Jen Bekman Artist to Watch: Megan Whitmarsh


Image credit: Color Work Station by Megan Whitmarsh

Twice a month, Sara Distin from Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. contributes a post to Flavorwire about an artist or photographer. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. includes Jen Bekman Gallery, 20×200 and Hey, Hot Shot! (If you’re an emerging photographer visit Hey, Hot Shot! now ’cause the competition is open!)

One of the best and worst things about spring: the irrepressible urge to clean. Spring cleaning does not amount to dusting alone, it’s purging and organizing. It is, as artist Megan Whitmarsh would say, dealing with The Fucking Crap of Life. Whitmarsh’s show of the same name just closed at New Image Art in L.A. but you can still see (and acquire) some of her work on 20×200.

Megan’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures are about all of the stuff that clutters our personal and collective cultural past and present. Her work often includes the good: Star Wars, The Muppets, yetis, and punk rock; the bad: My Dear Diary, cassette tapes, and your favorite outfit from 1992; and the ugly: cubicles, disposed tires and other trash.

Somehow, maybe by making everything so small, she makes it all seem manageable, and more so even, merry. She even reconciles that art is often included in the list of things that we buy, and (hopefully, but not always) treasure, she writes:

In the end I must resign myself to the fact that I have just added more crap to the world, but this seems an inevitable part of being an artist and a human. I try to remain optimistic. I like art that is generous in spirit and amateurish, art that inspires rather than intimidates… I consider art a practice of transformation. We cannot expect to make new energy; instead we must reinvent, recycle, and transform what exists already. Making art is my attempt to synthesize my optimistic vision of the future with my pragmatic appraisal of the world I inhabit.

Kanye’s a fan of Megan’s soft sculptures, but I’m going to stick with her prints. They take up less space. Since too many prints is never a bad thing, sign up for the 20×200 newsletter for a twice-weekly dose of new work.

– Sara Distin