Monday, February 7, 2011

Michael Welsh, Where Are You Taking Me? 2010, Mixed medium sculpture (wood, found objects, foam, sugar) 40 x 18 x 15 inches.

Michael Welsh is an MFA Visual Studies candidate at Pacific Northwest College of Art, his art can usually be spotted in the back of the Feldman Gallery. It is easily recognizable, typically it includes bright colors, a mixture of found objects and words between heavily layered paint. It is clearly inspired by the Dada movement, Jean-Michelle Basquiat and the push for “conceptuality” in contemporary art. It is not clear whether in his work he is attempting to mimic the forefathers or debase their credibility. Either way, Michael Welsh current exhibition includes work that includes readymade sculptures, as well as paintings.
I found Where Are You Taking Me? to be particularly interesting. This is a mixed media sculpture, assembled from wood, found objects, foam and sugar. The first identifiable object in this piece happened to be a gray hooded sweatshirt, with a t-shirt that hints at being an Iron Maiden concert souvenir. This sculpture contains the surprising element of having melted foam dripped on top of the wooden torso, the white of the foam is shaped in the form of the missing head of the figure. His work is humorous, it is sprinkled with sugar on top. The main objective of the artist aims at being conceptual-based. The title of the sculpture, as well as the form, suggest a profound story, which is not revealed clearly. Overall, Walsh’s assemblage exhibits the attempt to question art, with his usage of unusual methods.
Yevgenia Tsveleva

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