In this day and age, few things can be considered as archaic as a newspaper. You know, the thing youâre reading? News is consumed via 24/7 television and online outletsâspecial emphasis on âconsumedââand after they fulfill their instant purpose, physical pages of newsprint are relegated to fish wrappers, bird cage liners, moving supplies, or in my case, the perfect pairing alongside Windex to get glass and mirrors spotless and streak-free (you should try it).
For a group of artists starting this Friday, it also serves as daily inspiration for creating meticulous, poignant and sometimes head-scratching works of art.
Enter All the News Thatâs Fit to Print, a Gray Lady-inspired art exhibit that arose from a conversation between CCA visual arts director Erin Elder and artist and guest curator Donna Ruff.
âI knew that I was only one of a number of artists, some wellknown and some not as wellknown, who had been inspired to create work with the content of the New York Times, if not the actual newspaper itself,â Ruff tells SFR. âAnd so we decided to put together a group show of some of those artists.â
An avid reader of the paper, Ruff âgot in the habitâ of reading it when she lived in New York for over 30 years.
âItâs the ânewspaper of record,â and people read it all over the world,â she says. âI spent years as an illustrator and graphic designer and have had work printed in the Times. When you read it every day you notice the patterns. For instance, thereâs a Tiffanyâs ad on the upper right hand corner of the first open spread (meaning, page A3) every day.â
Ruff drew inspiration from quirks like that one.
âThat might not seem notable, but to see this ad for expensive jewelry placed next to sometimes horrifying news photographs is one of the sad ironies of newspaper commerce. And in fact, the Times keeps trying to find ways to keep the print version alive.â
Given the Timesâ struggle to stay alive, Ruff doesnât think sheâll run out of material anytime soon.
âItâs just so jam packed with contentâphotos, text, ads. Itâs a real microcosm of the world and very compelling,â she concludes.