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June 30, 2006

Art Image of the Week by Kelley Walker

TGIF!! Which also means, time for our next Image of the week! First, Thanks to all the wise and thoughtful readers who shared their views on the Ryan McGinness painting last week. I was frankly surprised, given his popularity and museum credits, at the high percentage of commentators who totally trashed didn't appreciate Ryan's work.

Kelley_walker_disaster2 This week, I choose an image from 2006 Whitney Biennial Artist, Kelley Walker. The image is titled "Disaster 2" 2001. It's a digital image CD Rom and print on Canvas 7 by 9 feet.

He started with an Anti-capitalist poster of a road collapse, where then he's filled the water regions with neon acid looking orange, giving us a somewhat apocalyptic image.

Much of Kelley's work has involved steeling appropriation of commercial and mass media images, but then he's twisting their meaning with his own not so subtle messages. Last year, he was voted one of the Top Ten "Greater New York" Show Artist Most likely to succeed by New York Magazine.

For additional information on artist Kelley Walker and this specific image, also check out this very helpful site by the Saatchi Gallery. Also, here's a review by the always brilliant Jerry Saltz of Kelley's March 06 show.

So what do you think about this image and Kelley Walkers work?

  • "The Warhol" of the new millennium or just another copy cat artist riding the coattails of other masters?
  • A powerful brilliant hybrid work of art & photography, or a seen that, done by everybody work?
  • A great new media artist or sensationalized clumsy digital/photoshop print maker?
  • Just another Biennial trash flash in the pan, or a provocative artist to be collected?
  • A fresh new thought provoking artwork, or a common slick commercial like media ad image?

So?  Two Thumbs up to down?? All comments welcome!

Stay tuned.. The Next post will be the July MAO ART Quiz... FYI.. It may be a bit late due to a badly needed 4th of July mental vacation break..and plus.. I have not figured it out yet!


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it's def a purty fotoshop image, but i'd rather swoon over a gorge burtynsky.

Great Image, and Important Artist.

Kelley Walker.. is a breakthrough artist of the Digital Age.

He will be one of the 3 or 4 artists we look back on in the years 2050+ and say.. he was a visionary for a changing media, much in the same way we now talk about William Eggleston, and Stephen Shore for their color photography.


slick edgy image + consensus anti-republican values = $uCCe$$

there is nothing new here. how will it look in 100 years?

aside to aj: you speak with a sense of authority and conviction, may i ask, wherefore?

I like the image well enough: hot color, islands, little people and vehicles, like a train set... what more could you ask for? At least he's not using civil rights-era strife to give his work some heft.

My rule of thumb is that if I could think of it/do it myself, I pass. That strategy doesn't always work out for me in the long run, but it keeps me from tormenting myself with questions like the one you posed.

While I'm somewhat a fan ofr Kelley Walker, I didn't like this image.

It's just too simple and easy to create. Even the social message is just too direct without much original thought. See that done by any and everyone.

Two big Thumbs Down!

SO where's the QUIZ??

It's large, vivid, vaguely political, utterly without subtlety and with a crass and overbearing visual logic. He will probably be successful, but these are not images that will stand the test of time. Buy now, sell in 3 - 5 years. You might make enough to buy an Egglestone, but I doubt it.

Hate this image.. Flat and Dull.

I saw the Walker work at the Whitney.. was unimpressed.
Not an artist to be collected.. will be one of the first artist forgotten from the 2006 WhiBi!

Sill MAO ever post again??? We are waiting...

...at least it's not figuration.

hey mike, did ya fall asleep on the keyboard? what happened to the art quiz?
message to ash: the idea of buying art with the hope of trading up after its value inflates... have you done this before? seems dicey, at best, unless you have the power of saatchi behind you.

Oh, God! I'm so sick and tired of all these supposed "cutting edge" artists doing such lame stuff. This piece sucks! A high school vegan leftie from Walnut Creek could have done it.

All of these American political artists just cater to the politically correct, none of them have balls or imagination. This is the real sadness of this free market, consumer culture: the self-denial mixed with the anything-goes aesthetic which, uh, sorry no cigar, is no aesthetic at all.

My questions to these types of new artists is this: can they draw? I have a sneaky suspicion these asswipes couldn't draw even a still-life apple if their life depended on it.

Fuck modern art! It's for the yuppies!

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