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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kevin Cole is the man!

 Not only is he the most awesome AP teacher's teacher, a table leader at the AP judging, and working a full 6 course teaching schedule, but Kevin is a diligent studio artist with a prolific output. Right now his work is on exhibition at the MOCAga. In addition he has a colorful glossy hardcover book that I just bought and just wait to devour. All the pieces were shot by Tom, of course.
 It is a retrospective of sorts, with art pieces that sample from several different series. Most pervasive in all the work are the necktie shapes. As a child his grandfather told him to stand under a certain tree.
The tree made Kevin "feel weird". Then he was told that that tree was where black voters were hung by their neckties. It is a visceral experience that Kevin has carried through all the work. Another experience encorporated into the works is 911 and Katrina. Friends of his at ground zero the day of the attack described the flying sheet metal and tar paper. Most of Kevin's work is made of that material now. And a lot of the forms move in relation to the storm path of Hurricane Katrina.

With the somber basis for all the work, I was struck by the colorful treatment of the surfaces. It is very decorative and lively. A lot of the work reminded me of music. And the shaped constructions recalled Elizabeth Murray and Frank Stella. The work is lovely. There is something to be said for taking in the world's tragedies, digesting them, and serving up a palete of beauty.
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