February 21 – April 6, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
ClampArt is proud to present “John Bailly: Place of Mind.” The mixed media works in the “Place of Mind” series are the result of Bailly’s collaboration with critically acclaimed Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco (whom President Barack Obama recently named inaugural poet, following in the footsteps of such luminary writers as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou). The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the University of Maine Museum of Art (UMMA), where larger paintings and other works on paper from the “Place of Mind” series will be on display from April 5 – June 8, 2013. (The UMMA show, coordinated by Director and Curator, George Kinghorn, will travel, and is available for immediate bookings.)
The artworks composing “Place of Mind” include maps of various cities, figurative elements, random images, and hand-drawn text that are visual responses to Blanco’s poems. The collaboration between Bailly and Blanco explores the traditional parameters of the text-to-image relationship. Rather than having text describe image or image illustrate text, Bailly’s artworks and Blanco’s poems juxtapose each other in an indirect manner. Often subtle, sometimes vague, and rarely obvious, the relationship between the paintings and poems are for the audience to deduce. Addressing issues of self-reflection and cultural identity in their work, Bailly and Blanco aim to send the audience on their own journey while contemplating the meanings of the works.
Carlos Suarez de Jesus writes: “When two worlds collide, mayhem or genius can ensue. Consider the freestyle fellowship that has developed between painter John Bailly and poet Richard Blanco, and the latter rings true. . . The gang of two has spun what might be read as dynamic visual diaries by engaging in a conversational collaborative process, which allowed the raw intensity of their personal dramas and musings on history to flow.”
John Bailly was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire in 1968, of a French father and an American mother. He was raised in Paris, Aix-les-Bains, Long Island, Lyon, and Miami. He received his MFA from Yale University in 1993 and is a Fellow of the Honors College at Florida International University.