Friday, February 11, 2011

Ray and Mary Jane Jacob

Ray Johnson and Mary Jane Jacob both struck me as impressive artists in the 20th and 21st century. In my previous blogs I have explained how I can appreciate experimental art, however some pieces I can not connect with on a personal level. With Johnson and Jacob's work, I can relate to many of their pieces, which makes their work more enjoyable for me.

After watching, "How to Draw a Bunny", a documentary about Ray Johnson, I took a trip with my class to Depere, Wisconsin to visit a "Ray Johnson Art Gallery" in a man's bathroom. Bizarre? Yes, it seemed that way to me as well. However, after taking the trip I was excited about Ray Johnson all over again. I enjoyed Johnson's collages that he formed through silhouettes of different artists and ordinary people. He was extremely talented, but some of his work, I couldn't understand. I am starting to be more understanding to art that I do not understand, but some art still is just way out there.

Mary Jane Jacob is that artist I have been looking foward to reading and hearing from all term. Jacob came to Lawrence University to speak about different collaborations she has done and her experiences as a whole in the art industry. I particulary found her work with the Charleston area to be really touching. Basically, she collaborates with different artists and they express different emotions that are still present post Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. She spoke about a plantation home that still has its space in that town, yet other homes are being torn down. This related first hand with my project. The issues of gentrification in Chicago has its similarities to some of Jacob's work, which made it more interesting to listen to.


  1. I was also really impressed with Mary Jane Jacob's artistic approach. Her process of creating public art really ensures that the communities will value what she places there.

  2. Kanesha,
    Was great to stumble onto your blog. I'm a Fluxus Artist, and there are several of us in the Chicago area. Especially next week... Were doing 6 days of Fluxus performance at the MCA ... Feb. 15th - 20th ... all week.. Come by and introduce yourself... there will also be a lot of Ray Johnson's compatriots there - and we'll be hosting a New York Correspondance School dinner on Saturday night. I think we might change a few of your views on art .... or at least it will be fun for you. Hope you can come by, ask anyone, and they'll find me.
    Peace, - Keith A. Buchholz

  3. Is there any way you are planning on involving the community in your project?

  4. Incorporating a collaborative element to the gentrification video, perhaps by recording some parts in Chicago, would perhaps make the video less like entertainment and maybe more like activism?