Is it art? This artist just wants you to have an opinion about it. Written by Lam Nguyen Photography by Daniel Garcia
I want to break it down to the simplest element of what I think an experience in art should be.
This art show isn’t about art, at least not in the way that most of us expect. It isn’t a celebration of a particular medium or artistic movement. It isn’t ironic or satirical or rebellious. “Saying Things,” Eric Victorino’s first solo gallery show, is more about what it isn’t than what it is.
“I want to break it down to the simplest element of what I think an experience in art should be,” says Victorino. Art is about evocation. In its simplest form, art is about answering the question as to whether or not something is art at all. “You could be a really great artist, fill a room with your drawings and people could walk in, glance at them and dismiss them. I would rather try to make something that people are going to have an opinion about.”
Unlike most gallery shows, in which each piece more or less stands on its own, Victorino’s show will be much more about the experience. The installation itself feels like one continuous, flowing piece that frustrates as much as it exhilarates. “You walk in and you’ll be overwhelmed by it. Some people will think that it isn’t art; that it’s just shit and some people will think it’s a great statement. They’re both right.”
The show is a homage to process rather than form, determination rather than inspiration. All of the pieces were created during 2013, more than 160 in total, and remained one of the few constants during one of the most tumultuous years of Victorino’s life. “Wherever I’d end up, there was always a blank piece of paper and a cup full of Sharpies waiting for me.”
The show itself falls on his birthday, one that, according to Victorino, marks a unique turning point for him. “I’m feeling really optimistic about my life for the first time,” says Victorino. “It’s still really foreign, really strange. I feel like I’m not quite used to it.”
All in all, it will be hard to dismiss the sheer magnitude of this show and the diligence required to make it possible. Victorino has achieved something unique. He will force all who attend the show to question the motivations by which art is created and, indeed, whether or not what he has done can even be considered art.
Regardless of what your opinion may be of his work, it is hard to deny that Victorino has stirred the pot. Love it or hate it, at the very least, you’ll be amazed by it.
Victorino Gallery Show Opening Party
Jan. 3, 2014, 7-11 p.m.
30 N. Third Street, San Jose