Exhibition Review: Salt Lake
Bird Flu & the Emperor's New Clothes
A Conversation w/Cein Watson & Joe McVetty
by Jim Frazer
Cein Watson and Joe McVetty III’s exhibit To Leave and Never Return
is on view at Kayo Gallery in Salt Lake City through May 15th. The artists were once students together at the Maine College of Art; Cein now lives in Salt Lake and is a triple major in philosophy, art history and printmaking at the U of U; and Joe just graduated from the Maine College of Art and is taking a year off before grad school. Cein’s work was recently shown in the fall of 2005 at the Kimball Art Center in Park City (read more
). Joe’s wall drawing was exhibited in The 19th Drawing Show at Mills Gallery
, Boston Center for the Arts in January of 2006.
I spoke with the artists as they were installing at Kayo Gallery. Cein was working on a large wall painting that occupies the entire west wall of the gallery. Joe was working on some large drawings in pencil on gessoed paper. In preparation for this interview, I asked the two to name some of the influences on their work. Cein sent me a 300-word list of artists, philosophers and concepts. Joe just told me that I needed to understand Bill Buckner in game six of the 1986 World Series.
(We go over to look at Joe’s work, standing in front of a drawing of what appears to be a gargantuan fart rising into the stratosphere from a crouched figure
: That’s the Challenger explosion. I think the defining year in my life was 1986 into early ’87 the Challenger explosion, Iran Contra and Bill Buckner.
: It shaped the man he is today.
: Because those are just events that stick in your mind?
: I think that you’re looking for meaning and there’s no meaning here.
: No, There’s meaning in 1986!
: There was maybe then, for you.
: Tell me about the relationship of what happened to Bill Buckner in game six of the 1986 World Series to your work.
: I was at that game with my Dad. The thing that struck me about what happened with Bill Buckner was that you could have more of an effect on people by screwing up than by doing your job right. That’s what I see myself as doing.