Yesterday, June 15th 2011, sunshine and music poured from the corner of Fulton Market and Aberdeen as the creative crème de la crème of the city descended upon the 4th annual ‘Guerilla Furniture and Art Truck Show’. There, amidst all the schmoozing and merry making, I found myself surrounded by artists bravely displaying their muses. As trucks lined up for blocks to reveal the artistic children that sprang to life with the opening of each cargo door, there were light fixture presentations, aspiring fashion designers, and wood workings, all of which were starkly different from one another but held the same unifying theme of beauty that is found within design.
As a first year attendee, I was thrust to the forefront as I assisted mixed media artist Matthew Lew, and from the start I was enchanted. With the center of his work inspired by the Mad Hatter from the children’s classic, ‘Alice and Wonderland’, his ‘Matt Hatter’ concept presented his new mixed media collection in a fresh and innovative way. Entering into his truck one could not help but feel that they had stepped into a scene from the book as enlarged playing cards covered the floor; fabrics draped from one end of the table to the other added a sense of bohemian rhapsody, while the tea table itself, with its colorful dining wear, made you feel giddy that the ‘Matt Hatter’ had invited you to play.
Then there was the art itself, shining through all the décor and fun aesthetics to reveal a wonderful collection; there was the gorilla holding what appeared to be a designer bag, the panda shielding his eyes behind 3-d glasses and eating popcorn. The owls looked stylish in there matching bowties, whereas the camel opted for a boulder hat; and the poised rhino deflecting rain with his outstretched umbrella. The imagery found from Lews artwork echoed the sentiment that from the whimsical emerges the inspirational, as he found a way to combine print with paint so as to leave each spectator not questioning whether or not what they had just seen was art but convinced that it was such.
This message resonated not only from Lews work, but for the whole event as I found myself in awe of these individuals for the gift they have to turn opinions, and ideologies, hopes and possibly even fears, into tangible pieces of beauty. From madness springs forth genius, a lesson that the ‘Matt Hatter’ and the Guerilla Truck Show instilled in me last night.