Bailey Russel pays attention

There are many artists I admire. Most I hope to never emulate. I can appreciate masterworks born out of confusion and chaos. I enjoy art that is thought provoking, angry, disruptive, honest. But do I want live in an angry fog myself? Not particularly. And does that mood typically inspire me artistically, or nurture me to birth a creative piece? No.

Last night, imagine my “aha!” moment when I came around the angst-filled hallway corner and stepped into this small, seamless exhibit in Shift; a collaborate studio downtown on S. Washington St. & 3rd.

Hello Bailey Russel.

With all the grace of seaweed waving effortlessly underwater, he showcases the everyday miracles falling all around us in Possession.

(I even love the simple display, paper hanging from clips on the wall)

Imagine now, these images are BIG. Each leaf is the size of a child.

Bailey says these beautiful enlargements of small and natural objects were inspired by the actions of a Judge in Cormac McCarthy's novel "Blood Meridian". I find that ironic, as supposedly the Judge was standing in for the Devil and would collect artifacts, sketch them, and destroy them. He did this to both posses them and erase their lives from the memory of mankind. Bailey seems to put them on a pedestal, drawing our attention to each microscopic detail, each hue. Instead of erasing the image, he has impressed me to the point of imprinting their delicacy in my mind.

(My sister-in-law, Alanna, at the exhibit last night before coming over for 7&7's)

Thank you, Bailey, for the reminder that it is worth paying attention. Period.

To the leaves on my windowsill:

(Seattle, 2010)

To the flaming red cab on the street last week (is that really a bullethole?)

(Georgetown, 2010)

To the most important things in life.

(A photo of a billboard The Non-Scotsman couldn't get over on our trip to New Zealand, 2008)

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