Old Las Vegas TV commercials projected on a star from the Stardust sign being captured on a smartphone.
“Disconnected: The Creation of an American Phenomenon” is Lee Cannarozzo deftly responding to being raised in Las Vegas through a set of installations at UNLV's Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery. It's summer story telling about growing up in the town of Paradise and being a young witness to the last of old Las Vegas, to feel the rumble of underground blasts and implosions, and to have local television be a Greek Chorus to unprecedented growth.
“An upbringing in Las Vegas is very unique,” Lee, 27, says. “It’s an experience that gives you a very interesting life perspective.”
As someone who also leads tours at The Neon Museum, his visual chronicles have a sophisticated panache.
Walking into the show, you are greeted with a boot. “Expansion” speaks to the city’s fast growth by presenting population stats on the gallery wall. Next to the data of years and numbers, a fiberglass foot with exposed metal sits on local desert sand. It’s one of a few body parts left of Fitzgerald's Mr. O' Lucky casino sign sculpture.
Las Vegas grew because Paradise had room for a faux reality aesthetic, which Lee acknowledges by showing the shape of unincorporated town that frames the Strip as a rich blue wall sculpture that hangs like a glowing monument.
Then there is "Growing Pains" that projects television footage from the late 1980s to early 90s on a battered star from the 188-feet high Stardust super pylon. It is a connection of fragmented memories from local television to a sign that Lee calls an “icon of commerce.”
“It was part of my upbringing, and part of my reality,’ says Lee, an UNLV undergrad majoring in art history, and now researching MFA programs that allows him to continue this practice.
“Disconnected” is a prototype for a self-imposed calling to find ways to mix curatorship with fine art. He says he wants to create “installation based work that deal with macro concepts of identity, society, and under represented historical issues."
Lee starts with home.
Lee Cannarozzo at Donna Beam Art Gallery
Disconnected: The Creation of an American Phenomenon
Through August 8
9am to 5pm
Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery
UNLV Alta Ham Fine Arts Building
Lance Smith at the Clark County resortation of his ZAP 7 art I Photo: PaintThisDesert
FIELD NOTES: The eradication and recovery of "Our Lady of Maryland Parkway," the ZAP 7 box by artist Lance Smith, changes the meaning of the piece. It is now a marker of a time when artists, and the civic community that enables art, rallied and supported public art when it was challenged. It also becomes a jumping off point to revisit text I first wrote for Clark County's ZAP 7 site map. Some will return original words that were edited for space. Others may touch on how the boxes have changed in meaning and representation.
"Our Lady of Maryland Parkway" before being painted over I Photo: Paint This Desert
REVISITED: The main set of images on these utility boxes are figures posed in reflection and guidance, a guardian watching over the walkers and drivers along and on Maryland Parkway. The blue-hooded figure, in front of the distant desert mountain range, shows street smart spiritual fellowship on a main road that functions as passage, and a vessel that creates memory of the every day. It was painted within a project designed to bring artist's colors to Maryland Parkway. It was painted over in beige, perhaps, because it represented color.
This week Las Vegas is expected to see the first wave of monsoon weather for the year, according to the National Weather Service. Carry on.
Justin Favela announced he is now part of Denver Art Museum's exhibition, "Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place." It opens February 19, 2017.
LATE ADD: Nevada Arts Council announced their FY17 Artist Fellowship recipients:
LITERARY ARTS FELLOWS are Laura Wetherington (Reno) Poetry; Eric Neuenfeldt (Reno) Fiction; Ann Keniston, Reeno) Poetry, and Brittany Bronson (Las Vegas) for Non-Fiction.
PERFORMING ARTS FELLOWS are Cynthia DuFault (Las Vegas) Choreography; Todd Green (Minden) Performance with Multi-instruments; Hans Halt (Reno) Performance with Bass; and Mykola Suk (Las Vegas) Performance with Piano.
FELLOWSHIP PROJECT GRANT goes to Stephan Caplan (Las Vegas).
ARTIST FELLOWSHIP HONORABLE MENTIONS: Brett Alters (Las Vegas) Performance for Theatre; Dawn-Michelle Baude (Las Vegas) for Non-Fiction; Michael Croft (Reno ) for Fiction; Jennifer Grim (Las Vegas) Performance with Flute; Dave Mulligan (Reno) Non-Fiction, and Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio (Reno) for Performance with Violin.
The Southern Utah Museum of Art opens July 7 I R-J
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art dropped Chicago as a museum site. It will be built in California I LATimes
'Photography’s Shifting Identity in an Insta-World' I NYTimes
Christo's “The Floating Piers" had so many visitors officials repairs are already needed I NYTimes
Leading UK art figures "reveal their shock, anger and revulsion at the vote to leave the EU" I The Guardian
ART21 "Exclusive" episode follows the fabrication of Martin Puryear's New York City public sculpture, "Big Bling."
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art summer show will not clean and paint walls to the purist of white. “Permanent Collection/Impermanent Museum” exhibits the traces of previous exhibitions by highlighting "the subtle places where a careful investigator can find small remembrances of the artworks and exhibitions installed, de-installed and re-installed within the museum’s walls and ruminate on the remnants of the exhibition process." SMOCA
Cuban-born Angeleno Adolfo Nodal was once the general manager of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs. He had more than 150 vintage neon signs restored in LA. He's now doing the same work in Cuba with contemporary artist Kadir López Nieves I Deborah Vankin of the LATimes reports from Havana.
Courtesy of Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot
"Yellowcake" is the name of uranium contamination and has presence at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Street artists Jetsonorama and Icy & Sot are creating street art, the rural kind, that speaks to it. More photographs, plus some art film clips at Brooklyn Street Art.
Bill Cunningham, the New York Times fashion photographer who covered New York City on a bicycle passed away at the age of 87 I LATimes + Jerry Saltz + NYTimes
Also, at Jerry Saltz's Facebook feed, someone suggested the city "should erect a statue of [Cunningham] at the corner of 57th & Fifth" . . .waking while taking a photograph. "I wish I'd have written that," writes the art critic.
Maceo Montoya, UC Davis Chicana/o Studies, professor, on a workshop that led to a mural for Sacramento's Cesear Chavez Intermediate elementary school.
When “Art in the Streets” was being organized by Jeffrey Deitch, Gastman, and Aaron Rose, for MOCA, they "ran into an institutional knowledge gap, one that can be traced to the art world’s historical dismissal of street art.." The article explores how that has changed in the last few years. - Artsy
Donna Beam Gallery
Through October 26, 2018
FOUNDER + WRITER
G. James Daichendt