Thoughts Provoked by Me, Myself and Marlon Wobst
Like a million years ago, I talked about childhood memories and abstract works of art. Now today, after a long long summer break, we’ll start off with figures and fibers and a painter gone felt artist! Sounds familiar? Right, like that one artist chick aka myself, photographer gone embroidery artist.
The Fiber Artist Snob
But let’s go back a bit to the moment when I first heard about Marlon Wobst’ exhibition “Haare” at Schwarz Contemporary, back to the moment when I was full of awkward prejudices. Prejudice is a sign of fear and, well, admittedly, I was honestly afraid of what I might come across the moment I would enter the gallery space. Yes, me. The fiber artist who herself always has to fight for her right to use embroidery as a fine art technique and not as a craft or decorative art tool. But I beg of you, don’t be too hard on me. See, there is a reason for my fearful prejudice. Right in my lovely street, there is a shop. A felt shop. With eggs, sunny-side up, and bacon, tulips and cheese. All made out of felt. For, to – actually, to be honest, I have no idea. Because it, ahem, looks pretty? Because you always wanted to decorate your living room with felted eggs and avocados? Beats me. Call me a fiber artist snob.
Please, Please Me
And hence, the fearful fiber artist elitist made its way to Kreuzkölln. Nervous, dizzy spells and sweaty palms included. Can I point out though that I – despite my judgmental thoughts – did actually go to see the felt art?! Thanks, I highly appreciate your approving mumbles.
But of course I could have saved some (negative) energy by not making all this fuss. ‘Cause you know what? The show was great. Felt art, I love you. Ok, hold your horses, Marlon Wobst’s felt art, I love you.
It’s always so wonderful to come across enlightening moments like this, I mean when you come across art that is way better than you would have ever expected. Hint. Another reason to go and look at art in real life not just online or in books. That feeling you get when seeing art you love directly in front of you will always beat seeing it online. Think watching porn and having actual sex.
Fiber Art for Fine Art
The lesson to learn from today’s write up is to not be biased or even straightforward averse towards artworks that don’t come from a tube of paint but from a spool of thread. Yes, absolutely, there is good and bad fiber art out there. No doubt about that. But do give it a chance. I know it’s hard with all its strong associations of craft and pillow decorations. And of course it’s hard – and that should not be easily dismissed – because of all the Etsy fiber works out there. Because of crocheting, cross-stitching, felting and weaving being the new yoga. Being trendy now as the latest fad to practice after work and when you can’t sleep. With all these cute and neat fiber works overpopulating all kind of social media platforms it can be tough to see that fiber art as fine art form can be highly political. That using yarn, felt or fabric is a conscious artistic choice – not only because it looks damn good’n’intriguing or, behold, might just be the best material and method to visualize what’s on the artist’s mind but also because those techniques come highly charged. Think gender roles, women and how to keep the ladies busy. Those works I’m talking about are not made to look cute, relieve us, the artists, from stress (quite often it’s the contrary!) or to garnish your dinner table. To believe that would be a misconception.
If you like what I just said, or are still full of disbelieve, I’ll recommend to head over to my sweet lil’ write up on fiber artist Patricia Waller.
What’s up Next?
Still no paintings. But think sculptures. That’s a legit fine art form, right?!
And how about you, my dear? How does hearing felt, embroidery and crochet hooks make you feel like? OMG, awesome art or endless hours of… ahem, joy, torture?
Don’t be shy and leave a reply!