Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Modern Transcendentalist- Marnie Weber

When thinking of possible transcendentalists for this post, a common reoccurring theme that I found was that many of the possible were artists. They all created- visual art, music, written word. The person I finally settled on was Marnie Weber, known for two of the creative forms above and for her own personality.

In essence, art is about finding a way to express your inner most thoughts and feelings- to expose true emotions. Marnie does just that, by creating works of various medias. Collages, sculptures, photos, and videos are some, just to name a few. In each of her pieces, she explores a type of innocent, fantasy-like surrealism, allowing the viewer to see what she does. Although some may not understand her art, it doesn’t matter. Her works of art are things she believes and sees inside her little world and cares about. If she did not feel this way, then she wouldn’t have chosen to create what she had. From an interview I found online between Marnie and a reputable art blogger, I found an opinion of hers on transcendentalism relating to art. “I am most interested in the artists who are doing things out of love for ideas rather than those who are motivated by their position in the art world.  I like the people who do what they do whether they will get a show or not, artists who work in the contemporary art world who have the same spirit as outsider artists in terms of their own work. I like it when artists have multiple layers of ideas and are working with complex psychological issues rather than just making things that look good. It isn’t always what is popular. So I maneuver through it and seek out what I like and artists who have the same interests.”  I am aware that she, as most artists do, creates her artwork for herself, not for others. The only time Marnie factors others into the business of her artwork is when she shares it with them (also stated in the same interview above) Her works, as they are her innermost beliefs, show her personality as a transcendentalist.
I happen to have the pleasure of knowing Marnie personally. Our families are close family friends, as well as what I have dubbed “kinda-cousins”. Her own persona is one of natural characteristics. She is very easy going- always going with the flow, open minded, gentle, kind, caring, inviting, nurturing, mellow, in a dream-like state, and of the tree hugging type. In the introduction of Marnie Weber by Magasin (the exhibition catalogue), the contributing author felt that “…the presence of Marnie Weber seems very natural”. I spent the last summer with her, and I never once saw her be something she wasn’t. Also, she didn’t act in anyway that did not coincide with the traits listed above.

A photo I took of Marnie & her daughter in Venice, Italy.
In addition to visual art, she also performs and sings in a band. Her old band, The Spirit Girls, is somewhat of a quirky, punky, mysterious exploration of innocence. Her characters are always in costume, expressing themselves. As Marnie states in the same interview, “…I do consider dressing the character in the appropriate clothes for their psychological state”. This is a point of transcendentalism. In the meantime, she has gone on to create a new band called F for Ache, having the same musical tones, but this time dressing herself and her band mates in Amish clothing. If these groups were to be filed based on genre, they would most likely be found under “Unknown”. Both these bands are very different from the norm, and many do not enjoy the sound (I do!). Marnie and her band mates know this, but their passion for it keeps them going. The passion and effort Marnie puts into her band is also what makes her a transcendentalist. 

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