Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creative Growth @ Rachel Uffner Gallery

Art made by people who are “mentally, physically, and developmentally disabled.” As an artist, I am hoping that the majority of the artists in the show fall into the category of physically disabled, because Chuck Close is physically disabled (which doesn’t actually sound like the right term these days), and he has been able to make all kinds of impressive paintings. And clearly not being able to hear wouldn’t necessarily hurt your making of visual art. But man, the term “mentally and developmentally disabled” does seems to cast some serious doubt on anyone who has put value into an artistic intention in the academic sense of the word. Heck, it took me two viewings until I finally read the press release to realize it was not just a decent summer group show, with Maureen Clay’s papier-mâché rocks delicately painted with the speckled vibrancy of an alien egg and William Scott’s faux (but maybe actually) naive hipster paintings of celebrities that fall somewhere between fawning and critical. Either way, the disabled are putting a lot of abled folks to shame.

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