My DIY Retirement
John Begley: My DIY Retirement
March 12- April 30, 2021
Cressman Center for Visual Arts
The Hite Art Institute is excited to announce My DIY Retirement, a solo exhibition by John Begley. My DIY Retirement is comprised of the printed iterations of a series of digital images that Begley has made (once per day) since he retired in 2014. The conceit here is already humorous, since the sheer abundance of artwork belies the life of a man “retired” from making. The artwork that results from this process can be humorous too. Each day Begley makes a novel image using various digital technologies, primarily “Brushes XP.” This program is not at all specialized and is available to anyone interested enough to poke around on the internet and experiment (you can find it on the app store). Indeed, poking around on the internet and experimenting would serve as an apt subtitle to Begley’s not-quite-retirement. In this regard, his new mode of making tracks with what we might expect retirement to look like today—crafty home making using the tools of modern digital technology. Similarly, the artwork that results from this daily experimentation takes the form of digital hobbyism. Almost every one of the works on view, which include scarves and bed linens, drapery and books, canvasses, Plexi, and aluminum decorations, are made by print-on-demand digital services.
These objects are of a kind with those of other creative hobbyists—weekend warriors, proud parents, crafty clothes makers—who turn their favorite memories into ready-to-wear or ready-to-read objects via a simple online form. Here is where Begley’s new mode of printmaking is most radical. Rather than use the complex, specialized, and often expensive tools of professional printmaking, Begley’s art is sympathetic to—reconciled to—the kinds of creative making that have proliferated in the digital age. Not just democratic in the fact of its reproducibility, his art is democratic in its methods of reproduction. Read the full exhibition text here.
My DIY Retirement will be on view at the Cressman Center for Visual Arts from March 12- April 30. Reservations are required. To make a free reservation please visit our website here.
John Begley is an artist and curator based in Louisville, KY. He received his MFA from Indiana University in 1975. In 1983 he moved to Louisville, KY, and has been a staple in the art community ever since. After serving as the Director of the Louisville Visual Art Association for 18 years he took the position of Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art & Critical and Curatorial Studies program coordinator at the University of Louisville where he stayed until 2014.