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The Best Kind of Confused

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 · No Comments

I liked these drawings by Jaclyn Mednicov the minute I saw them. Their simplicity and grace speak for themselves, and the unruly interplay of order and chaos gives them depth. But truthfully I feel a little deceived and confused that I like these drawings.

Why is this? I’m the kind of person who turns squeamish at the thought of a world without human life. I really dislike the subject and avoid it as much as possible. Yet Mednicov’s series is based on this very subject. As Jaclyn states, “I observe as nature crawls its way to the surface of the sidewalks, train tracks, and brick walls that comprise New York City. Inspired by the imagery of my daily life, I create deserted landscapes…(that) serve as a witness to abandoned human activity.”

So here I am, totally digging these drawings, completely oblivious to the works’ subject matter which actually scares the crap out of me! This unsettling experience is at the essence of what good art can and should make us feel. We look at a piece of art and something feels familiar and something feels off. It throws us off-kilter and forces us to reckon that things are not quite how we thought they were. Great art makes us rethink our assumptions about everything, including those assumptions that lie beneath our consciousness.

Tags: Art · People

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