Monday, April 17, 2006

A smattering of a lot of things

Had a number of things I wanted to comment on, some may or may not develop into further, longer posts.

First up 'Artists have all the fun' - I had this idea for a street art piece (I do a number of different projects that are 'street' oriented, usually under a psuedonymn). This piece was to search for open bluetooth lines our on the street or on the subway. In any given crowded car I can usually find one or two open bluetooth connections. I would then send a picture or a poem to these open phones. I tried it out a bit last week and it worked out well, since most people don't understand their bluetooth and are always surprised to get a message on the train. Here's the post-able part. (It's the age old argument of why is art that which an artist claims is art). If I do this project and say, oh its an art project... but a hacker does it and sends messages to people over their open connections, then, well its a hack or an invasion of privacy? I am pretty sure I could find tons of discussions on this out on the internet, but I just thought I would throw out a new twist on the argument. Okay, now that I have written it, it doesn't seem so interesting.

Next, finally Simon Doonan gets his say in the apparent pariah-making to which he has been subjected by Jack Pierson and Cheim & Reid. I saw early postings regarding this and thought it was beyond ridiculous. Not only are the Pierson works in and of themselves not terribly original, it is completely beyond absurd that it was taken to the level of vitriol that it was. Hooray for Simon Doonan for pointing out the silliness of the claims and the obvious publicity boost which the artist and gallery have received.

Finally, the fascination with the 'young' as profiled in the Times piece on the MFA shows, and discussed on Edward Winkleman's blog is gross and damaging. As much as I wanted to receive notice in grad school (and I did quite well thank you despite the mini recession we were experiencing) I was also really afraid of it and hesitant to put myself out to much. I just kept thinking about how it is a known joke that those who were super popular in high school fizzle out quickly thereafter. I do appreaciate the mention that the grad schools don't teach enough about the commercial art world (I think this is an important and sadly lacking feature of MFA programs), but I shudder to think the negative impact of being 'discovered' too young.

Update: Interesting article here

Sorry these aren't better thought out, I am excessively tired this morning...

  • Apparently in the world of Architecture, cutting edge happens later in life.
  • I have to get some pictures of the rugs (yes rugs!) at ABC carpet that look like my work - ala the Doonan/Peirson debacle.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Last Call!

JT is posting a last call for artists interested in participating in his Artists Interview Artists project. It's a great project that has uncovered some interesting points of view. If you haven't participated already, then do so!

Note: Um, no I haven't participated yet, although I think about it a lot. Been too lazy (I was going to say busy) to come up with questions, and when I do, I tend to post them here instead. Maybe I could just compile and send...

Covering what?

I heard in an NPR discussion last week on Studio 360*. It was a discussion with Kenji Yoshino, who wrote Covering: The Hidden Assault On Our Civil Rights. The blurb on the website sums it up nicely: how we all distort our identities at some point in our lives—even if it’s just concealing a tattoo or pretending to like sports.

It got me to thinking about my experience in Morgan Lehman gallery. I had a really wonderful open, friendly and interesting conversation with someone** who seemed very much to be in charge there. I did however at the keep thinking "Don't ask my name, don't ask my name" You know why? Because I had sent them a packet a little while back. And as foolish as it seems, I didn't want them thinking that I was just there pandering. I was actually there in my capacity of 'viewer/blogger/collector,' not in the artist role.

Does that seem a bit strange? Should I be afraid to admit that I really like the artwork they show and that's the reason I sent my work in? And I am asking the prices on the works because I would really like to buy one?

It made me think how there are other ways in which I cover within the artist/blogger/curator/collector role. I think it is hard to be successful at all three at once, so I surmise that most who wear different mantles cover to a certain degree. I am often surprised to find out that an arts administrator is an accomplished artist, or the same for a curator, journalist, or critic. I am always well impressed with the accomplishment.

How do other artists handle it? Do y'all cover? Do you take advantage (and I don't mean that in a bad way) of situations?

*It took me a REALLY long time to figure out which program I had heard it on, all I could remember was that I was driving (it was a rental for getting my kitty to the vet) around the Lower East Side trying to get on the FDR, couldn't even remember if it was Friday or Saturday that I heard it!

**I really am not the type of person who knows whos who in the art world, which may be a good thing or a bad thing - I don't know. I am so bad with name/face recognition that when a celebrity walks by (it really does happen a lot here), if I even notice them, than I look at them and think 'Do I know them? Did I go to school with them?" I must look like a dumb puppy staring at them absent mindedly.

By the way, huge thanks to Tyler Green over at Modern Art Notes for giving my stats a bump today! Imagine my surprise, especially since I hadn't yet read through all of my rss feeds (including his) for the day. (And I know all of you bloggers check your stats too).

Monday, April 10, 2006


I haven't had a good internet connection since the move, so I am posting this from my phone (kinda techweenie). Couple that with the fact that I didn't get much sleep thanks to the highly volatile but at times quite interesting and insightful argument about race that was going on outside my window at 4 am... Let's just say I can't guarantee a fully formed post. I will update with links and more pictures when I get my connection back.

I'm not going to write the whole list of things I saw, just those i liked.

I have found a few galleries that seem to always have a good show. Top of that list is Morgan Lehman. I have raved about previous shows and had once again noted that I wanted to see the show but couldn't remember why. To my very pleasant surprise they were showing works by my favorite San Francisco street muralist, Andrew Schoultz. His work has always had a great deal of energy which he balances with a studied attention to line. His new drawings showed an increased intensity that shone through the work. The drawings still contain many of his archetypal images - birds in flight, wide eyed elephants, birdhouses, and trees and piles of logs. In this series he has introduced the imagery of the armored horse. He has also brought in jolts of color bursting forth in radiant lines from the various objects. The energy and excitement (and fun) that he had in making these is apparent. I am really glad that Morgan Lehman has brought Schoultz's work to new york. I also enjoyed a really pleasant conversation with the gallerist regarding Schoultz's work and that of some of the other artists they represent. He had hoped to bring a larger contingent of San Francisco artists in to show, but Libby Black and Josephine Taylor didn't have any new work. It was a fun conversation which shows the keen interest which they have in finding interesting new work which fits their sensibilities (which seem to be a certain obsessive quality laced with sensuousness (is that even a word?) and playfulness (or experimentation). I also remarked on the wonderful fact that there seemed to be a real interest in drawing in Chelsea right now.

This was borne out by the strong showing of sculptures and drawings by David Opdyke at Roebling Hall (another with a run of good shows). Opdyke's work were executed with a sharp political wit, a keen eye for structure and detail and a magnificent sense of irony. The works took on various political overtones (a fractured map of the U.S., a dollar bill detail made of toy war games). He has the ability to articulate ideas poignantly through both his large "scale model" sculptures and his deft ink on paper work.

Another gallery dishing out consistently good shows is Josee Bienvenue. The current show of works of paper by Noriko Ambe was another that pandered to my love of obsessive works. Ambe creates landscapes by stacking thousands of sheets of cut paper. This practice is not so new, but the works in which she placed stacks of the paper in flat file drawers with the bottoms cut out, took the work to a more interesting level. By moving the drawers in and out to varying depths, one could create a huge variety of new landscapes.

And speaking of landscapes, I had to stop by Pace Wildenstein to see the enormous (of course) new installation by Tara Donovan. A massive rolling (and sometimes mountainous and cliffed) landscape created by stacks of paper cups. The translucency of the cups gave the piece undulating shades of light and dark, yellows and blues. Walking into the space I was taken aback by the magnitude of the work. As I walked around one side I enjoyed the shape and light. As I continued to circumambulate (yeh I did) the piece, the interest and appeal started to wear off. By the time I was done. I was done. I didn't walk out with any residual feeling of awe, interest or excitement (unlike walking out of the other shows profiled here), which is kind of a bummer because I do tend to like Donovan's works.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a little love goes a long way

I love Carol Es' artwork and I love her words. But I promise not to hug, unless she wants me too. I just wanted to share her wonderful words with you. I think she's far more brilliant than people who use big words.

Monday, April 03, 2006


We moved this weekend (check out the new neighborhood at, and it has been quite a long process. We signed the lease over a month ago, and were completely packed and ready to go a week before our move date. Part of what that means is that my mind has been focused on other things, and part is that the projects i have been working on are packed away until we get things sorted out. I am very much in the habit of working on the large drawings on and off throughout the day - for what works out to a couple of hours a day. I am not surprised then to find that not having them to work on is, well uncomfortable. Like that itch you can't reach. I have plenty of things to keep me busy, including clearing up enough space to work on them, but i am having trouble doing that because i would rather just work on them. It's an odd catch 22, but i suppose not such a bad one to have.
I worked on some submissions prior to the move, including one for creating organic interventions throughout the city and subway (think fungi in those end windows of the L train cars).
I hope to have things in order by this weekend, and will be putting together the large drawings (decided to use soft gel medium instead of latex - at least until i change my mind again) which i will post images of as well.
Given that we also have more wall space in the new apartment, i am planning to hang more of my work (including myth and ambition) and i am excited about doing some wall drawings with the new water solubale graphite pencils.