“THE WE” Review by David Bryant
GARY KOTT’S THE WE AN EXHIBITION THAT IS NEARLY ABOUT US
There are seven and a half billion people on earth. Gary Kott has chosen thirty-six
of them for his new installation, THE WE. Actually, these are some uncounted
people. Here are lives, which he has unified by placing them together in an art
exhibit like no other. To begin, this piece is composed of the stark beauty of handpainted
legal pad sheets, three dozen of them, each glowing in a nearly black space
in his “warehouse.” In an industrial park. In Cathedral City, California. Then it gets
more complicated. Gary calls THE WE “a matrix of observers, microscopic,
undetected, that are inside every human being…” Most of us don’t know about that.
Gary had successful years in advertising, then writing for television, and now he
resides at a comfortable convergence of time and devotion to duty – trusting his
creativity in his unpredictable art. He seems to surprise himself. He keeps up the
pace every morning beginning early in a solitary task in his studio – making things
that nobody has ever made before. That could be his definition of his art but you
better ask him. He is productive and relentless.
THE WE may be a test these thirty-six disparate, invented people
did not know they were taking, a test of lives observed. Some did very poorly. But
Gary writes THE WE are watching us and his thirty –six from inside out and
revealing the lives on display in this highly original gallery of people, no longer
anonymous, people. Most important, Gary Kott has literally invented thirty- six strangers in an
oddly beautiful gallery turned showroom of life’s possibilities. This is a floating world
of words in a stunningly dark but perfectly lit exhibit where all the eye can see are
yellow panels. He calls it all THE WE. He does not help us know who THE WE are
hiding inside us to observe, but he confirms that life is an obstacle course of
emotions and dare I say, fate. Gary invites us into a room like no other, separate
from our daily reality but full of the bits and pieces of other lives we see every day.
He lets us meet thirty-six people whom we have never known before. No small
creative feat in a dark “warehouse” in an industrial park in the California desert.
Sold — my painting “Veer” on opening night of the two-month showing at UCR of the Palm Springs Art Museum Artists Council exhibition.
Sold — found object guitars to two very happy, rocking collectors.
Sold — three 8 x 8 inch and one 12 x 12 inch metal prints of large paintings to two separte collectors plus the Mom of one.
Sold — fun, found object “antique sewing machine” to a collector that previously bought an “antique typewriter.”
Sold — four 10 x 20 metal prints of large triptychs to a wonderful collector.