Sometimes the only sign of spring we have in Minnesota is an event like Art in Bloom bringing the flowers to us – sunshine, rain or snow. This year the rain brought in the flowers. Every year the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MiA) invites florists, floral artists and floral enthusiasts to create flower arrangements to complement the works of art. It’s one of my favorite events of the year.
This year I learned a little more about the process. There is a lottery draw for the artists, top picks get their top picks for partner masterpiece. The lucky ones get what they want, the less lucky ones choose blindly – unless they know the whole collection. There were 160 blooming works of art. I think it’s interesting to see the ways that the blooming artists interact with the masterpieces – some mimic, some complement and some build off the ideal.
I was pleased to see a friend C.J. Renner in the show. We met him at Art in Bloom a few years ago; his work always strikes me. This year he and Pamela Clark worked on Alixa and Naima, a piece street artist Swoon did of fellow street artists who like her, use their art to spur social dialog. C.J and Pamela built upon that idea of social conversation and invited people to help create a growing floral arrangement by adding a flower with a social concern attached to it. It was just getting going on Friday night – but I love the idea.
A colorful floral arrangement near Morimura Yasumasa’s An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo caught my eye in and led me to the work that I hadn’t noticed before. The picture is a digitally altered photograph that shows the artist as Frida Kahlo – like Cindy Sherman’s work of photos of her depicting various characters, although it appears as if he uses more digital tools to enhance the portrait. The flowers (by Jerry Voci, Rene Peterson and Jim Voci) mirror the flowered hat in the picture.
Blooming artist Beverly Munson replicates Candlestand of a Crane on a Long-tailed Tortoise and does it in as many figurative brushstrokes as possible. It’s as if she were playing Pictionary with the flower and wanted to give you an impression in the fewest moves. The modern simplicity echoes the grace of the Japanese work from the 18th century.
It’s the lack of simplicity and rush of details and bright colors that drew me into Joan Hawks recreation of the Funerary Screen from the late 19th century. The imitation of the image is clear but the colors and materials give the replica such a different feel.