Friday, March 19, 2010

We all have favorites, and here is one of mine

I'm going to say this because I mean it. I don't think Farley Aguilar could possibly make new art that I love more than what he's already produced. He's the tops.

I've been friends with Farley for a long time now, so you might think I'm biased and just blowing smoke up his ass, but if that's what you think, you're wrong. I don't buy things that I can't wear or shit out, but a few years back, I did purchase an amazing small painting from Farley. It's hung right over my bed.

The painting is of a bonfire, and it's small, not much larger than my hand. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a trip I had then recently taken to Maine, where my ex and I caught the final beach bonfire of the season before winter came. It wasn't just my memory that endeared the piece to me, it was the subject too, being both magical and mundane. It's the supernatural in the natural. It is that place where God and man meet; it's religious. The bonfire is much simpler than Farley's larger works, but it retains the same power. Farley captures a big mood in a small space.

I find it difficult to write about art, because maybe I don't have the vocabulary or maybe because I don't want to offend anyone. I always end up sounding stupid or mean, so please take my insecurities into consideration here. When I was twenty, I visited my best friend in Paris and on a day when she was studying, I went to the Musee d'Orsay by myself. The main exhibition featured a Polish painter Jacek Malczewski, whose beautiful (and hard to find on the internet) paintings blew me away with all of their myth, symbolism, fantasy and the potential stories! There were so many stories, I could only begin to get in there and dream them all up. Farley's paintings make me feel the same way, even though the message being expressed by each artist is different (this is where I don't write about symbolism and social politics). They are filled with fear and fantasy. Besides that, they're beautiful, with bold colors and tiny details. His view of the world is one that is enchanting and romantic. It's a world of which I would like to see much, much more.

In one week, Farley's first solo show, Ulf, will be up at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. Here's a nice review of Farley's work on ArtLurker and here's something I wrote a while back on NBCMiami.

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