Wall works

Aug 3, 2005 at 12:00 am

In the 1950s, abstract expressionist Morris Louis became well-known for staining canvases in acrylic resin. His thin washes of color, showcasing the relatively new medium, are soothing representations, but now don’t seem so revolutionary. For the past few years, artist Christian Tedeschi has been pushing the medium further, getting gorier, drenching bulky objects in the stuff. One work, currently on view at Revolution Gallery, looks like God has blown a gust of snot on a piece of living room furniture.

Thanks to the nonprofit group Public Arts Project, Tedeschi has at least found more room outdoors. Tedeschi says that “Liberation” (pictured), his mural of blood-red dripped resin located on the north wall of Ferndale’s Revolution Gallery, imitates the pattern of an electrocardiogram.

“Liberation” is the first art work in nine months for the billboard project, which was initially organized by Revolution Gallery. For approximately the past five years, Public Arts Project has selected artists to create works on the 7-foot-by-23-foot wide mural space, offering a small stipend for materials and an otherwise huge payoff: the opportunity to create a large-scale art work that can be viewed daily by thousands of metro Detroiters. Due to lack of funding for rent and other maintenance fees, Public Arts Project handed over the space to the building’s landlord nine months ago. But when the owner realized the city of Ferndale would not let him lease the space for advertising, he generously gave it back to the group, this time, as a donation.

In considering artists’ proposals, PAP Director Darlene Carroll says, “We are interested in something that can generate discussion.” Tedeschi’s work has certainly done that. Local business owners say drivers-by have been circling the boulevard twice to get a second glance and some have even gotten out of their cars for a closer inspection.

Rebecca Mazzei is the arts editor for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected]