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Artists & Models: True Defective preview


This Saturday, in a vacant former garage space at Michigan, just a few blocks from the Hotel Lafayette, Hallwalls presents the twenty-fifth edition of its Artists and Models Affair, the art center's recurring art party.


“It always has an unexpected quality about it,” says John Massier, visual arts curator at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. “There are a lot of occasions for visitors to engage with the artists directly.” 


The Artists and Models Affair features art that appeals to more senses than one, fusing eclectic artwork, sculptures, avant-garde pieces, thought-provoking skits, vocalizations, and more. The evening offers an unparalleled experience, understood only by those who have attended previous editions of the Artists and Models Affair. This year’s party, however, promises a whole new itinerary of artworks, installations, projections, and performances that “arise to delight, inform, entertain, and even disturb.”


Titled “True Defective,” this event bares the artists’ imperfect selves. By engaging directly with the artworks, participants will, in turn, unfurl their own defective souls. One such artist is Liz Bayan, whose work will include a series of masks of herself. This young artist will then be able to take “selfies” with herself. Others can do just the same. “I'm wanting to dissect the selfie culture and its performative nature by taking these images of my face and placing them on someone else's body as a means of creating actors portraying myself,” says Bayan, a graduate from the University of Oregon in 2010.


In the corner of a replica car dealership, another artist, David Butler, showcases his 1999 Toyota Tacoma, angled and lit to accentuate the best of its features. Butler, posing as a car salesperson, will then highlight its many positive qualities as guests sit in and inspect the vehicle. This one-car auto show is a commentary on today’s car buying attitudes as Butler, by employing artifice, conceals the defects hidden underneath what seems like a great deal.


Twenty-four-year-old Seth Tyler Black unravels the seven deadly sins that make an artist truly defective. His installation is an artist’s studio, where he will experience these sins throughout the entirety of the night. Through a window, attendees become voyeurs into the secret cyclical life of an artist. “Despite being overwhelming, I hope to evoke a catharsis and empathy in the audience that awakes them to the realities of being an artist,” says Black. “We are not superhuman. We have problems and issues just like you.”


There’s much to be seen and felt, including a sculpture consisting of a chain of eight people moving as single organism. This installation and performance is the brainchild of artist Tara Sasiadek. “I hope the audience will be interested in the growth and mysteriousness of the chain,” says Sasiadek.


The chain interacts with people and space, splitting up and reconnecting throughout the night. The spinal "vertebrae" will be cloaked in glowing green fabric, as if mutated from some mysterious chemical spill, and lit with electro-luminescent wire representing the spinal column. “I hope it generates questions about humanity as a rhizome–an organism that is comprised of individuals with a deeper connectedness biologically that may be hidden from the naked eye,” says Sasiadek.


Since its inception in 1980, the popular fundraiser has drawn crowds to a number of disused buildings in Buffalo. The destination is always different, in an effort to provide a fresh atmosphere to artgoers every year. Despite the spontaneous nature of the art, there are a couple of things that remain the same over the years—the event is outrageous, bizarre, and above all, fun.


A center for contemporary art, Hallwalls strives to create an experience that encourages interactivity with art through Artists and Models, one of its most important (and interesting) fundraisers. Don't miss it.


Artists & Models: True Defective
Saturday, June 21, from 9 p.m.–1 a.m.
The Garage
151 East Eagle Street
18 and over, tickets are $15 pre-purchase, $20 at the door




Mariam Makatsaria is a student at Kent State University and a Spree intern.

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