Sharon and Michael Demcsak
Love, Art, Obsession
Everything began with a sparkling meeting during an opening reception in the gallery. I keep in mind Sharon’s look full of sparks, and her enthusiasm, Michael’s serene presence by her side, their invitation to visit their workshop. A secret den. The place of an obsession.
Since I frequented the exhibitions of the independent curator Harald Szeemann, founder of his Museum of Obsessions, a fictive “museum” through which he exacted his critique of the conservatism of the institutions of art and art history and outlined the stakes of his curatorial practice, I am fascinated by the artistic obsessions. Szeemann founded his methodology and concerns as an independent exhibition maker who dramatically expanded conventional definitions of artistic practice and of the museum as an institution. With the Demcsaks, the reserves of The Museum of Obsessions are in the house. They get up, eat and sleep with. What else? Their house is a workshop producing art in palimpsests, in embarked geometries, between post-punk, primal punk and abstraction “handball made”. The line is colored, the paper is painted and the wallpaper is cut, duplicated, repeated, moved.
Michael and Sharon are one voice, one artist. They work underground and underneath. Their production is graduated, stored, piled in the basement or hangs on the walls which exude the color; the paint is an act, repetitive as a beat of The B-52s. It throws us of wall in wall. It sticks us and slams us. It calls us and sends back to us of layer in layer, clear line in a forest of signs. It calms us and manhandles us.
Michael and Sharon’s love is in this act of permanent declaration. Their life also. Back and forth between the foreground and the background, the energy circulates between the plans. Same way as art circulates at their home between the rise and the bedtime, the basement and the lounge, the shopping and the dinner, “la poire et le fromage”.
The geometries overlap in the chaos as our orderly thoughts recover with great difficulty the escapades of our drives.
Michael and Sharon Demcsak’s obsession is full of love. Unconditional love, commitment up to the death. Yes, Michael and Sharon meant to give birth their paint up to the death. Our Sailor and Lula of the postmodern Baroque cross the pictorial landscape which they produce, before burying him. With a big dream of course, to expose it to the light, yes, to explode it in the light. But not by fragments. They already made the experience of the fragment when they lived in New York. Santa Fe is a town they see as a distant mirror of the Big Apple crushed under the color, a city spread over the high desert so that it almost disappears. Their migration changed thus everything there. Santa Fe is a city where the art has the color of the earth, a sliding, fluctuating, winding loop, multicolored but discreet. Art is presented in small multicolored touches with abundances, but at the same time, the exhibitions are piles of monads.
Citizens of the city, Michael and Sharon circulate and bathe uninhibitedly in this artistic experience. But this continuous bath in tiny colored things gave to them by contrast, for their own art, the desire of a total statement, an appearance upright as a Great Whole which would give vertigo. Our painting maniacs waited for the radical gesture: take visitor as the ball of a pinball machine bouncing wall to wall.
The total experience of the art of Sharon and Michael has to be lived as the trance of the music of Alan Vega. But without the Suicide! It is rather the eternity which strikes us, as an infinite sound barrier, the flat moucharabieh of a delirious Mondrian. One, two, one, two, one two, three, the look circulates, the voice stops; we resume. Proto-post-punk! The Damn authentic Las Vegas flies away, held up by the sound of both Demcsaks’ turbo drive, fast and furious Gremlins with a brush creating lines and colors, with a smile. When we hit the road after a passage in Borracho’s Craft and Booze, essential to recover from the uppercut, when we go either to the Great Plains or the Sangre de Christo, we have the Demcsaks’ obsession in our eyes, the enthusiasm of Sharon on our skin, the conviction of Michael in our brain, love, love, love. Primary love everywhere.