My New Years Resolution is to see more art, by visiting an art gallery or seeing an art event each week in 2014.
In Albuquerque New Mexico, I found an answer to my recent question: Is it a gallery or a gift shop?
This place was both. I almost didn’t walk into the shop, from the barred windows it looked like a tacky collection of Mexican and Mexican-American art, a tourist trap. I walked past, turned around, and walked in. Yep, it was. Pieces made en-masse, skull and day of the dead art in all forms: magnets, marionettes, masks, jewelry, greeting cards. Some of it was really interesting, authentic Mexican work. But even though much of it was hand made it felt mass made, and the title of “art” didn’t hang so easily.
Enjoyably hovering throughout the shop, I entered a side room. Suddenly I was wowed. I looked at the walls, oil paintings throughout: this…is….art. What the hell is this doing here? I turned to one-of-a-kind leather masks, plaster of paris angels and devils, goblins painted in glorious colors. I told the shop keeper, wow, these are really great!
"Oh you like the gallery!" he said. "So this room is a gallery? Where do you draw the distinction?" "Well the room you’re in is mostly full of local artists." So I stood on the border, one room a gift shop and one room is a gallery. Both full of artistic handmade pieces, but only the gallery had pieces unique and with a connection to each artist. I was impressed, that this little shop in Albuquerque New Mexico could create a little polarization between art gallery and gift shop.
Paper mache goblin in the Albuquerque Gallery, Masks y Mas.
A funky motel sign on the same street! Ya!