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March 17, 1992 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-03-17

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Page 8-The Michigan Daily- Tuesday, March 17, 1992

A mass of mixed media
Students create statements with some wild art

Student Art Show
Slusser Gallery
March 15, 1992
Could a chair be considered art? How about a design
for a law office or a pair of sunglasses? At what point
does a painting or drawing become a "finished work?"
The student art show on display in the Slusser Gallery
attempts to answer these questions.
Every year the Art School puts up a student exhibit
to showcase and encourage the talents of its art stu-
dents. This year's show puts special emphasis on exper-
imental works as well as decorative arts and industrial
designs which are not traditionally included in the cate-
gory of "art."
Computer art is a relatively new medium that could
have the same kind of effect on the art world of the near
future as the invention of the camera had on art in the
1800s. One of the best works done in computer graphics
in the show was Richard Skip Foley's "Amy/ Back-
Unlike many artists who use computers, Foley com-
bines fundamental art principles with the computer
medium. His depiction of a gymnast in mid-jump uses
strikingly bright complimentary colors, placing the
yellow figure of the gymnast against a purple back-
ground, suggesting the tension and vitality of athletic
Another evocatively-colored piece, though done in
the more common field of photography, was "Gany-
mede," Kenneth Giles's yellow, green and blue photo of
a figure who crouches away from the viewer, seemingly
hiding his nakedness. The stark contrast of the yellow
form against the murky blues and greens of the
background accentuated the figure's embarrassment.
Raquel Chapin's mixed media "Struggle" also deals
with the figure, in one of the most memorable and in-
ventive works in the show. The work consists of a
painting of a torso set inside a wooden box. In the upper
left hand corner, a box is cut out and a sculpture of a
body with no head, hands, or feet struggling to emerge
from a shapeless rocklike frame is placed inside. The
artist somehow manages to balance the two media to
make her work powerful, rather than heavy-handed.

The show features two very unique chairs, although
neither one seems too comfortable for sitting. "Chair
#2" by David Chapman consists of a tall and narrow
black frame with a shiny silver cushion. Kristin
Walker's doll-sized "Throne Without a Seat" looks like
a barbecue with its black grill-like network of iron rods
which become sharp and are red-colored at the top.
Of the prints on display, some highlights include
Brittan Blasdel's untitled whirling black and white web-
like tunnels, through which light sifts, creating forms
and three-dimensionality. Carrie St. John's untitled
work is notable for its broad planes of color and mark-
making which jut into each other uncomfortably.
The definition of art is broadening. While this is a
welcome move, this show seems a bit lacking, in the
field of standard, naturalistic art. There are no large
scale representational paintings at all in the show, and
the only big traditional piece, a drawing featuring the
energetic cross-hatching of Gabert Farrar's self-portrait,
is located in the corner behind the information desk.
Surely the judges could have found some work of
merit that deconstructed only one or two principles of

Surely the judges could have
found some work of merit that de-
constructed only one or two prin-
ciples of art.


Solar flares made the popularity of "Too Sexy" possible in England before the song tainted our shores some
three months ago, becoming both a mega-hit and hopefully transient cultural fixture. What was once good
fun has now mutated into everyone's "clever" marketing ploy, "Too Sexy for Nightclubs? Try Dave's Trout
Farm, singles only." The music cross-over from airwaves to personal ads can only happen in America. Right
Said Fred's "dance" album Up is the worst CD I have ever heard! Imagine that overly-muscled guy attempt-
ing sincerity to a driving house beat, and you've heard the album before you've opened it. These cheesy,
sound-alike songs with absolutely no dance or listening qualities will ruin your day. Right Said Fred's show at
Industry is perfectly timed, hours later their "novel-ty" will wear off and they'll be stuck somewhere in the
Midwest with nothing but black mesh shirts. Have fun, go to the show armed with large stones and scream,
"I'm too sexy for this rock, too sexy for this rock,." and throw. No way I'm disco-dancing. Catch Right Said
Fred at Industry tonight for only $5 at the door. They swing open at 8 p.m.
-Andrea Kachudas

art. However, many of the realistic works of art on
display showed deep talent.
Two small representational works which are hidden
in the far corner of the gallery but should not be over-
looked are Eric Arkohler's "Self-Portrait" and Roberto
Ty's untitled still life. Arkohler captures his own firm
gaze by keeping his portrait relatively loose except for
the carefully rendered eyes, nose and mouth. Ty's paint-
ing of vegetables and fruit consists of broad Fauvist
brushstrokes of color which create a bright, lively sur-
face pattern on his work.
The student art show, more than anything, serves as
a sample of the kinds of art produced by young contem-
porary artists. Anyone interested in the future of art
should stop by and have a look.
The Student Art Show is on display at the Slusser
Gallery in the Art and Architecture Building until
March 28. Admission is free. - Aaron Hamburer

S: y.


Continued from page 5
three cuts ("Bud's Theme," "Little
Children," and "Days Like These")
seem like they were intended for a
movie, and therefore aren't meaning-
less outside of the film. The rest of
the songs explore territory Mellen-
camp hints at in his other career as a
Rock Star, and most aren't even
performed by him.
Therein lies the beauty of this al-
bum. Mellencamp has assembled a
few of the best folk/country/rock
musicians for Falling From Grace,
exploring the place where all these
genres meet and feed off each other.
The link between Nanci Griffith,
Dwight Yoakam, John Prine and
Mollencamp himself (all of whom
appear on this record) is much closer
than one would expect. A super-
group consisting of Mellencamp,

Yoakam, Prine, Joe Ely and James
McMurtry called Buzzin' Cousins
do one track on the album, "Sweet
Suzanne," which the Traveling Wil-
bury's have nothing on.
But Falling From Grace is more
than big names performing each oth-
er's songs under the leadership of
Mellencamp - it's an engaging mu-
sical experience. The juxtaposition
of genres adds so much depth to this
Lisa Germano's (Mellencamp's
fiddler) incidental instrumentals
sparkle, as does Yoakam's version
of the Mellencamp-penned "Com-
mon Day Man." Pure Jam's
"Searchin' For the Perfect Girl"
could have been soul-like if the
Commitments had done it.
The gem of the album, however,
is "Nothing for Free," a Larry Crane
song performed by Mellencamp
which sounds like a Woody Guthrie

song. Mellencamp has always been
called a people's musician, and to
hear him do something very tradi-
tional and folky is unexpectedly de-

The only track that fails to meet
the quality of the rest of the album is
Janis Ian's "Days like These." The
song sounds relatively artificial and
seems deemed to be played over the

closing credits of the film. Much like
Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do (I
Do it For You)," it has a very con-
sciously crafted melodrama in its
hook and sentiment.
Despite this one flawed song,
Falling From Grace more than ade-
quately demonstrates Mellencamp's
awareness of the interlinking of mu-
sical forms, his own roots as a musi-
cian, and his good taste in musical
- Annette Petruso
Sir Mixalot
Mack Daddy
Def American
Long live the old school. On
Mack Daddy, Sir Mixalot eschews
the whole new jack movement in hip
hop. NoeBomb Squad-style chaotic
wall of sound productions here. Just
13 sparse, fat, urban-assault ready
tracks that'll soon be boomin' from
jeeps nationwide.
Long considered a novelty act
because of humorous hits like "Pos-
se On Broadway" and "My Hoop-
tie," Mack Daddy puts the brakes on
the funny stuff big time. These days,
Sir Mixalot is as serious as a heart
attack. In the tradition of classic old
school rap, he kicks rhymes about
how he's the baddest ass on the
On the title cut, as well as the
hard-as-hell "The Boss Is Back, "
Mixalot disses just about everybody,

dropping some of the biggest boasts
since early LL Cool J or Run-DMC.
Even though Mixalot is more
concerned with having the flyest ridg"#
and freshest gear, he does manage to
somewhat touch on serious issues.
Crack addiction is the focus of "I'm
Your New God," and the anti-gun
control message on "No Holds'0
Barred" would even get the right-'
wingers over at the Michigan Review °
tappin' their conservative little toes.
But this isn't to say that Mixalot
has lost his sense of humor. Check
"Swap Meet Louie," a hysterical ob- r
servation on urban consumer culture.
He slams those that hawk fake Louis
Vuitton and bootleg tapes on the
streets to those desperate for some"
status at bargain prices. "Baby's got
Back" is a funny, if not ultimately
sincere, ode to the physical charms
of Black women.
Sure, Mixalot's nowhere near the
science-dropping leagues of KRS-1
or Chuck D, but that's cool with
him. He's happy to just kick heavier
than heavy beats and rip shit up.
There's no real message on Mack
Daddy, it's just old-fashioned, mind-
less entertainment. Imagine that.
--Scott Sterling


The supergroup of folk, Buzzin' Cousins, featuringJohn Mellencamp (tar
left) and Dwight Yoakum (far right), plays on the soundtrack of Cougar's
directorial debut, Falling From Grace.




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