Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art in the Time of Foreclosure

LET'S talk about art. Lately I've been encountering some powerful images about the housing crisis that I wanted to share with you.

This piece here is called "Dangling" and is by artist Amy Casey. This one is particularly powerful for me because I so relate. During our 11-month ordeal there were many times I felt suspended in a web, upside down... as though we were being shaken out of our own house. Everything upside down.

Ms. Casey has a whole series of paintings on the same theme. It's definitely worth a visit to her site to take a tour through her work.

In her artist's statement she writes, "I am fascinated by the resilience of life."

I think that is what drew me to her work. The hope that is somehow inherent in the disaster. I too am fascinated by the resilience of life and the human spirit. To me, her work conveys so much.

Ms. Casey was recently honored by the Cleveland Arts Prize for her work on the housing crisis.

-Artist Known for Paintings of Housing Crisis Wins Cleveland Arts Prize - 90.3 WCPN - NPR

-Amy Casey Painting

This morning while browsing Curbed, I came across their "Foreclosure Art" post about the "Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center" show at the Queens Museum of Art. This sounds amazing. I would love to experience this show!

In her story in the NY Times about the exhibit -"Mapping a Birds-Eye View of Foreclosure Misery" - Patricia Cohen writes:

When it came to representing the sprawling nature of the foreclosure crisis in New York City, the artist Damon Rich figured out that the best thing to do was to shrink it down to size.

And so he used the 9,335-square-foot Panorama of the City of New York, the intricate architectural model built for the 1964 World’s Fair, and hundreds of neon-pink triangles to demonstrate just how the city has been marked by economic troubles.

Each plastic triangle represents a block where there have been three or more home foreclosures. Visitors on the balcony walkway that surrounds the Panorama, at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, can see in a single glance precisely where subprime lenders wreaked the most havoc.

Hundreds of these pink stigmata cover Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East New York and Canarsie in Brooklyn like an invading army. In Queens most markers are camped out in Ozone Park and Cambria Heights, as well as in parts of Jamaica and Corona. As for Manhattan, there are precisely two.

This mapping of the 45-year-old Panorama is part of a larger exhibition about housing, in which politics intersects with art.

“I hope that my work operates on a principle of opening up a set of issues for exploration,” Mr. Rich said.

Titled “Red Lines Crisis Housing Learning Center,” the show includes photographs, models, drawings and sculptural installations — like a large, three-dimensional wooden graph of interest rates over the past 70 years — that offer an explanation of how the private housing market works, beginning with the federal government’s involvement during the Depression.

Quite an ambitious exhibit. If anyone has seen it, will you share your experience with us here? And if you plan to see it, please report back!

The exhibit runs through September 27, 2009

-Queens Museum of Art

-Red Lines Housing Crisis Learning Center - Facebook Page

-Mapping a Bird's Eye View of Foreclosure Misery - The New York Times

-Foreclosure Art- Curbed.com

LITTOF Readers... if you come across any 'foreclosure art' or have created any yourself, please share with us. I'd love to see more.

Thanks!

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