Leaving a Mark Monothon 2014 [Artspace] at Untitled Essay
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‘Give me a reason to love you’ insisted the vocalist of Portishead as I paced about the Monothon Exhibit at the [Artspace] in downtown Oklahoma City. My thoughts exactly, I silently agreed.
To do a quick sum up, the 2014 Monothon Exhibition was a melange of established artists and still-getting-there artists from Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Space, ideas and the technique were shared through 3 days to put up 100 prints of unique hand-pulled monotypes. And I am not using the word unique loosely. The terminology of monoprint sticks because each print can literally be used just once. Combined with every individual’s personal creative expression, the output is like a fingerprint on a frosted window pane. One of a kind and impossible to duplicate.
We can safely say that the premise of the exhibition is pretty exciting. Like a giant group hug with people across all ages, from different professional backgrounds and different places. The mind conjures up images of all the delicious imagery splashed across the canvas. I walked in tingling with anticipation, quite like the audience in murmuring anticipation of a band to kick start. I was excited. I wanted the band to blow my mind.
Except it did not. This band was tepid. There were sections where your heart raced hoping for it to pick up, but nope. Nada.
The frames in front of me were not lacking in colour. There was also honed technique that the more seasoned professionals had put up. But what I missed was heart. I missed imagination. I missed a lot of the emotions that artists splash away fearlessly on their frames.
I submit completely to a new technique being daunting. I can imagine everyone who was new to the technique doing their best to put up a frame. And the novice frames are, in fact, the ones that will make you chuckle. It’s the expectation that I had from the artists that went unmet. There was no frenzied