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Cate McQuaid's Review in the Globe, Oct. 8, 2004

Green Street Gallery is pleased to announce that Douglas Weathersby is moving Environmental Services (his company) to Green Street for a month! Weathersby cleans, repairs, paints, builds or hauls off just about anything while remaining true to his studio practice. In fact, his job has become his studio practice; he creates multimedia installations, photographs, videos, projections and advertising slogans all as part of his job. These undeniably beautiful, emotive images of all sorts of janitorial and construction activities are created while the artist earns an honest living - cleaning up. Even the invoices, job reports and live performances (of work) that each client of Environmental Services receives gives a new meaning to “art-work”.


For the next four weeks (plus a car wash- kickoff ) he will be working at Green Street Gallery on our new office and flat file area. Douglas is not just blurring boundaries. He has taken the most fundamental tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement - which sought to bring the craftsman and fine artist to the same plane and the Bauhaus - which combined the fine arts, the industrial arts and crafts into a single curriculum - to their logical conclusion: art making as a by-product of “productive”, quotidian work.

 


Another innovation Weathersby achieves is to reestablish the deeper connection between artists and everyone else. He talks plainly, answers the phone and even does your dirty work. He moves along the proposition that Joseph Beuys claimed that “everyman is an artist”. No glorification here - the urinal that Duchamp placed on the pedestal is getting a good cleaning with the bowl brush with this approach. The social, political and economic suspicions and sensations that make artists Curiosities, Celebrities or Charlatans are eroded enough that we lose track of where we are in the pecking order. Is he a servant or court painter? A lowly janitor or radical, cutting-edge performer? He is showing us an example of how he has shifted or expanded his perception of what art is, what art is made of, and what work is all at the same time. Considering these questions leads us to a way of seeing amazing “things” that we could have overlooked or at least never considered “art”.


Weathersby stresses the business end of his enterprise by embracing advertising,, branding and invoicing as a graphic and photographic art - Just look at how he describes & pitches his upcoming exhibition (top of this page).

Reviews of Douglas Weathersby's work

 

 

 

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