Friday, June 17, 2011

Continuous Discovery: Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art
Paper Bags, Chris Jordan
I live nearly 2 miles from the Nevada Museum of Art. Since I have lived in Reno I have only visited four times despite passing it every day on my way to school and work. Every visit has been fantastic and makes me wonder why don’t I come here more?.  I have seen impressionists such as Cassatt and Monet, van Gogh, Rembrandt, and most recently an exhibit for ancient Egypt artifacts. Each exhibit that I have seen has been accompanied by at least one other equally excellent exhibit. After visiting the beautiful Egyptian gallery, I nearly missed Chris Jordan’s Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait collection. These images of his work are from the museum’s site and they do not do the art justice. I don’t think that this is art that can be translated digitally and is, for obvious reasons best seen in person. This collection is an extraordinary display of consumerism and excess since each piece is an intricate collage of thousands of pictures of items representing the scale of waste in society. For example, the piece shown, "Paper Bags", almost resembles trees from a distance but is constructed entirely from stacks of 1.4 million paper bags, the number used in the US every hour. Another piece called "Cans Seurat" is a reproduction of "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat; this piece is comprised of 106,000 images of aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds. If you can, see this collection in person, until then: