The artists in Mean and Sneaking all work with modest, easily available material. They are experts at scrounging and taking items that are part of the daily fabric of contemporary life, and claiming all for their art. They are neither mean nor sneaking in their daily temperament, but as artists they function like scavengers, and forage the outskirts of society for forgotten or neglected, but still valuable material.
Elizabeth Adams uses video tape, string, and broken pens picked up from New York sidewalks. Her re-combination of this found garbage, both melancholy and comical, maintains an elegant formal beauty.
Amy Yao uses sticks, hair, and startling color in her sculptures that provide strange visual jokes for the viewer. Small bits of newspaper clinging to the sticks casually relate the sculptures to current events and provide a context for the art.
B Wurtz’s arrangements of painted aluminum pans are deceptively simple in their references to everyday domestic life. Their underlying context, however, are the concepts of art and design.
Laura Braciale shows a kind of ordered beauty in her arrangement of partical board pieces. They become abstract paintings with ready-made materials, utilizing the physicality of the wood chips and the flatness of the pattern as image.
Jennifer Bevill uses pages from books, bottle caps, play money, report cards, shopping lists, spools, toys fabric and thread to concoct swirling mobiles that refer at once to her current family life, and to her past as a child, growing up in Tornado Alley.
Mai Braun’s “Open Form”, made of cardboard and aluminum tape has a shiny, bright and pleasant beauty that brings to mind a flower opening up for rain and light while her commercial and industrial material has a clunky solidity that suggest longevity a flower could only envy.
Drew Shiflett’s Stretch is made of paper, fabric, glue, wire, cardboard and polyester stuffing. Shiflett’s use of materials is both scrappy and meticulous. The piece undulates across the floor like a low-lying wagon train.
Jeff Feld finds inspiration in the graphic qualities of discarded police barricades. At a midpoint between minimalism and drama, the barricade hovers against the wall, defying gravity, but also seems pinned and assaulted by it’s support.
Matthew Lusk creates figures from garbage bags, rope, wire, coat racks and more. His humanoid sculptures are alternately funny, sad, pathetic, guileless or wretched, and provide the viewer with a mirror aimed at our habits and interactions.
Michael DeLucia’s elegant sculptures made with common products of his daily life, such as shopping carts, stair railings, brooms, etc., none the less provoke a sense of discomfort in the viewer.
Elaine Angelopoulos will create an intricate installation, a kind of woven inner domain, that becomes for the artist another expression of her on-going interest in the permissible boundaries between the public and the private.
Matt Callinan shrink-wraps one hundred blown-up clear balloons into green cocoons that hang underneath the ceiling. The cocoons resemble a hive of eggs, or a sky full of clouds, or just hint at otherworldly happenings.