I went to see the Brian Doan and Linda King art show at Long Beach City College Art Museum on Wednesday. I was there at 3:15 PM. To my surprise the art apartment was locked up tighter than a liquor cabinet and an AA meeting. Art shows are the time for the artist to shine. It’s very frustrating when a viewer takes the time out there day to go visit the gallery and only to find it closed. I think the question has to be asked, what does it say about the artist and the gallery? I’ve had many shows. I’ve always been present at the gallery or had someone representing me at the gallery during the galleries hours.
I found Linda King’s postcard mailer to be okay. I enjoy the qualities of the fluid paint textures. I find her choice of colors interesting. But without access to her statement. It was hard to understand is just position of solid colors in the background and the dynamic fluid motions of the fluid foreground. I did not understand the uninteresting font in relationship to the dynamic background.
On the other hand, Brian Doan was visually more interesting. The black and white draws me in. We are drawn in by the out of focus to the focus and back out of focus quality of the photograph. I am drawn to the texture of the string around the wrist and ornamentation on the clothes. I see that there is a cultural component of this image. Furthermore, the unnatural curvature of the fingers lead me to wonder if there’s more than just a cultural element to his images. I believe Brian Doan use of fonts is successful. The use of Cambodian American texts is successful.
For me personally. I think when comparing these two art show mailers I think Brian Doan is more successful than Linda King. They are both handled similarly with bleed printed images. Like most viewers are always attracted to images of color, but with the bulletin board full of colored images sometimes black and white standout and become more interesting. I think this is one of those cases. Brian’s image is simply stated but leave the viewer wanting to know more about his work. Linda’s is interesting, but I get the feeling that the postcard is said everything about her work. The choice of font and colors seem to be very similar. Linda’s font is a little larger and just slightly darker in value. Brian’s font is a little smaller and a lighter and value. Both use the same color and same font. Both use 3 lines of text in shape. I think Brian use of text is more successful. Using color text on black and white stands out better. The addition of Cambodian text serves the same purpose as the line in Linda’s text. Brian’s Cambodian text creates more visual interest than a simple line. The overall square shape of all of Brian’s text to shape ratio expresses a better understanding of texts in relationship to image. Linda’s choice of color and text placement may not be thought out well in the relationship to her image. She places her text in the negative space of the image. But, the text becomes under stated and even fades into the background. I believe if you’re going to put your name and information about your art on the front of a color image. It needs be bold and standout.
As an artist who created my own art show mailers and collected other art show mailers. I tend to either use full-size images of my artwork. Sometimes I will use full-size images with just the name of the show. For examples: “STEALING MY SOUL”, or “STEALING MY SOUL BACK”. Art show mailers can be a piece of art themselves. A lot of this can be very subjective. I receive mailers all the time and the ones that make it on my bulletin board or in my files are the ones that are visually more interesting.