This week’s gallery visit displayed different styles of art for any student. Pieces ranged from the realistic, to the abstract, with some in-between. Some paintings expressed abstract creatures, others were more realistic nature scenes, some canvases hung with colored paint mixed on them, some even were more like 3D collages. Despite the amazing art on the walls it was Maryann Gonzalez’s paintings “Full Circle” and “Detroit” that captivated me. Their realistic depictions represented deeper meaning and current day issue many people are blind to.
The first piece “Detroit” was a scene that accurately depicted some parts of Detroit. A mesh of pipes, construction, worn down buildings and graffiti accurately depicted a city that is trying to overcome hard times. Detroit is a city that has had hard times, and has the battle scares to show it. The pipes represent the city’s infrastructure. An outdated maze of pipes hidden beneath the city. Many of the problems with Detroit only have temporary fixes, represented in this piece by the tool stuck on the fire hydrant. Detroit is a city with many bare structures, shown by the half built building. Detroit houses many historical building that were not kept up and have been demolished. In the foreground of this painting we see a historical home that is clinging on for its life. Lastly the painting shows graffiti, Detroit being the urban city it is has a large graffiti culture that shows throughout the city.
The second piece “Full Circle” makes a statement that is true in city’s that are rapidly growing. We see a more rural area being invaded by construction equipment. The city, once miles away is now expanding into its rural areas. In the painting we see more pipes, this time they are being laid in the ground, while a monster stack of pipes are ready to be installed. A peaceful country home once surrounded by trees is now just feet away from the activity. Dump trucks build a road while the once forest is practically non-existent. This represents a problem that consumes much of our natural land. As populations grow so do our cities, often overtaking forests, nature preserves and private communities. This painting captures the city as a monster, a monster that is growing, consuming more and more land for its self. This painting opens your eyes to a problem in our country many people are blind to.
Both of these paintings are not only beautifully painted but contain important messages. The messages in these paintings force you to take a second to think. Both paintings touch on important issues in our society. “Detroit” focuses on many of the problems that give Detroit a bad name. “Full circle” shows how destructive the growth of cities can be to our natural land and people how choose to live outside of cities. I believe that in order to have true art, your art must have a message. Whether the message is easy or hard to understand their needs to be something for people to think about. Both of these pieces provide a lot to think about, not just when in the gallery but in daily life. I would be interested to see more pieces from Maryann Gonzalez. It’s always important when looking at art to try and think about the message, which is being presented to use by the artist.