Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amze Emmons and Kevin Haas - Disintegration and Sprawl - Christina Ray Gallery

The images below have terrible white balance and do not give an accurate representation of the work. Please go here to see the proper coloring.

The Press

The second piece of artwork I ever purchased was a beautiful print by Amze Emmons. I was a college student at the time and my silent-auction bid of $30 felt like a lot of money to spend on something I couldn't eat. I was very nervous that I wouldn’t win the piece but shocked when I did. Even then I realized that I had gotten an incredible bargain and that I would likely never have another opportunity to take home some of his work.

That print has hung in every house I’ve lived in since, and beyond its artistic qualities I also enjoy it in the same way a kid treasures a rookie card that he was prescient enough to acquire before the player became a star. Seeing Amze’s show at Christina Ray has further cemented that feeling.

Side note:
I once shared a class with Amze that was titled “Creativity Workshop.” The instructors were a patchouli-dipped couple clad in flowing khaki linen, both sporting limp ponytails and luxurious body hair. They were very, very serious about their earthy intensity and they insisted that you be the same
The class began with a 15 minute guided relaxation breathing exercise and from there basically consisted of girls in sweatpants discussing their journal entries and the drawing of ‘life maps’ and ‘word clouds.’ I don’t recall doing ANY work for the class, as it was ‘up to us’ when we were feeling creative. The only strict assignment was a final project that was an autobiography of some sort.

Most people were turning in a diary or a shoebox diorama or a collage made from old US Weeklys. Amze made a gigantic and amazing painting of overlapping maps that (if I recall correctly) showed the geographic timeline of his life. It was beautiful and elaborate and well crafted and exposed everyone else’s projects for the garbage that they were.