Jack Early has turned over a new leaf. Accused of racism in the early 1990s for an installation he created with then-partner Rob Pruitt (and recently recreated at the Tate Modern for their “Pop Life” exhibition), Early fell from grace, spent many years underground, and now has reemerged with a striking exhibition at Williamsburg’s Southfirst gallery.
In an age of DIY transformations, Etsy domination and artisanal homemade chocolates sold at hip flea markets, is CRAFT still a dirty word? Brooklynite Amy Shaw reflects on her years of experience in the field and thinks about the world of craft in general.
When I was growing up amidst potters, carpenters, artists and furniture makers in 1970/80s New Hampshire, the highlight of my summer was always the craft fairs my Mom organized. Running around with friends through the apple orchard, admiring the baskets and chairs and vases artisans displayed on their tables under the trees, feasting on handmade lollipops and bread and strawberry rhubarb pie — this was the essence of the good life to my young self, and I saved up money all summer to buy handmade stuffed animals and hand-printed stationary. This love stayed with me through college, where sections on the decorative arts were my favorite topic in art history classes. (Wherever that word went is another question.)