Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Living under a microscope

I went to see the Eva Hesse show at the Drawing Center on Friday. It is a fascinating show which offers a unique (but not so rare) look "behind the scenes" of the artwork (as it were). The show includes a number of sketchbooks and sketches of sculptural works. It even includes some sample sculptural works (experiments that she was doing with different materials and forms). Finally, there were many drawings that were part of larger series or layouts for other drawings.

I mentioned to my friend that how we, as contemporary artists are constantly aware of the potential of really anything we create maybe going on view some day. (Yes there is a lot of maybe and potentially in that statement). Anytime a contemporary artist is sketching, drawing, testing, etc, there is a tinge of someone looking over your shoulder. I wonder how this affects the output? I don't consciously think about it, but having seen so many retrospectives of artists in the not so distant past - Eva Hesse, Diane Arbus - and their sketchbooks, journals, tests on display, are resonating subconsciously. There's no longer a safe place out of site of peering eyes where freedom reigns.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Just popped into the Nurture Art gala sale (shh, don't tell-the preview is tonight, and the open reception follows). There is some GREAT work there, drop everything and in buy art!

Buy My Art!

I've been pretty well holed up in the studio, working on the drawing series since I want to have it finished by the end of June. I was playing with different layer bonding techniques (finally decided on Mod Podge for paper), by making small samples of the triple layers of the pieces. I also decided I wanted to donate a piece to the Nurture Art gala, and wanted to send something new. So I spent countless hours drawing and cutting and layering.

All the artworks at the gala are priced at $150, and that for my work, and many others, is a steal! Plus it benefits a great organization that provides opportunities for artists, curators and educators.

The event is tonight, June 12 at Cue Art Foundation in Chelsea. For more information... Go out and see the art and buy the art. Plus I won't be able to attend since we are getting our new puppy tonight!

I did get out and see a little bit in the art world over the weekend. Artist's Space has an interesting show on location and how our urban environment defines our identity. Really beautiful work by Jihyun Park at Art in General, I just hope they burn the thing (upside down) at the end of the show because that would be really fascinating. Also popped over to Kentler International Drawing Space for a curators talk - which reminded me that artists should be seen and not heard. Dropped in on a few shows in Williamsburg also, wanted to see the KBP show, but didn't get there. Some really engulfing work at Pierogi right now by Reed Anderson.

Sorry the post is soooo short, I have been really busy lately and even have to run now, will be around more over the next couple of days so maybe I will have some things to say while the puppy is napping.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Waay Off Topic (Or, Just South of the Tropic)

G-pup and I just got back from a long overdue vacation to Puerto Rico. It was a last minute decision, and we realized that we lived close enough to the Caribbean to be there in less than 4 hours (unless there are delays at JFK - which there were). So we looked around to see where we might go. We usually don't do "resort" vacations, we are more likely to go to either an urban location for a cultural/foodie vacation, or go rough with an eco/camping kind of thing. So this whole pamper resort thing seemed like a fun change. We decided on Puerto Rico because I had always wanted to see it (thanks to the recommendations of many PR friends) and Gavin was really into visiting Arecibo (you know the HUGE radio telescope in Goldfinger and Contact).

We flew down last week and just got back. It was a brilliant trip. We mostly avoided the tourist scourge of sunburn, but the midgies liked us an awful lot. Puerto Rico is a really fascinating place. I have been lucky enough to travel to other islands and PR is really nothing like the Caribbean (not that many of the islands are much like the other islands down there considering the myriad of European influences on the islands). It is a very urban place that is undergoing rapid development (too much really for the ecological balance). It has a unique feel and look. It also has a unique enough eco system to support a rain forest, dry forest, 3 of the 5 biobays in the world, and PR specific species - including singing Coqui frogs (there are Coqui elsewhere, but they don't sing) the Puerto Rican Parrot (only about 200 left).

I would have loved to have had more time to explore Puerto Rico - including the interior, and other beach cities like Rincon and Ponce. As it is we did pretty well with getting into a car (y'all are crazy drivers!) and getting over to Arecibo, spending an afternoon in Old San Juan and watching the kite flying at El Morro. We also got to hike in the rain (no surprise) in El Yunque (the rainforest gets over 100 billion gallons of rain a year).We took an insane kayak trip through a mangrove channel in the pitch black to get to a bioluminescent bay (Laguna Grande). It was mostly insane because of all the inexperienced kayakers, but it was a fascinating and surreal trip anyway. It looked like someone had applied computer enhanced imaging to make us glow in the water.

We also did the obligatory catamaran sail and snorkel out to Cayo Lobos.

Puerto Rico is an island of many colors and cultures all merging together on an island "associated" by the US. The people we met were wonderful - full of community and openness. They loved sharing their unique island. I had also always heard that PR was really into supporting its artistic community, and it certainly shows. There are many fascinating contemporary and traditional public sculptures. The graf there is also really stunning (sorry no pics - we were speeding by in a car).

If you are the kind of person looking for a "typical" island get away - this may not be the place for you, but if you want something that feels more "real" (that's the only way I can come up with to describe it) Puerto Rico is a great place for a trip away. (Next time we'll get over to Vieques and Culebra too).