Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dan's Late News

I saw Dan Perjovschi's "Late News" drawing installation at the ROM yesterday (it was a performance in February when people could watch him create the piece). Perjovschi has drawn on the walls of galleries in New York, London, Paris, and now Toronto (we are so honoured). He immerses himself in the city's local news and then draws his response in a simple black line drawing, like a cartoon. Apparently he was trained to paint in a more traditional style of art in communist Romania but decided to strip away all the frills in order to communicate a message and engage with society*.

I can relate to that, because my high school art teachers just taught me how to draw, and they did it well but my art had no meaning back then. At U of T, they did the opposite. No one bothered to teach me the technical stuff (the how), they would only teach me the concepts (the why). In the end, I stopped making pretty pictures and started making stuff that meant something to me. When I went back to my old high school and showed my art teacher my new art, he didn't get the style change. He thought it was a regression. I was hurt and embarrassed when he had to remind me of the basics. It would be nice to have the skill or probably just the patience to make technically awesome work, but I guess I just don't care enough to spend an entire weekend (or two, or three) just making art that only a few people will see anyways. In a fast paced society, our concept of beauty might be changing, and we value quickly communicated information.

Anyways, I liked "Late News", but not being immersed in the media myself, I didn't get all of his references. I'm not even sure which countries he is referring to here.

Maybe he should have left the newspapers he used so I could do a little research of my own. Also, I don't know why there was so much about the Olympics in his drawings - who cares about the Olympics anymore. Oh right, "late" news.

*National Post

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