hiking-specific. But those Uggs, or whatever she's wearing, look hideous, especially with those short shorts.

AlphaLiberal said...

Rain is in the forecast

A. Shmendrik said...

What is art?

Art is (was) a window washer.

R.I.P. Art.

Milwaukee said...

A. Shmendrik: Thanks.
Everybody deserves the dignity of being remembered.