How do you judge art? How do you determine what has meaning and what is pointless dribble? To some, you can take random every day objects and make creations out of nothing more than some fabric, magazine cutouts and random bits.
At College of the Canyons, the Art Gallery is featuring the collage works of artist, filmaker and musician Bob Neuwirth.
Neuwirth, who has toured with music legends like Bob Dylan, has been creating art since he was twelve years old. The collages on display at the Art Gallery reflect that inner child that Bob has kept kindled over the years.
“I have known this artist for many years through his music,” says Raoul Florez, a COC student.”I saw this show earlier in the week and I had wanted to meet the artist….it’s an amazing show, very childlike, very innocent….it’s [a] great use of graphics and color.”
But when you think about collages, you normally imagine pretty photos and collections of work. But with Bob’s work, you get a sense of creativity without an inner censor, which leads to some colorful and odd displays of work.
And according to College of the Canyons teacher, Michael McCaffery, this is not a very unusual way of making a collage.
“They [collages] started historically more as an early 20th century form of relative abstraction,” says McCaffery, “So the cubists famously used collage in their work. And they started out by using paper ephemera like newspaper [and] magazine clippings, stuff with text in it…that kinda thing.”
To really give an inside look into Bob’s process, there is only one way to get the most insight – with the artist himself – who paid a visit to the COC Art Gallery in early February; stopping by the school to mingle with teachers, students and art fans alike.
“There is a lot of randomness both my paintings and other visual endeavors,” Neuwirth said.
“Like collage or drawings […] I think it’s pretty much all the same stuff. You kinda take a visual or mental picture of something and you regurgitate it in some form….You just try to connect one human heart to another human heart; the medium is not really important I don’t think.”
Neuwirth’s work can be seen at the COC Art Gallery located on the first floor of Mentry Hall through March 3rd.