Artists have a way of taking lackluster, commonplace things and turning them into gallant masterpieces. In creative hands limited spaces become endless, small ideas inflate into ingeniously crafted concepts, and the indifferent become the impassioned. This interest in turning over useless, inanimate scraps of household waste has consumed much of sculptor, Toney Feher’s, artistic energies.
UH’s Blaffer Art Museum exposition of sculptor Tony Feher currently awaits local art devotees. The exposition, started October 13th and ending March 31st, showcases a 20-year collection of Feher’s sculptures. The materials that comprise Feher’s work are the kind of stuff, again-stuff- you might nag your roommate’s about disposing of after a much needed grocery splurge: bottles, jars, packing paper, and bags mesh well to transfer Feher’s mental images from thoughts to visual art.
The lifeless trash that can be found in your local gutter takes on Feher’s own personality in its designated cause. Like many artists, art-making for Feher bleeds into habitual life. Various materials occupy space in the New Yorker’s apartment until a sculpting candidate is elected as an appropriate fit for one of Feher’s works in progress. While art can often mean manipulating raw materials until they vaguely resemble an abstract picture in the artist’s head, Feher strives for the raw material to maintain its original feeling. And in an art world bloating with praise of nihilistic doom, adjectives used to describe Feher’s work fall no where short of “cheerful” and “optimistic.” I know that gloom has its spot in life, therefore, its spot in art. However, we easily forget that rain waters flowers, conversation can lead to love, wrong turns save lives, and art gives creative people a way for others to understand- not only the artist’s hardships-but their happiness, as well.
Blaffer is displaying about 60 pieces of Feher’s art. Two of the pieces, “Enjoyed” and “Untitled” are a couple of the popular pieces of the exposition. “Enjoyed”, a square prism made up of 350 soda cans, tantalizes the visual senses with its warming, cerise color; while “Untiled”, a flat circle laid on the ground, comprised of dimes and red marbles, sets the eyes at ease.
Blaffer Art Museum is located at the UH main campus, on Cullen Blvd. All events and exhibitions that Blaffer hosts are free of charge.
For more information about Feher’s exhibition or any other Blaffer events, you can visit www.uh.edu/blaffer