Sunday, May 3, 2009

Save the Stones and Gather Moss: Ciao Birdie and Etsy

There is a shop in Portland on Mississippi Ave. called Flutter; Currently, it is home to a lovely installation of miniature moss gardens compiled by Barb, the artist behind Ciao Birdie (with a Wordpress and an Etsy following). These little beauties are spectacular. Yes, they are aesthetically pleasing, but the care and love that went into them are their major selling point. They elicit the same feeling that I get when I look at a little old man and his model train set (that guy who built a miniature landscape in his basement). There is just such an earnest outpouring of thoughtfulness into the placement of each rock and green clump, as if each terrarium was lovingly whispered to each day.

I am SO SO smitten with these Indie Arts and Crafts objects. Conceptually, you could say as much about one of these gardens as you could about a rotting cow head in a box of flies (you know the piece, don't you?), but the informal setting and mundane presentation underscore the soft spoken aspects of this new art genre. These pieces and the artists are quiet, content to find and stay in their niche and put out an excellent product. Philosophically, I think that there is something wise about that. It seems like a private pursuit of individual excellence and continual refinement is much more soulful than a push for fortune and branding.

So here is the question: Is Fine Art ready to redefine what an art piece, a gallery, and an artist look like?

1 comment:

  1. i'm trying to grow a moss garden right now... walking in the woods near my folks house in rural illinois, i found a mason jar with moss growing inside... i brought it home but it's not doing so great... here's hoping...