Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tami-Lu Barry

Collage art is kind of like the acoustic guitar of the art wold. Everyone knows at least a few songs, but the special ones are those who develop a distinct and authentic voice with their instrument.

I recently came across the playful collages and paintings of Tami-Lu Barry at Downtown Books and News and was drawn to her energetic use of materials. If her work had a personality I would imagine it to be something like Marilyn Monroe's acting in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. At first glance the work seems kitschy and effusive, but it took smarts to make it that way.

Barry seems to be unapologetically self-referential, since her name is often incorporated into the work as a predominant design element. I appreciate that kind of chutzpah in art.

DBN also carries Barry's "Go Make Something" kits, which are nothing more than a bunch of random scraps of things packaged together, but done in such a way that you actually want to buy the kit and use it. Again, it took smarts to make such a simple concept so appealing.


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