Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Torch is a Surrealist, not an accountant, nor warrior

Local artist Andy Torch has decided upon a fragment of K. Curtis Lyle's poem “Nailed Seraphim” to use as the basis of his painting for the 2008 Poetry Scores Art Invitational:

He was an accountant not a warrior
They ruined his reputation and that was all he had

What will Andy make of that? Who knows? That's why we play the games. Ooops, World Series slip. I mean, that's why we wait for them to make the art.

But we can look at Andy's website , or reflect upon his past work, and imagine for ourselves. (Kicking, somewhat, into pregame analysis voice, here.) You know, Andy is a card-carrying Surrealist, so look for something out of the dream world. The ineluctable absurdity of the accountant. The irreducible arbitrariness of numbers. Or some shocking disjunction, some flagrant foul from the warrior's gruesome world puncturing the office grey of the accountant's cubicle.

Or some conversation between colors, like the piece he did for the 2007 Art Invitational dedicated to Stefene Russell's "Go South for Animal Index," which is showcased above. Andy also made a piece for the original 2006 "Blind Cat Black" Invitational, a strange and beautiful piece that now hangs on my dining room wall and is also reproduced on that there Torch Art site.

The assignment Andy and the other artists are up against: to make a new piece of art that responds to the poem (“Nailed Seraphim,” in this case) and is named after a verbatim scrap of language from the poem. The work will be displayed and positioned around the space, according to where in the poem the language chosen for the title of the artwork appears. This makes for a fascinating and perhaps unique curatorial experience, in that the poem itself basically hangs the show.

The language Andy chose is toward the end of the poem, so his painting will likely appear toward the end of the show. We already expect the Gene Harris sculpture "Nailed" will open the show, since that word, as the first word in the title, opens the poem.

The 2008 Poetry Scores Art Invitational will be held Friday, Nov. 21 at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, 3100 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, Mo.

All work will be sold on silent auction, with the artist setting the opening bid. It’s a one-night event, so the art will go home with someone on Nov. 21 or 22, and all accounts will be settled the night of the show.

Poetry Scores is a St. Louis-based arts organization that translates poetry into other media, including music, visual art, film, beer, food and experiences. For more information on the invitational, contact Chris King at brodog@hotmail.com or Robert Goetz at r_goetz@hotmail.com

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