Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SeaTac Art - High Wire - Michael Fajans

The art at SeaTac International Airport (Seattle-Tacoma) has always been fun. Since so many flights out of Anchorage stop at SeaTac on the way to somewhere else, I’ve gotten to see it often. The video shows one I’ve always enjoyed, though I’m not sure why it’s titled High Wire. It’s in Terminal B.

[Update: June 29, 2009 - From a 2004 paper on Michael Fajans:

Similarly, Fajans most well-known mural, High Wire, uses a repeated image to evoke a core concept embodied by the space it inhabits. Displayed along Concourse D of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, High Wire is a one-hundred-eighty foot long explication of a vaudeville magic act that uses multiple appearances and manipulations of a large, decorated box by a magician and his assistant to celebrate our disappearances and reappearances during plane flight. Fajans could very easily use his mastery of representational technique to churn out pop visual quips or variations on the surrealistic still life, but he has never shown any interest in manipulating objective reality in this way. His career-long preoccupation has been with humanity and human character made accessible through carefully painted facial expressions and gestures with complementary extensions and backgrounds, sometimes involving very carefully
and realistically painted objects, other times employing the techniques of minimalist abstraction.

Though he does not paint portraits per se, he almost always paints people, and the figural paintings he has created over the years involving one, two or more figures record a remarkable collection of objects as well: a crushed and smoldering cigarette, a zebra-striped vinyl purse strap, a map laid out on the hood of a car, sunglasses, a bathing suit, an inflatable plastic headrest or, quite richly, an extensive catalogue of beautifully realized and recognizable fabrics and hair style.

And here's more from a Seattle Post Intelligencer 2006 article about High Wire.

He died in a motorcycle accident at age 58 in 2006 in Seattle.]

There was another great little exhibit - about 15 pictures of Ranier Valley immigrants. The photos were compelling as were the short biographies. Here are a couple. The exhibit shows how immigrants add so much richness to our culture and why it's a good thing the Assembly voted Tuesday against having the police intimidating people who might possibly be illegal immigrants

But, Anchorage’s airport has free wifi, but in SeaTac if you aren’t already part of ATT you have to pay. So this will wait til I get to LA.

1 comment:

  1. I had a pen pal in Yugoslavia until that war broke out. She was my age and she was in Belgrad. Dr. Feldman , the greatest anthropology professor EVER had told us that Communism has a hold on the area and that if it ever lifted that they'd go at each other. I laughed at him-- the one thing that I ever disagreed with him on. i had a friend there-- she said that people were people, that they were all friends and didn't see each other like that. Sigh. People were people. I still wonder about her.

    I've not heard of illegals causing problems up here. There is no need for it.


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