Having missed the opening to his first solo show, I wanted to be sure to catch Chris McCaw's artist talk at the Stephen Wirtz gallery.
[Art people are strange to me. I haven't yet learned to talk about art like ART, so there's a lot of dissonance when I wind up among them. Also, many hats and turtlenecks.]
Chris was great. He's managed to figure out that middle ground in which he can interact with the ART/art crowd and yet talk about his work in an approachable way. Because he's such a laid-back guy, I half expect for him to talk about how he just set up a camera and let the result be a surprise, or decided on a whim to do something. No. Chris is thoughtful and deliberate in what he's doing. He knows what he wants to create in his mind, thinks about execution, and has multiple backups in case something goes wrong. I suppose this makes sense; some of the works from this show took about 10 hours (one reflects a full 24-hour cycle), and with a limited amount of usable time, large mistakes are probably not easy recoveries. I've actually not seen any of his newer work up close; seeing the burns and discoloration in the paper in person is quite fascinating. Because it seems so tactile, you kind of want to touch it, except you know the entire thing would crack in half.
The show is up through December 22.