Thursday, August 13, 2009

Celebrating the Popular Arts

Let's see, what else have we done this summer? I said I'd talk about Comic-Con, but I really don't have much to say. I wasn't in a very good mood the day we went there, as evidenced in this self portrait I took on the escalator.

I'm just not all that into comic books and sci-fi stuff. There I said it. While there were some nice indie artists on the outskirts, it was mostly very commercial - major motion pictures I don't want to see and cartoon characters you see everywhere, plus dinky useless giveaways that later littered the sidewalks. Ugh. But that's just my perspective. There were thousands of other people thinking completely differently. My one ray of sunshine was getting my picture taken with Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba:

(Sage was off with Erik and McKenna was in the convention center daycare. I don't want you to think I pushed my kids out of the way to get to Brobee.)

The signs around the Gas lamp District in San Diego said, "Comic-Con: Celebrating the Popular Arts." I think I prefer the underground arts - the undiscovered one-of-a-kinds being made all over the world not for the purpose of getting Popular, but because someone just wanted to make something new. I guess you could say all those characters and movie scripts started out that way, but then they went and got manufactured for the masses. That changes everything.

Luckily we spent most of our San Diego trip exploring the city:

And visiting the museums at Balboa Park. My favorite was the Mingei International Museum and the exhibit they had entitled “Masters of Mid-Century California Modernism”:

composed of work by or influenced by Evelyn and Jerome Ackerman of ERA Industries which operated in the 1950s-1980s. They and their handmade artisans (weavers, tile makers, silkscreeners) produced mod home decor for the masses and their style has had a major yet quiet influence on a lot of design and decor that's followed (IKEA, etc.). I found an article on them in American Craft Magazine online. They were a creative couple making the popular art of their day. If I ever become popluar, I wanna do it that way.


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