Art Nerd City Guides: New York · Los Angeles

Go Ahead, Touch the Art

Last week Touch Me: I am Violent opened up at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar on Capitol Hill and the opening night crowd couldn’t keep their hands off of the art.  The show was filled with work that could be touched of course, as well as art that could be cut, painted, and even worn.  Needless to say, the crowd responded with great enthusiasm and throughout the evening’s opening there were shrieks of excitement as people discovered the experience of interacting with the art, a rare sensation indeed.

Knowing that the show was coming up, I started thinking about art that I enjoyed touching (as much as I can get away with).  This art is usually found at auctions where you can touch with complete abandon (shhhh!) , galleries (touch carefully and expect to buy if you mess it up), and of course your own collection where you have unrestricted rights to fondle to your heart’s content.

I also thought about art that I’d like to touch but can’t.  The Tiffany tankard at SAM comes to mind as does nearly any Rachel Denny piece, and of course those Lois Graham paintings at City Hall.  Oh textures are the best.

As for art that I wouldn’t want to touch; well I couldn’t think of anything off the top of my head.  When I asked SAM curator of modern art Catharina Manchanda what art she could think of that shouldn’t be touched, she enthusiastically replied “All art”.  Enough said.

When Art Nerd asked artist Tessa Hulls what else one would want to touch but shouldn’t she answered with another delightful comic.  Enjoy!


About the illustrator:

Tessa Hulls is a restless artist/writer/adventurer who collects creative mediums as some members of her gender collect shoes. She works as a painter, cartoonist, essayist, performance-slideshowist, drawer, instigator, interviewer, muralist, bike mechanic, saboteur, feminist, sociologist, cartographer, illustrator, and chef. She is a voracious reader, and frequently finds herself surrounded by poets.

When not frenetically project hopping in Seattle, Tessa enjoys traveling alone on her bicycle through remote landscapes, and testing the limits of her own capacity for isolation. She is spending the bulk of 2014 biking in Africa, then working in Denali National Park in Alaska. She is (very slowly) working on a non-fiction graphic novel about living in Antarctica.

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