Written by Michael Goldstein for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Noel Donaldson
5 out of 5 stars
THE ART OF NOEL DONALDSON
NEW YORK, NY (December 4, 2015) When was the last time you had a Pabst Blue Ribbon in a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition? If you’ve gone to the Brouwerij Lane bar in Brooklyn recently, you might be able to replicate the experience thanks to the efforts of multimedia artist Noel Donaldson, who started a showcase of his work at the bar as of December 3rd.
When you walk in, the first thing that may catch your eye is the myriad collage Donaldson has placed all over the bar. Within their frames are magazine cutouts and pictures ranging from the fictional to the televised to the heroic to the realistic. As you look at them, it becomes clear that there is no set theme for them. What you see is what you get. But as Donaldson explained to me, there was nothing in any of these collages that didn’t influence them. It wasn’t just random stuff; every cut-out and picture had a point. It’s fascinating and it certainly demonstrates an honest inner comfort to display every little thing from his life.
There were also two of his paintings, oil colors and sand impressively layered on paper and newspaper to represent brick walls. In many ways it reminds me of New York graffiti, different forms of paint layered on top of each other and somehow it manages to remain a cohesive construction.
The most interesting point about all of Donaldson’s portfolio is the absolute lack of titles, but I soon learned this was all intentional. As Donaldson explained, “I don’t want to give you any influence. I want you to make your own assumption and keep it to yourself. I don’t want to force an assumption on you. I want you to take away from the artwork what you want to take from it.”
At the conclusion of the evening, the result was that Donaldson turned my perceptions of what is offered at an art gallery out. Sometimes an artwork is just an work of art.