Friday, December 30, 2005

An inspirational gift

We got a wonderful gift from mom this year (thanks mom!). It is a membership to the American Museum of Natural History.

I love this museum. I took advantage of the membership and went to the museum on Wednesday with my friends Doug and Rachael. We had tried to go to the Tenement Museum, but it was sold out, so we had some ice cream from Il Labororatorio del Gelato and then headed uptown.

I have been to the AMNH a few times, but had forgotten how fabulous it is. The Hall of Biodiversity, the Giant Whale Hall (I don't think that is the actual name of it), the halls from around the world the Planetarium and one of my favorites, the Minerals and Gems collection (I also got an encyclopedia of minerals for Christmas). I could literally spend hours looking at the minerals (if it weren't so hot in there!).

I am looking forward to going back to the AMNH with G to enjoy the planetarium, the Darwin and Butterfly shows and the show of photographs by the people of China's Yunan Province.

What a great museum. It should fuel a lot of work this year. I will try to post some pictures too. I started a drawing based on the Goethite (don't have pics of that, but some others are above) in their collection.

Holidays on the beach...

Not exactly Christmas on the beach, but with 80 degree weather, we certainly could have been. (Apparently our family in Australia was doing exactly that - steaks on the barbie for Christmas and Boxing Day on the beach).

We did our holiday pilgrimage to Texas, escaping the transit strike and cold (not that cold though) weather in NYC for warm days, wind and sunshine in the Lone Star State.

We were able to pepper the traditional celebrations with a few more art related endeavors. We took time out of shopping to stop by the Rothko Chapel though which was the perfect antidote to crowded shopping districts (no, we don't go to the mall). The broken obelisk was out for cleaning, so the pool was empty. Inside, the rothko's and the building itself were as thrilling and as hypnotic as ever. The sky that day worked tremendously well with the space. The small building is lit only by natural light let in through a skylight with a diffuser. As the clouds pass by overhead, the light inside is constantly changing, and therefore the paintings change too. There are 14 paintings inside (a few triptychs and a few large single paintings) are mostly in the purple to black range. Each painting has a tremendous depth and intensity. You can sit and get completely lost inside each one. It is a wonderful way to meditate, and the kind of thing that Yves Klein would appreciate.

The day after boxing day (does that have a name?) we were able to spend the day visiting a variety of art spots around the metroplex. Our first stop (a special treat for G) was the Beer Can House, an 18 year project by John Milkovisch in which he completely covered his house with beer can pieces (can tops and bottoms, sides, pull tabs etc.). Sadly, the house has lost some of its previous glamour. But according to some reports, The Orange Show received a large grant this year to restore the house.

We didn't get to go see The Orange Show itself, a large folk art 'environment' because of the renovation it was undergoing. So we opted for some other stops. We stopped by two galleries, Sicardi Gallery, and Barbara Davis. Regina Silveira was showing at Sicardi, and although it looked interesting online, the actuality of it was not at all interesting. The works were cg tire treads, the computer aided part made it far less interesting than if it had been hand painted or sculptural (I will have to blog on that concept separately). Barbara Davis held great promise since she represents Julie Mehretu, whose work I really like. So Davis had a group show called Txmas, which was intriguing. I liked Paul Fleming's Azusa and Ann Stautberg's photographs.

From there we went on to see the Andrea Zittel show at the Contemporary Arts Museum. I have seen some stunning shows at the CAM, and this one definitely makes the list. I really like Zittel's work. Her investigative approach to life and our routines is fascinating, and her compulsion to create order is fascinating. I feel like I *totally get her* the quality of the work is stunning too. I don't think she could do this without the fine craftsmanship she exhibits. The only piece I didn't think translated so well into a museum piece was the berlin piece where she created a space completely devoid of any time (no windows, clocks etc) and lived in it doing whatever her body dictated, without the influence of "time." The escape vehicles, uniforms, homestead units etc. all seem more remniscent of the type of work created by artists in the 1960's (I wonder why that is - if it is a cold war mentality?) but resonate with our world today.

We also made a quick stop at the Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts. Which is a nice idea (artists and artisans working in the space which also has an exhibition space and store), and is an attempt to raise awareness about contemporary crafts. I didn't find much of interest there though and am still pondering the art v. craft discussion (which I so often do). The work featured here is clearly more in the craft camp which is more interesting as a consumer product...

The best part find of the trip though was a lovely place called "Mission Burrito" which we just happened to find listed in a little brochure we picked up at Avis. It was damn near an SF burrito and was so good we went back twice! The burritos were ginormous and you got to pick out all the stuff you wanted piled inside. We got to sit on the patio under the limbs of one of those gorgeous huge trees you find in the south. It was really really yummy.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm not convinced...

Been hearing a lot about the Pixar show at the MoMA. And granted I haven't felt any desire to go to the MoMA since I returned to NYC about 6 months ago, but it is ruffling a lot of feathers in the "art world."

I just read the Modern Art Notes post in reaction to Roberta Smith's "review". But I have to say that I am not entirely convinced. Yes, I would rather see more artists in the museum than corporations, but I agree with Smith (reluctantly) that it is part of the museum's purview to examine the visual items (including product design, fashion, etc) which inhabit our culture. Wouldn't it therefore make sense to investigate something as pervasive as blockbuster films?

Maybe the mistake is selectively showcasing a single corporation (which Smith touches on briefly) within the world of digital animation, perhaps the "community" would be better served by including other CG filmmakers (Disney, Dreamworks, or hey what about some independent animations!) or a look at all alternative blockbuster film types - they could have coincided with the Wallace and Grommit popularity by including Aardman Animation.

So perhaps Smith is right, the lack of a catalog doesn't help the MoMA in its justification of showcasing a corporation's (a single corporation)'s output. Put it in writing, tell us (the uninformed public) WHY Pixar is an important thing to view in the hallowed setting of the MoMA. Putting something like this in the MoMA imbues it with some kind of visual cultural importance, tell us what that is, or at least begin the dialog...

Don't get me wrong, I don't really support this kind of thing, and I won't be going to see the show, but I haven't seen a convincing argument as to why this is so wrong (other than my theory on the lack of diversity)...

Any thoughts?

(off topic: I have a lot of articles bookmarked to read and comment on, and I have updates to post on work in progress, just been awfully busy - getting some work done and re-photographed my portfolio - thanks Peter! Hope to catch up on things this weekend).

Friday, December 09, 2005

So its called 'works in progress'

I called this blog 'works in progress' for a couple of reasons: 1) to post actual work that I am working on... 2) its a place for rough and raw thoughts and ideas on art, art theory, culture and criticism.

I have been neglecting number 1 lately. So here goes. I have been enamored with obsessive drawings for a little while now. I am working on some white ink on film drawings of abstractions of 'crystallization'...
I filled it in almost to the center, and was then going to cut out the center... Looking back at this picture I like it better at this stage...

Also I am continuing on the large scale "soma" series:
It's really hard to see the ink and graphite on this because of the board behind it (I need that for a smooth drawing surface). I finished the first layer (86"x48") of this drawing, and am almost finished with the first layer of the second in the series (pictured on the left). I am thinking of doing 2-3 layers for each of 8-10 drawings. Whew, I could use that studio space. And um, a stipend...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The manifesto

So here's the manifesto I have been talking about. Sorry if you get this feed twice, I couldn't figure out how to get it off my phone other than doing a moblog, and then I wanted to go in and edit it a bit...

What's wrong with feeling uplifted, enriched, empowered by a beautiful work of art?

Why are so many contemporary artists more concerned with presenting work that is more about a singular point of view -a mass media-like commentary - or an object of shock, horror or abject thing-ness?

In this time of information overload, I say bring back beauty! In this time of mass production, global markets and worldwide distribution, I say bring back obsessively created works of timeless beauty. In this time of high tech high speed networks of precision, I say bring back hand crafted, thoughtful works of beauty.

This time, this age, needs more patience, more intimacy, more reflection.

Give up your obsession for whats hot, whats now, whats young and cool, bring back work that is timeless, fulfilling, nurturing, well crafted, detailed, thoughtful, and, most importantly, BEAUTIFUL.

This may continue to get worked on, but don't be surprised if you start seeing wheatpostings in chelsea and drop cards in galleries and cafes... If you want to assist, let me know...

The time is coming

I have been working on a little manifesto that I am calling "bring back beauty" I have been thus far a little hesitant to post it, as I wanted to work it over a bit, but the tribes are gathering and the voices are clamoring... well at least one voice is speaking loudly. The voice is J.T. Kirkland over at Thinking About Art.

Tuesday, J.T. posted about the Turner Prize winner Simon Starling and about the frightening loss of "beauty" in contemporary art. It also triggered a little bit of a discussion about obsessiveness and craftsmanship in art. Which led to the post today (Thursday). Which pulls quotes from Jerry Saltz's "Clusterfuck Esthetics" which is posted on artnet magazine. J.T. goes on to discuss his thoughts on (and I am paraphrasing here) crappy male dominated installation work and the female dominated obsessive work that is precise, organized and detailed. First of all I want to say that I COMPLETELY agree with J.T. on this. I do wonder (as he does) about Saltz's theory of creating works that have to compete with the chaos in our everyday world. I haven't really studied this in any depth, but I would imagine that the works that we consider timeless are not merely copying their environment, but reacting to it, by reacting against it... Will have to think about that more.

These "sprawling, often infinitely organized, jam-packed carnivalesque installations" are becoming more and more frequent in galleries and spaces in nyc, most only interesting for what they contain, not what they are. (Which is different, I think from what Sarah Sze is doing). I also find that many of these installations are poorly constructed (on purpose) which only creates distraction. (Phoebe Washburn's piece at the Sculpture Center comes immediately to mind).

I would think that there would be more of a backlash against our world where things are mass made quickly and lacking in craftsmanship (H&M, IKEA), would bring forth a celebration of fine craftsmanship and attention to detail in the arts. And actually I see this all the time, in numerous artists who are working but not necessarily receiving a lot of attention. I think of Michele Kong's obsessive sculptures, Yuko Oda's insects, Sky Kim's manic drawings, Sarah Bostwick's subtle and detailed mappings and Chris Natrop's painstaking paper cuttings, just to name a very few...

So because of this, and well the things I am seeing out in the galleries, I think there is a call for me to post and distribute that manifesto (such an intimidating word! but the definition isn't really: A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions, especially of a political nature.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cold winds and hot boilers

A cold day on the island, a precursor to the snow to come...

I met up with my friend Sky to go visit the galleries in Chelsea, trying to catch a lot of the shows before they ended that day. Some really worthwhile shows out there, just be prepared to freeze on the streets (with the cold wind blowing off the hudson) and boil in the galleries (with overactive radiators)...

The best of:

Our favorite show was clear and away the Bill Viola show at James Cohan gallery. He has once again captured all that is good about video art. His pieces explored the elements and human interaction. All of the works were incredibly sharp digital videos (the crispness just made them more tactile) run at very very slow frame rates. The colors and shapes were delicious, there were many pieces, and it is worth spending about half an hour watching the various pieces, I won't give away too much though :) go see for yourself!

We also enjoyed Mona Hatoum's show at Alexander and Bonin - playful and sometimes disturbing sculptural creations. I especially liked the woven lights in the 3rd floor space. Just a couple of door's away, Bellweather had *another* good show, this time it was Marc Swanson - he was showing some visually stunning sparkly deer heads and antlers. In the back room he had constructed, as Tyler Green (Modern Art Notes) calls it a "post-apocalyptic forest." I hadn't really thought about that when we were there in the space, but yeh, I guess I could go with that. The striking thing about the work is that it was truly engaging. We spent a lot of time walking around looking at things, trying to construct a story about what it was, and we all had different opinions on what things might be or mean. Thats good art in my opinion.

We happened upon some fabulous drawings at Mixed Greens by Joan Linder, and enjoyed seeing Tara Donovan's "Untitled (Paper Plates)" at Pace Wildenstein. We dropped by ZieherSmith to see what Tucker Nichols is up to - always intriguing.
Nancy Spero's Cri du Coeur at Galerie Lelong was lush and intriguing. (Favorite gallery spaces: Mixed Greens, very neo japanese noodle bar, and Spike, old world bank style).

Things that were a pass: Tracey Emin at Lehman Maupin.
The work was typically self involved, and completely uninteresting other than trying to figure out whether it was handmade or machine sewn. And her neon light tube just looked like a weak version of Monica Goetz' work at James Nicholson gallery (which I blogged here and here). I was looking forward to Polly Apfelbaum's work at D'Amelio Terras, but was dissappointed, her colorful floor works are far more appealing.

The day was just another wonderful reminder of why I moved back to NYC. And it culminated with rubbing elbows with Woody Allen at an opening, and running into the always fun and fabulous Scott Keating 22nd and 10th ave.

Sorry it took a while to post this, we have had internet issues. Also, for those leaving comments, I haven't figured out how to respond to them :) so thanks for the notes, and Joy- definitely send pictures!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The power struggle - or, uh, structure

I recently read an article in New York Magazine about Tracey Emin (not a fan of her work). One of the most poignant statements was something to the affect of artists in the UK are the power people, unlike in the US where the gallerists are the stars of the artworld. So why exactly is that?

If, as Olu Oguibe says, the artists have ceded power to the gallerists and dealers. Why are we (artists in the US) whimpering on our knees to the gallerists, begging them to take us on, 'please please show me, I will be good and make lots of work so that you can make money off of me!" This structure has always bothered me, and was re-enforced by statements in How to Survive... which I read years ago.

There are some important things for us, as artists to remember:
1) we make art because we love making art, no matter what we are going to keep making art (right? imagine being asked by someone to give up making art, what would you replace it with - for me its not even something I can toy with thinking about)
2) if it were not for us making art, there would be no jobs for all the curators, arts administrators, gallerists, dealers, critics, publishers, etc etc etc. So its pretty shocking that artists are not treated better than they are.

This is crass over-generalization, there are many many gallerists and administrators etc who really love the art and artists and are trying to promote them, BUT there is a massive imbalance in power.

Here's the actual Emin quote from the article "“In London the artists rule,” Emin says, “but in New York the galleries do. Gallerists here seem to be almost patriarchal figures, and the art scene is really male-dominated here. In London it’s a lot more open to women."

Here are some ways to change that:
1) Support alternative venues and methods of showing, like Budget Gallery
2) Curate your own damn shows! There are a number of venues in New York, DC, Boston, Philly and SF which are open to curatorial propositions. (Gigantic Art Space, Smack Mellon, Works/San Jose, SF Arts Commission Gallery, Oakland Art Gallery, Slought Foundation)
3) Make some statements, write manifestos, distribute them.
4) Consider some guerilla propoganda and art showings.

Thats just the beginning. I don't know if we can invert the balance, but we can certainly try. If you are interested in joining me in making the Budget Gallery happen on the east coast, email me. Also, if you have other ideas let me know, as well as alternative venues and calls for curating, I will continue to add to the list.

(And yeh, I am going to Chelsea anyway tomorrow, and I will be going to see the Emin work...)
(And I will post my own manifesto in a day or so, I have written it, but want to refine it a bit)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Playing with your food

So this week I was working on a proposal for the Site92 show at Smack Mellon. Kept me in my brain for the first part of the week, and then busy mocking up miniatures and working on the computer for the last half. And I went right down to the wire...
The premise is pretty simple. As you may know I am a big fan of flora that re-takes architecture (think of the old roller coaster at coney island covered in vines), and with this project I wanted to create very small and intimate pieces to sort of counteract the hugeness of the space.
I did a little research on the area and found out about all these different companies that were creating down in the Dumbo area, coffee, corrugated cardboard (invented in Dumbo), pasta, spices, bottlecaps, licorice, etc. I wanted to use these materials for the project, so here's what I came up with (don't know how well it will translate in small images, the big ones looked awesome to me!)

These are the coffee beans, growing like little mushrooms on the window sill.

My tree fungus made of cardboard. Shown installed on one of their beautiful rusted metal columns.

Bottlecap reeds (I only had three in the house to work with, thank goodness for photoshop eh?)

Fungus of different spices (incl. curry, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg) won't that smell great in the dank space!

Pasta weeds.

I had also planned to do licorice stalactites, but ran out of time, will try and get those included if and when...

So theres more art that I have made that doesn't exist. I think I have done about a dozen or so proposals that have not come to fruition. Maybe I will figure out a way to post those. Anyone have any thoughts on whether or not to include images from proposals in slide submissions?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Tangible and sublime

I attended the opening for Phillip Perkis' photographs at the Alan Klotz gallery on Tuesday evening. The photos were beautiful, eliciting a sense of timelessness. Many of the works explored textures and moments that evoked the presence of human affect on the land. Some of the works were ethereal and haunting in their lack of human intervention. They were all the work of a highly studied and experienced eye capturing scenes of the world around him. And I don't think I was overly influenced by the charming and disarming character that is Phil Perkis.

I also enjoyed talking to Phil's partner, Cyrilla Mozenter and am planning a trip up to the Aldrich Museum of Art to see her ongoing show there.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Finally up...

installation view
After cramming an awful lot of work in to finish and package (what a chore!) the works for "Transitory Environments" I woke up around 6am with a cold brought on by exhaustion. Got on the plane anyway and got the work all installed! It was a crazy weekend, but the show went off with only a couple little hiccups (including a request for more work, and 2 viewers pulling the work off the wall! I can fill in more details if requested). Will have images of the show on my site soon. Sorry the images are so bad, lighting was tough to work with (and yes the one wall is chocolate! I chose colors to work with that).

figment detail
figment detail
figment detail
eccentricities detail
myth detail
images are (top to bottom):
installation view (beautiful winery, a friend of my friend Hadley designed it)
figment (on chocolate wall)
figment detail
figment detail
figment detail
eccentricities detail
myth detail
estranged #3 (below)

Some comments about the work. The original pieces for the show, figment and myth are both abstractions and accumulations of organic forms in the area (the wine country) and elsewhere (Filoli). Figment is made up of plexi and beeswax bases with copper wires wrapped (twice) with my favorite nylon thread (upholstery bonded #69) with the little felted balls attached. The piece myth has a different plexi and beeswax base with the nylon threads embedded and the felted balls attached. This piece is unfortunately installed near the door and will be a tangled mess by the time I de-install in January (like others). I am in love with the shape of the felted balls and plan on using them for a number of other projects, but the process (very wet felting) is arduous. The circle theme and wrapping theme, seem to be pretty big ones for me. Will try to investigate that in the coming months, definitely something 'ritualistic.'

Can you also tell that I LOVE shadows? Some other shadow intensive works include: fragile, matter of time, rain, night and day, and watch for more!

The drawings were fun, the are layers of essentially three pages, utilizing black, white and silver ink. The detail above shows my favorite, but the lines drawing was successful as well. It was all about breaking the boundaries of the work on paper. Sort of like my breaking beyond the photograph.

Kept really busy while out there and spent time with friends, including the EcoArts folks in Lake County, and visiting RPS Collective, which is where I picked up the last minute included pieces estranged (pictured below) for the show. I also found some great great stuff at the collective, including a Baby Binky from Tokkisom, tees from culture consumer, and a great necklace from an artist whose name I have forgotten - ack!

Just glad to be home and working on the big drawings. And I am starting work as a tv/film extra next week. I am hoping that it is a lot of sitting around so that I can spend the time knitting and stuff. That might become part of the blog too...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Can I borrow some money?

Mmmmm, lots of yummy art to buy at the AAF Contemporary Art Fair (which makes it the Affordable Art Fair Contemporary Art Fair?) I don't frequent this events, but they are becoming a little hard to avoid, and an inherent part of looking at art. I enjoyed being able to see works from a variety of regions (nyc, sf, la, new orleans, portland, kansas city, montreal, toronto, etc.) all under one roof (albeit a bit cavernous).
I attended thanks to the generosity of our friends at Hang, who brought a huge diverse display of works to fill their large booth. They included such works as Yvette Molina's beautiful and spare works on metal, and Jeff Loehman's sensual burned paper works. I really wanted to take home the entire PDX booth, the highlight of which was Ellen George's acrylic resin tidbits, small organic pieces of happiness, which resonated with whimsy. I also always love Bean Finneran's spiky and colorful accumulations of ceramic pieces into geometric forms.
I also drooled just a little over the ceramic fungal pieces by Joy Hought at Lola Gallery, and the Doug Moulden layers of acrylic to create deep green and blue images of trees and roots, that the Ch'i people shared with me. Annie Chung's sand paper pieces were much smaller and more intimate than I expected (at Steven Wolf), and Allie Rex's paper cutouts and Laura Sharp Wilson's fantastical plants were pleasant surprises at Byron C Cohen Gallery.
The best part of the fair was that everyone was really really friendly, and willing to talk about the work and show more work. It certainly makes it easy to be interested in buying...
Most of the research that I had done prior to attending proved itself out at the fair, there were relatively few surprises, and a lot of fun and beautiful work. Of course, given the venue you aren't really going to see much that is challenging or different. I do hope that there isn't too much of a turn towards the fairs as the seminal art venue, I think we would lose a tremendous amount of risk and experimentation which occurs in the gallery venue.
Having said that, there is a strong need to "take back" the art world, so after I get this show installed, I will start working to put together a Budget Gallery for NYC!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fevers and Fall

Fall has come in spades, its been cold here, and I am still trying to figure out how to dress for it (still stuck in SF mentality). One key piece of the dressing correctly is that I am anxiously (understatement) waiting for Matt & Nat to deliver their wonderful Trinity boots to Moo Shoes, which would help enlarge my wardrobe choices. Enough about that.

So its fall, and the work on the pieces for the Roshambo show have reached a fevered pitch. The felted balls keep multiplying (I will post a photo a little later). I am having back, hand and shoulder pains from the work. I also ordered some plexi to do sandwich frames for the eccentric drawings.

I am also looking forward to visiting the Affordable Art Fair and checking out some of the following galleries at the fair: Julie Baker Fine Art, George Billis (he shows my friends Josh Dorman and Carol Es), Gallery 16, Jennifer Kostiuk, Joie Lassiter, The Lola Gallery (why did you email me and then never write back?), PDX, Pentimenti, Rudolph Projects, Andrea Schwartz, Steven Wolf, and Yoo Projects (who show some of my favorites, like Chris Natrop - fabulous intricate paper cuttings, Susannah Bettag - lucious candy colored thickly resined imagery of sadness and play, and Andrew Schoultz - my favorite muralist, reachly detailed images of nature and culture gone awry).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

A good day to be inside

I spent all day Saturday inside in an uncomfortable auditorium. The floor was slanted forward, and the seats not quite straight, so I felt like I had to hold myself up the whole time. By the end of the day my knees hurt. But thats the bad part. The good part is that it was raining, windy and cold anyway (welcome Fall!) so I wouldn't have wanted to be outside, and the people I was listening too were wonderful and full of motivation and great stories!

It was all part of the NYFA "Full-Time Business of Art" workshop. It was a day long workshop with lectures on "Networking", "Financial Planning" and a panel of curators. The day started with the fabulous and energetic Jackie Battenfield. She had us all laughing and introducing ourselves to each other with her talk on the importance of networking. It all boiled down to something like "Hey, you never know!" She certainly got me thinking, got my butt in gear and finally made new business cards (we've only been here 4 months!). She was followed by an interesting take on financial planning - a holistic approach. It was a mix of new age thinking and financial planning. If there is an outcry for more information I will post some of the information from the packet. Suffice it to say it has to do with feeling abundant.

I missed the end of it because I had my "Doctor's Hours" with Melissa Potter (Senior Program Director for NYFA Source) who reviewed my slides. She gave some great feedback, very honest. She actually pointed out that the slides don't need to just be in chronological order, but more importantly they should make visual sense. We also talked about the difficulty in showing installation work in the slide format. Gonna do CD's as often as possible! (Including the upcoming submission for Wave Hill). I also am scheduling a massive 2-day reshoot of all of my work so that the slides look more cohesive.

The final gathering was a curators panel, featuring Sara Reisman, a curatorial fellow at the New Museum (I wonder if they would like my work after I reshoot?), Louky Keijsers, who has her own gallery LMAKProjects. The final speaker on the panel was Olu Oguibe. The panel was all very interesting, but the most fulfilling was Olu, he was speaking to the fact that artists are far too reliant on curators and gallerists. We have ceded power to the middleman and the collectors, and given up our top of the pyramid. We are now the lowest in the hierarchy, which is exactly opposite of how he (and I) think it should be. He talked about taking it back, writing manifesto's staging our own shows, pretty much doing what we love doing and quit worrying about the commercial side, cultivate your own community and collector base. He joked afterwards that he felt like the preacher man. Amen to that!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The sun will come out tomorrow...

We went outside after lots of rain, and wandered down to DUMBO for the Art under the Bridge Festival. It was a beautiful sunny warm day (with a nice cool breeze). We started the day with coffee and croissants (almond and pain au chocolat) followed by an eclair at the utterly fabulous Almondine. It was worth eating lots of chocoalate since it was from Jacques Torres. Easily the best pain au choc outside of France. Perfectly flakey as it should be with rich DARK choco inside (don't ever put milk choco in there - gross!).
From there we set off to see the ART. There was art in the parks, and the water, even falling from the bridge! Elise Pepple's beautiful performative piece involved dumping loads of colored leaves from the Manhattan bridge down onto the people below. The pictures below don't do justice, but they set the stage. It was a wonderful celebration of a much awaited season.

We enjoyed some of the more ambitious installation type works. Loved seeing the new Smack Mellon space. (Yummy. Can I make some stuff in there?) Then we walked down to the waterfront for ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Highly recommend it, but not too much - its rich!
All in all a beautiful day in the sun (finally) with visual and gastronomous treats!

I forgot to mention that simultaneously (but from what I could tell, not actually connected to the Dumbo Fest) was a really wonderful photography exhibit. It was in a fancy tent in the gutted building near the BB park. The work was really overall quite stunning. I often find that the media of photography gets wrapped up in being interesting because the things in the photo are interesting. For my photo interest to be piqued, the photos themselves must be engaging and interesting in and of themselves. By and large this selection did that. Of special interest were the spare and beautiful works of Christian Erroi, who put the stark works behind 1 inch thick plexi adding another dimension to the works. Although it was interesting to see this work, I think I would have been a bit upset about having really expensively framed works shown in a tent over the course of 3 days of varying weather.

The writing on the wall

Caught the Creative Time showing of Jenny Holzer's work on the Public Library. It was dreary and raining, but interesting to just "happen" upon the work. They had a big truck with a projector in the back of it pointed on the library facade. They kept futzing with it making it jump up and down on the library, and the text movement wasn't as smooth as I think it was supposed to be. (The trouble with work relying on technology). There are some nice pictures of the work on Jenny Holzer's site. It works best straight on.
She also projected on other sites around the city (Rockefeller Center and NYU) and the text were poetry and declassified US government documents. All I could read on this was "You're talking politics even when you don't..."
I am glad to have Creative Time putting it all out there "in our faces" as it were.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Too many ideas, not enough time...

I imagine most artists have this problem... Too many ideas, not enough time. My work is very labor intensive so it can frequently take a long time to finish. Obviously during the production time lots of other ideas come up, I get them on paper but i would love to see more of them in reality (as opposed to only in my head) I wonder if there is any good solution to this. I am considering publishing "virtual works."

On a completely separate note, Rachael Whiteread's new work at the Tate (latest in an impressive series of works in Turbine Hall sponsored by Unilever) is arresting. With 14,000 white boxes she creates a miniature city - a little bit ghost town, a little bit fairy land. I can't wait to see it in person.

Gregory Lind won the arts lottery?

How is it possible that within the walls of a single gallery in San Francisco are all the most interesting (in my humble opinion) artists working in the area? (Excepting perhaps a few of those on my list of artists I like). Gregory Lind does however have the following: Sarah Bostwick, Sharon Englestein, Seth Koen, Christian Maychak, Amy Rathbone, Tucker Schwarz, and Jonathon Tucker among others.

It is refreshing to see such a stellar group of artists under one roof, definitely a gallery worth stopping in to see...

Of hope and despair...

I definitely should be making more of the felt balls since I didn't get as much done this weekend as I had hoped...

I have been thinking a lot about Monica Goetz's piece though... I am interested in the fact that it crosses so many boundaries. It appears to be such a simple piece, a gash in the wall from which light is emitted. But if you consider it for even a moment, you realize that there would have been quite a lot of work put into this installation. It also crosses the borders of sculpture, installation and two-dimensional work. It moves between construction and destruction, and between the original thoughts that I had - the dichotomy of hope and despair. The destruction represents such a negative and brutal act, and yet it reveals the light - that which represents hope...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Chelsea wrap-up

I didn't get to see as much as I had hoped (missed the Laurie Anderson piece), since there is always more to do in the studio. I did get to the "New Found Land" show at Priska C. Juschka, some stand out pieces: Amy Rathbone's piece of holes in the wall and little sticks coming out from the wall producing multiple shadows. Falling away from the piece are these lovely little ink drawings of crescents (look like finger clippings or paper cut outs) which end in a pile at the floor. Tucker Schwarz created some intricate and lovely pieces of photos and threads, and a simple piece of multicolored threads strung like a web in the corner. Also of note Carolyn Salas' jewel toned soft sculptures of oases (is that the plural of oasis?).
Another show entitled "Mud" at Dinter Fine Art, featured works in ceramics, and a few works that looked like ceramics, but were in fact painted styrofoam. It begs the question of the difference between Craft and Fine Art (capitals mine)...

Lynda Benglis at Cheim and Reid playing with form material and scale (that's why i have the picture with the person), these towering beauties live up to their name "The Graces". But their material (polyurethane) belies their visual weight.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Monica Goetz at James Nicholson gallery. A mark of light offers hope in destruction.

Works in Progress

So...this is my first blog entry. I have thought about doing it for a while, but, well things get in the way. So what I propose to do is use this for posting images of works and progress, as well as discuss my own work (as it develops and shows, feedback, etc). I will also use this as a forum for free form thinking, venting, ranting, complimenting, praising, whatever on the arts in general, and shows that I see, artists I like etc.
Today I am working on pieces for the Roshambo show. Thats a lot of wet felting (my hands are hating this) and tedious nylon thread wrapping of copper wire. But I am pretty happy with how things are looking. It does make me want to do LOTS more pieces with the little felt balls. Anyone want to be a sculptors assistant? Today is also the reception at RPS Collective in Oakland. Unfortunately I am in brooklyn, so hopefully some west coast friends will go see it, and enjoy the fun that is RPS openings.
Later I am going to see some of the Chelsea shows, I am acquainted with the curator of the show "New Found Land" at Priska C. Juschka which has gotten a lot of great press. It also has Amy Rathbone in it, and I love her work.
Hopefully I will work out the lack of digital camera so that I can post some images of the stuff I am working on. Donations always welcome.

You can't see much, but these are the works in progress for the roshambo show.

Some of the felted balls drying.