For MT’s 25th anniversary, our request to area artists was simple: "Just make something that has something to do with Metro Times." Sure, we expected a few political statements and a whole lot of booty. But our artists really surprised us.
There are simple explanations to the art you’ll see on these pages, like Gwen Joy’s justification for painting a girl wearing pasties and little else: "It’s about the entertainment business." However, we didn’t expect to be amused, confused and, occasionally, sort of frightened.
Kylie Lockwood’s uncanny lifelike mold of a hairless baby bunny wrapped in a blanket of newspaper freaked out nearly everybody in the MT office (although one wanted to eat it). Lockwood says the idea came to her when she began thinking about the paper’s uses after it served its intended purpose. That’s when she remembered the time her cat gave birth on newspaper. "The liquids mixed with the dyes and made it interesting visually."
There are a couple of depictions here that convey obscure ideas, such as Miroslav Cukovic’s poster of the Cyrillic alphabet. Cukovic’s says: "The whole idea came from a story by a Serbian author, Borislav Pekic, called New Jerusalem. It takes place in 2999 when verbal language has no use and where life is the ultimate and only form of art. The Cyrillic alphabet was described as [the French "father of Egyptology" Jean-Francois] Champollion’s attempt at deciphering hieroglyphs. So by having it printed in a newspaper, which inevitably deteriorates, my poster will slowly yellow along with the language on it."
But what surprised us most was the generosity of the artists, who agreed enthusiastically to donate their works to a Metro Times silent auction at our anniversary party Friday, Oct. 21, at Fifth Avenue in downtown Detroit. The proceeds from the sale go to a downtown Detroit soup kitchen to feed folks during the holidays. A big "thank you" to all the participating artists, who not only delighted us with their unique talents, but proved once again that making art in Detroit is still about creating a sense of community.
We'd also like to thank Elliot Earls, head of Cranbrook's graphic design department, whose flipped-out fonts, "Jigsaw" and Venus Dioxide," are used throughout this issue.
Jerome Feretti Rebecca Mazzei is Metro Times arts editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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