Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Civil Faults: Nathan Lyons at the Tweed Student Show

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves." ~Shakespeare

Last night I attended the December edition of Tweevenings at the Tweed, in which Rob Leff, a member of the Tweed Board and personal art collector, spoke about the work of print maker and sculptor Dean Meeker. My review of this rich event will be shared sometime later this week.

Beforehand I visited briefly with Nathan Lyons in the corner gallery where the UMD student shows are exhibited. The title of Lyons' show is Civil Faults. The senior art student from Eagan will be graduating this spring,

What struck me is the emergence of a common theme in many of the student art shows that I have seen here and at the Tweed, young people grappling with identity and the meaning of who they are. Lyons' begins his artist statement with these remarks:

In a media saturated culture we are constantly shown how to be a perfect person. We are continually reminded to live our lives to be fictitious ideal individuals, rather than normal. The ceramic series (shown here) shows how we start off innocent, and over time are willing to sacrifice more of our selves in order to achieve this esoteric status. What is left is an unrecognizable person from what we were originally.

In today’s society we are told not to talk about our flaws, to hide our weaknesses and keep them private while glorifying achievements and successes. The stress of reaching such an unattainable status only amplifies our burdens.

The sequence of ceramic raku skulls illustrates the concept, which essentially reveals the psychological damage produced by the real/ideal split in human personality formation, an underlying cause in neurosis.

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage.

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