On a recent art expedition to Baltimore I went to the American Visionary Art Museum, a museum that is so bizarre it is impossible to describe. All I can say is that it is wacky, weird, but totally cool.
John Waters, an extremely talented filmmaker, once said, “I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore. You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.”
This quote could not fit The Visionary Museum more perfectly--and pretty much the rest of the city as well.
The Visionary Museum’s current exhibition, Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! is an exploration of the impact of new technologies on our life. AVAM's newest exhibition takes on its most complex subject yet: examining the rapid and ever-increasing impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, genetics, 3D printing and Big Data on nearly every aspect of human life.
This thought-provoking exhibit investigates technology's influence on issues of privacy and surveillance, employment and manufacturing, longevity and health, defense and warfare, farming and food, access to global and personal information, creative invention and entertainment.
This is high stakes, new territory never before negotiated by any prior civilization. Two visionary artists that made their mark on the exhibit of over forty artists were Candy Cummings and David Knopp.
Candy Cummings’ “Retrotech” sculptures transform obsolete technologies into art. The sculptures of melded objects look so futuristic that we are forced to rethink what we know about the past and reexamine the ideas of form and function.
For more on Candy Cummings click here
David Knopp is another sculptor who uses plywood as his medium and constructs extremely fluid, organic shapes. In his artists statement Knopp describes concepts behind his work, “a single drawn line can express gesture and movement, direction and depth on a flat surface. Over the years, I strived to convey these qualities in my drawings. Moving toward sculpture, I carried these disciplines to another dimension.” Knopp successfully constructs graceful pieces that feel very natural with the use of his plywood material.
To see more from David Knopp click here
Sometimes you need a little break from the place you are in order to refresh your perspective. I would highly encourage any art enthusiast to take the easy 45 minute train ride out of DC to explore the burgeoning modern art scene in Baltimore that may just turn your world a bit topsy turvy.
Information for a visit to the American Visionary Art Museum can be found here.
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