Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Each June Milwaukee is home to a premiere juried art festival featuring the work of over 170 local, regional, and national artists.  The festival is held at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  My wife and I go every year and usually wind up buying something.  This year was no different.

As soon as we got to the festival, I realized that I should have brought my camera.  We had gone Saturday morning and after we returned home I decided to return with my camera in the afternoon to take a few photos. I didn't feel comfortable taking photos of the art at the artists' booths.  I think that would be inappropriate, since in a sense I would be "taking" an aspect of their art.  However, the festival includes a large open space outside of the booth area in which there were sculptures by a number of the artists, as well as other activities intended to draw visitors, and that is where I spent my time.

The first shot I got was of the linear series of fountains in front of the Calatrava addition to the museum.  I have taken this shot any number of times, but this time I noticed a little girl who was busy balancing on the small concrete border to the fountain.  At first I thought I would wait until she had finished, but then I realized that she could be the real subject of the shot.  Her bright pink skirt and shoes helped to make the shot.

The festival also featured a juggler and mime.

When I took these shots I was not paying much attention to the camera's aperture setting and I could have done a little better job of reducing background clutter by opening up the aperture.  Even so, despite the clutter, I was happy enough with the expressiveness I caught in the face of the mime.  I could have cropped the shot down to his face, but I thought his posture was also important to the shots.

As long as I am dealing with activities, one such was sand sculpturing sponsored by the Kalahari resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Pretty impressive, really.

OK, on to the art.  The first is of a couple of abstract pieces.

Here I wanted to feature some of the detail in the foreground piece and to keep the background piece out of focus, simply as a marker of context.

This next is of a small portion of a ceramic piece that I liked simply for the interplay of colors.

But the real stars of this area, at least in my mind, were some "human" sculptures.  This first series was, I believe, all by the same individual, who obviously had an unusual, even surreal, artistic sensibility.

Was this guy's "beak" strapped on or organic?  And what happened to his right arm?

And there is the hint of the zombie in the above character.  A full shot of the above piece would reveal that the figure appears to be wearing a canoe.

And then there is the following sculpture of a figure of many faces.

I wasn't sure how best to capture this piece and finally took a shot that featured just a portion of his face(s).

I thought this also made an interesting black & white.  This matches one of my favorite motifs: the intelligible abstract.

Finally, here is a shot of another sculpture of a face by an artist with a completely different sensibility.  I tried capturing this from a number of different angles, finally deciding on a close-up that I converted to a black & white.


1 comment:

  1. I love the man with many faces, especially the Black and white. Great pictures