UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Artist New Gallery

The room is full of people, mostly in their twenties. They sit and chat as they look at the edgy artwork that surrounds them, wondering whether this is the next Andy Worhole or if it’s just another artist who never get out of her teenage faze of depressing poetry and demonic drawings.

No I am not speaking of the next trendy art gallery this side of SoHo. Rather it is the small but busy coffee shop, the Someday Café, in Somerville’s Davis Square. Though not all together new, the trend of local businesses exhibiting local artist work has exploded in the past few years. Within walking distance there are other coffee shops, ice cream parlors, and Italian restaurants; all adorned with the art of some unknown.

The art changes nearly monthly, leaving no style out. One month the walls might be covered in what appear to be wrapping paper, the next in over exposed black and white photographs. This month’s collection is a multimedia exhibit with extremely dark overtones. The drawing portion of the art seems reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It is obvious that the artist had some deep emotions behind this art, although it is not quite clear what they were. Disturbing as this artwork is, the art is not by far the riskiest exhibited in a place similar to the Someday Cafe.

But is this new craze for better or worse? Do people want to look at blood-spattered children as you sip your morning coffee? Is dinner really the appropriate time to marvel at the beauty of the human nude? The answer will be different for everyone, but in this crowded coffee shop nobody seemed too concerned.

Of course it all depends on who is your audience. Chances are, no matter how much this trend takes off, you will not be seeing this type of artwork at Starbucks anytime soon. The establishments showing this edgy artwork tend to drift more towards the club/bar genre, no matter what they serve. Coffee bar, ice cream bar; or maybe it’s more that their cliental on average is at least young if not hip. In general college students or recent graduates come to these establishments for the social aspect as much as the food.

So is the artwork any good? It really depends. The artwork’s aesthetic qualities range from amazing to puzzling to disturbing. It is not really clear what it takes to be displayed in one of these new venues. Whether it is a long process similar to an audition or if you simply have to know the owner. My guess is both help.

The new wave of local unknowns being displayed in small coffee bars and other establishments is good for everyone involved. It gives the artist an opportunity for exposure that she may have no other way of getting.

For the place of business, the art attracts a curious passerby. If the art offends anyone enough that they choose to leave, that only helps to keep the customers young and open-minded. Finally it gives the customers something other than floral 43, or dogs playing poker to look at as they sip their coffee.