Welcome to Beveldomby Ben McNitt on Jun. 15, 2009, under Uncategorized
Ned Schaper (a.k.a. Mat Bevel) is something of a polymath – performance artist, sculptor of found objects, poet, and video pioneer all infused with a tinge of evangelical enthusiasm.
A key, perhaps, is that children love his work. To enter his world, drop literalism, suspend disbelief and latch on to the phantasmagoria of the whirling, blinking, found object kinetic sculptures that inhabit his 5,000 square foot studio at 530 N. Stone Ave.
Inside is his museum of kinetic art, a conglomeration of some 420 pieces that comprise 48 different characters he’s created. His first, now 23 years old, is his Emergency Panic Services of New York, that mounts atop his head, plugs into a battery pack and provides a visual whirligig for his performance riff on authority figures gone manic.
Done back to back, the skits of all 48 characters in all 420 incarnations would, he says, be a grand composition of “three days of Beveldom,” an epic performance that that has yet to be staged for the sheer scope of it.
Undaunted, Schaper has turned to a new medium to give life to his panoply of creation in what he terms the most decentralized and democratic medium of them all – internet television.
First though, an explanation of Beveldom. Mat Bevel is the bevel on a matte that forms the perimeter viewing area of an artist’s creation. Think of it as Ned Schaper’s view on the world.
In recent years, he’s turned from on stage performances to converting his vision to a series of flash videos available to all on the web. “The world wants to see interesting content,” he explains, “and internet video levels the playing field for a person with a $20 budget and the producer with a $20 million budget.” YouTube is the future. All can create and share those creations with all others.
But all cannot do it with the whimsy and creative eclecticism of Mat Bevel. The winner of the 2000 Arizona Arts Award, among other honors, practices what he terms the gift of “working with magic.”
Note: Want to suggest an artist, perhaps yourself, to highlight on this blog – contact me email@example.com.
The studio – what Ned calls one of his found objects – is impossible to miss. It’s the one with the array of large, spidery metal and oddment sculptures out front just north of the railroad underpass.