Make Me: Flor by Marcus Tremonto
by sabine7 / September 8, 2010
Moss presents Make Me, an exhibition of work celebrating an aesthetic described as "Butch-Craft" or one that is "rough-hewn, virile, reductive, anti-academic, craft-driven, 'tool-belt and heavy-lifting'" with work by designers such as Marcus Tremonto, Qubus and Forma Fantasma, among others. Art in design is no longer required to look like art or poetry.


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Flor by Marcus Tremonto

"The emergence of BUTCH-CRAFT in contemporary design through the infusion of a cerebral yet virile narrative applied to rough work crafted in wood, iron, steel, marble, rush, paint, boiled leather, clay, baked agricultural waste, plant-life, gypsum drywall, and blood, sweat and tears."

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Bowl by Forma Fantasma, out of agricultural waste

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Five-foot long Knife by Christopher Chiappa

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Bowl by Qubus

From the press release:

While there is never at any one moment a singular, all pervasive and universal narrative being written in design or art, occasionally there emerges a critical mass, a 'tipping point' as author Malcolm Gladwell calls it, of influential designers and artists, some established and some perhaps little known outside their professional circles, whose work simultaneously addresses similar issues or reflects similar contemporary-culture realities (perhaps aesthetic, or political, or economic, or sociological in nature), embodying certain across-the-board characteristics which cumulatively have the potential to create a social epidemic, like a virus moving through the population. MAKE ME. presents a small but diverse body of work by an otherwise un-related collective of artists and designers, which together celebrate a rough-hewn, virile, reductive, anti-academic, craft-driven, 'tool-belt and heavy-lifting' aesthetic, paradoxically realized with such sensitivity and finesse, often embodying subtle, complex theoretical, structural, formal, and compositional aspects, and infused with such poetic narrative as to be necessarily characterized as 'butch', a word defined in today's vernacular as a stereotypical 'brute-masculine' approach taken by a stereotypical 'sensitive-feminine' personality.

We introduce the term 'Butch-Craft' to articulate a phenomena: that after years of an increasingly accepted yet hard-won broader definition of design, liberated only recently from the mandatory 'form follows function' credo, we are witnessing a kind of backlash. Not a retreat from the now-accepted practice of infusing poetic narrative into functional objects -- we still want to engage more fully with our object culture, not simply regard it as a 'tool for living'. Instead, we are seeing the emergence of an alternative means of giving this 'art content' form and expression in functional objects. Poetic narrative no longer needs to be dressed in traditional 'Art' garb -- it no longer needs to 'pass' as Art. Gilded bronze, exotic regionalisms, complex and immaculately executed 3-D printed abstract futuristic forms, while still employed as critical elements by certain recognized masters, no longer exclusively define art-in-design. Works, both past and present, that overtly resemble 'furniture', executed in wood and iron and steel and stone, are now in fact automatically assumed to contain a narrative, a poetic gesture. Function no longer is presumed to neuter any potential for Art; we accept that addressing a prosaic function doesn't lead necessarily to a prosaic object.

Through the examples we present in MAKE ME. we acknowledge a tipping point, where art-in-design no longer needs to look like what we recognize as Art; art-in-design no longer needs to wear its art on its sleeve.

MAKE ME. will run through November 14 at the Moss Gallery 150 Greene Street, NY NY

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