Charles McGill and the politics of the golf bag

Charles McGill’s work was both a physical and mental struggle.

When we were in Binghamton, NY, my sister Leslie and I went to the Orzio Salati Studio & Gallery at 204 State Street, part of a block of artist venues downtown. We went because our late father knew a guy named Charlie McGill. Charles McGill, who graduated from high school in Binghamton in 1982, must have been Charlie’s son or nephew. The statue, BTW, is a rather good likeness of the artist.

“For the 18 years [Charles] wrestled with the golf bag. He found it to be a ‘very political object due to its its historical associations with class inequality and racial injustice.” The country club had been so long the dominion of people of a certain demographics that, more than once, McGill, an avid golfer, was mistaken for a caddie.

We know all of this this because Salati, the curator, but also McGill’s friend and fellow artist, told us. He explained that McGill’s work was both a physical and mental struggle. Physical because the golf bag is generally well constructed, with leather, steel reinforcement, hard plastic form and rivets. The piece below is Tondos (from the Italian rotondo – round).

Sometimes, he didn’t deconstructed the golf bag, but amplified the message, such as the Three Kings bag with images of Martin Luther King Jr., Rodney King, and King Kong.

Unfortunately, the planned show for Charles McGill in his hometown became a memorial exhibit, as the artist died from metastasized kidney cancer in July 2017. The pieces are all on loan from various galleries.

And, as is often the case, his work was increasingly being recognized for “making a bold statement” and going for far more money than it had just months earlier. Rondos, for instance, is now going for $30,000.

The show continues through the end of October 2017, Saturday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. and by appointment (607 772-6725).

The Lydster, Part 146: art and artist

Lydia.orangedesignSo This happened back in February 2016; text courtesy of the Albany School News Network:

“Student works inspired by the famed modern art collection at the Empire State Plaza will be showcased through March 20 in the plaza’s South Concourse.

“Some 258 pieces of art by City School District of Albany students from kindergarten through eighth grade are on display at the plaza in celebration of National Youth Art Month. The display consists of artwork from all 15 district elementary and middle schools, as well from 11 other Capital Region school districts.

“On display are student reinterpretations of the modern masters whose works are featured on the walls and in the spaces of the plaza.” The Daughter had two pieces in the show.

The first design was supposedly in the style of Calvert Coggeshall (1907-1990), an abstract painter from Whitesboro, Oneida County in upstate New York.

The second item was reportedly reminiscent of Kenneth Nolan (1924-2010), originally from Ashville, North Carolina. Our friend Alexis, who took the pictures, and I thought it was more like some of the work of Jasper Johns, born in 1930 in Augusta, Georgia.

The Daughter had heard of NONE of these artists. She was just doing what interested her.

The medium for these pieces was duct tape. She had made little purses made of the material for her mother and a friend this past Christmas.


There was to be a group picture of the young artists present at the Empire State Plaza. The Daughter was reluctant to participate for some reason until her teacher, Ms. Rhatigan, who I met for the first time that day, encouraged her to do so.

Incidentally, “The Empire State Plaza Art Collection consists of 92 modern art paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that were bought in the late 1960s to early ’70s, including works from Alexander Calder, Franz Kline, Joan Mitchell, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.”

Her flag piece was also chosen for the Albany Institute of History and Art’s school show in May.

Art, science, Bible, baseball

You have this +1 sodium just hanging out when it hooks up with the -1 chloride.

More from New York Erratic:

Who is your favorite visual artist? Favorite director?

I tend to be rather catholic about these things. Here’s the best way to recognize the artist of paintings, BTW.

My church has Tiffany windows, which I like; the one above is one of them. Gordon Parks is a favorite photographer. Always though Frank Lloyd Wright’s buildings were interesting, if not always practical. Van Gogh I enjoy, but there are so many more; I love going to the house in the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, NY because it’s so eclectic. Did one of those Facebook things where you should live, and it came up with French Polynesia, which reminded me that I like Gauguin too.

But I guess my favorite visual artist is Rodin, whose work I find sensual as all get out, even if it isn’t all his work.

I took this list of a list of the 50 greatest directors of all time. Of all the directors whose films I’ve seen more that three Continue reading “Art, science, Bible, baseball”

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