HERE’S WHERE YA FIND IT!
Ever hear your friends or relatives from out of town say that thereâ€™s no culture in Atlanta? While itâ€™s true that Atlantaâ€™s arts community does not have a singular, centralized location â€“ our city boasts hundreds of award winning theatre companies, commercial galleries, brilliant dance troupes, legendary music venues and many, many incredible visual arts museums. As an employee of a museum I am immersed in Atlantaâ€™s cultural scene and have the privilege to work with the creative force that drives this cityâ€¦even if sometimes our citizens donâ€™t know it! So, with my first article for Pecan Pie Gazette I wanted to call your attention to local artists and galleries that you may not have heard about, but you should.
John Tindel and Michi are TindelMichi and they are one of Atlantaâ€™s most prolific collaborative art teams. Referring to themselves as â€œTwo fat southern boys that paintâ€ TindelMichi combine street influenced graffiti with southern iconography like monster trucks and roosters. Their canvases, prints and limited edition toys reference advertising, folk and pop art and rural culture. TindelMichi claim, â€œ[we] will always merge the look and taste of the old south with the new south’s urban fascination. It will always be FRESH. We want to explore our complex simplicity and the idea of Southern Hospitality. While asking why other regions fall short to the south’s kindness, our deep involvement with family and ritual, the local tradition, and pulling together to make things work? As a region, this is who we are and what we do, as artists this is TindelMichi.
John Tindel had a touching solo show, Happy Baby at the upstart Beep Beep Gallery celebrating the birth of his son and exploring the disorienting, radical and ultimately wonderful changes that the little bundle of joy has had on Tindelâ€™s creative output. The show presented an interesting contrast between Tindelâ€™s Basquiat inspired canvases and baby-friendly fluffy bunnies and candy colored graphics. From the great turnout on opening night and the nearly sold out gallery, it seems that Tindelâ€™s Happy Baby party was a hit!
Back as a team, TindelMichi are at it again with La Calaveras Pop at Foundation One Studios. This show examines our fascination with the skull. Last summer a local t-shirt designer told me that the handgun was the new skull in fashion. Well, TindelMichi arenâ€™t buying it. For the duo, the skull is much more than a passing trend. In their new show TindelMichi claim that,
â€œBound by mortality, the human skull has been the mark of pirates and toxins warning of danger. It is the mark of secret societies and punks everywhere. They have adorned the facades of buildings and the artist’s canvas as well. Skulls are at home in tattoo culture and evoke ideas about life and death. What once stood as the icon for misfits in defiance of our culture has now become a commercial success and highly marketable pop icon to our modern day badasses in shopping malls everywhere. While skull imagery once represented evil, danger and perhaps the nemesis of pop culture, death’s head has evolved into a consumable product to contemporary youth culture.For example MTV’s Jackass logo, a skull and crutches mimicking cross bones, laughing in the face of danger. From t shirts to underwear, designer toys and gallery walls La Calaveras is present. Is the skull still the same dark icon that it once was, or has its constant appearance on the market placed it in the ranks for a new pop image makeover?â€
So, youâ€™re saying to yourself that youâ€™ve never heard of Foundation One Studios or Beep Beep Gallery. Youâ€™re thinking that thereâ€™s no way to keep track of all of the cool arts venues in this crazy city. Well, you can. Atlanta has a wonderful tool in AtlantaPlanIT.com. This site is maintained by the Metro Atlanta Arts & Culture Coalition and even has a Free Membership program. If you join you get a weekly email with incredible discounts and offers for theater productions, concerts and much more! In the meantime, just know that thereâ€™s something funky and cool happening every day & night in our fair city and if you donâ€™t know where to goâ€¦.youâ€™re not looking hard enough!