It’s all SAFE, very very SAFE art at the Plaza this year aka art without issues.

Ah it was  a very nice night for investigating what the Plaza Art in Kansas City has to offer–besides lots of libations and stomach temptations.  Unless you’re deep into pretty home decor it’s pretty boring all told. Well there is plenty of decorative art of all sorts: beautiful glass work, technically solid photography, interesting but uncomfortable looking furniture. Plenty of SAFE art  that will get “Oh pretty pretty!” from newcomers to one’s home. Nothing that will spark any conversation about meaning or issues.  The 2010 Plaza Art fair is absolutely devoid of any socially/politically/culturally relevant Art. With one exception–the linocuts and woodcuts of Kreg Yingst. Yep, that’s his work at the top of this post. Click on Monk and you’ll venture into his online galleries. Had a little chat with the artist who apparently was unaware of where to find the only Blues and Jazz on Kansas City’s radio waves. He seemed very unaware that his main target market tunes into the radio station broadcasting at the corner of 39th and Main.  If he had been aware he might have marketed accordingly–or not. Still the Blues and Jazz fans who find their way into his booth will be happy to discover some Art with real connections to something meaningful in their lives. Yingst’s work is visually intriguing and vibrant. I like his 3D collage-like pieces with Scrabble tiles for words/names/titles.  I thoroughly enjoyed his musically themed subject matter– and the music he had playing to accompany his visual work.

Now if you’re in the market for some Art that is “not simply for art’s sake”–get yourself to the Gao Brothers’ Exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Yes, the Brothers Gao set a high high bar–but it’s one worth reaching for in my opinion. It certainly does  not produce forgettable art.

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