Friday, August 5, 2011

Part II: Recontextualizing Aesthetic @ Morean Arts Center (MAC)

Colorpalooza work area

Neil Matthiessen is an assistant professor of Graphic Design at St Pete's USF campus. He was born in Montana, has his MFA, and has taught at three other universities before coming to USF. He has also done corporate websites and graphic design. In Recontextualizing Aesthetics at MAC,  he builds on their "Colorpalooza" sumertime program, where the community can come into the Center and make different kinds of lighthearted art. They have several tables set up, complete with materials. Neil's work emphasizes the role of color as an aesthetic element.

Neil Matthiessen, "The Conception of Randomness"

 On the left, "The Conception of Randomness", a large installation/mural created with latex paint for the walls, and closely matching colored sand
Close-up of the corner above.
continuing on the wood floor. The colors are almost overwhelming. Is this really random? One thing that becomes apparent upon contemplation is that there are cloud-like forms that repeat in positive and negative space. Some look like they could be fractal forms. Abstract as it is, this installation is nothing if not spiritually uplifting.

Neil Mathiessen, "Pastiche"

"Pastiche", on the left, blends traiditional painting with digital work. Here, if one looks close, the fractal patterns seem clearer along the edges of the blue parts.

This is a lyrically beautiful work, with the overlays of color playing into and out of each other in a very democratic way.

Neil Matthiessen, "Bedlam" 2011

A very vectored linear form arcing powerfully upwards into a bit of a froth. It reminded me, in its dynamics, of the famous Hokusai Wave, but with a very restrained color palette.

By Neil Matthiessen

Congratulations to the MAC and Neil Matthiessen for a good show beautifully coordinated with "Colorpalooza", which looks like one of the best things to do in an afternoon in this summer heat. I was told the cafe at MAC may be open as soon as a little more than a month from now. If the Salon they've created is a sneak preview, I can't wait.

--- Luis

  Runs through August 21. 719 Central Ave. St Petersburg.

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