GSU welcomes “Hanging Correspondence†artist

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Rashida Otunba

Worlds will collide tonight as the literary and visual art communities join forces to launch “Hanging Correspondence”, an exhibition by collaborators “Hanging Correspondence” is Messer’s collaboration with Jonathan Safran Foer, an author whose books, “Everything is Illuminated” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” were both New York Times bestsellers.

The theme of “Hanging Correspondence” is collaboration. There are two individuals who are willing to engage in a conversation and exchange ideas and ways of looking and thinking about things by sharing their vantage point and their respective specialties, Marc Mitchell, gallery director for the Department of Art said.

Both of Safran Foer’s New York Times bestselling books are now major motion pictures, starring actors like Sandra Bullock, Elijah Wood and Tom Hanks.

The exhibition is a result of 10 to 12 years of work between the artist and the author. Each illustration in the exhibition began as a portrait of Foer drawn by Sam Messer, to which the author adds different elements by drawing, painting or adding pieces of his book to make a collage.

“We live in a contemporary time. The idea of collaboration is more acceptable and universal than any other time,” Mitchell said. “People are always looking to reach out and connect with other people, especially now in a digital age where information and data are sent instantaneously so this idea of de-compartmentalizing is especially important.”

At first glance, the images in “Hanging Correspondence” showcase mundane aspects of Foer’s everyday life, but when viewers take time to read the words written on each drawing, they reveal the deeper, more intimate view of life and the anxieties and fears that arise as a part of the human condition.

Messer is a graduate of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and in 1981 he received an MFA from Yale University. He is currently the associate dean of the Yale University School of Art.

“Hanging Correspondence” will be featured at the CAT until Feb. 21.

Note: due to inclement weather event details may be subject to change. Please check the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art website in case there are changes to the schedule.