On Thursday evening, Red Bull House of Art opened its doors at the E&B Brewery in Detroit, displaying the works of eight young artists.
The Red Bull House of Art in Detroit launched its first exhibition last Thursday at the E&B Brewery in the city's Eastern Market district. The cavernous underground space, which was once a prohibition-era drinking den, had been transformed from a raw studio environment into a well-lit gallery featuring the work of eight artists.
In just eight weeks, each artist had created an entire body of work for the exhibition. The final touches were made on some of the pieces just a few hours before the opening.
“It’s supposed to represent a variety of different artists and mediums,” said Matt Eaton, who curated the show. “I’m curating personalities, people who are passionate about what they do and the process. I think it turned out being a diplomatic broad selection of work without forcing my taste.”
Guests peered at Matt Gordon’s gothic watercolour and acrylic paintings and discussed The Star Project by Frank Jonas, in which 69 sets of aerosol stars were hung on the wall, each one slightly different.
The youngest artist, 23-year-old Ben Saginaw, produced monochromatic sumi-ink pieces etched with a quill pen. His subjects, the faces of criminals, were juxtaposed against his other work – oil paintings of amorphous monsters. It was Saginaw’s first attempt at working with oil, a material, he told us, that was previously beyond his budget.
As part of the House of Art project, Red Bull provides artists with all of their materials. “I used oil because I had no limits," said Saginaw. "It’s the kind of imagery I wouldn’t normally attack, a new medium. I’ve always enjoyed having everything in a piece be of quality. I like everything to be hands on and intimate, to have my hand in it."
Another artist, Crystal Vinson, shared Saginaw’s experimental approach. “I had no expectations. I had the space and funds to take a risk, so that’s what I did,” she said. Vinson worked with photography and encaustic paint in soft and dreamy yellow and blue hues. “I found out a lot about encaustic paint, which I now love.”
Red Bull House of Art will be open 10am-3pm from May 24-28. Following its opening weekend, the gallery will be open every Saturday 10am-3pm. For the next three years, a new group of eight artists will take over the studio cubes and commence work every eight to 10 weeks.
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