Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 signoff

I think most of us are exhausted from 2008. Our world seems to escalate in randomness with each passing day. Let's hope 2009 brings less extremism of every order. Best Wishes!

image: Boston Globe

a dreaded year end list!

So we all hate the "best of" mantra but I could not resist posting at least one marker of the past year. It's a music list - I hear the rolling of eyes - but this is a fantastic list of good music to expand your ear.
I'll confess that I'm pinching this off a friend with a few embellishments of my own. The list is really about music we gravitated towards as artists. I think you'll find some nuggets here that aren't the usual suspects on music sites. I'm too lazy to provide links but here is the list anyway - enjoy!

BON IVERFor Emma, Forever Ago

GROUPERDragging a Deer Up a Hill


VIVIAN GIRLS -Vivian Girls

MOUNT EERIE w/ Julie Doiron& Fred Squire- Lost Wisdom

Peel Show Hits and Long Lost lo-Fi Favourites, Vol.1

NICK LOWE Jesus of Cool



VALERIO COSI -Collected Works/Heavy Electronic Pacific Loop/We Could For Hours (w/ Fabio Orsi)
NNCK -Clomeim

Touch 7" series
-Imperial Wax Solvent

TOUMANI DIABATE -The Mande Variations
-This Coming Gladness
-There Will Be Blood
EMERALDS -Solar Bridge
FANTASTIKOI HXOI -Kyriarxoi Tou Sympantos
LEGOWELT -The Rise and Fall of Manuel Noriega
ONE MORE GRAIN -Isle of Grain
vOLCANO! -Paperwork
Buraka Som Sistema -Black Diamond
Cambodian Cassette Archives s/t
Erik Friedlander
-Broken Arm Trio
Kim Doo Soo -10 Days Butterfly
THE RASTER NOTON LABEL (pretty much everything they put out this year)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Concerning Bar Identity

Question- in a time of economic disarray, if the local bar moves does it retain any of it's prior identity? From the New York Times:
But if drinking and dining have always been a moveable feast in New York, is charisma cartable? Can the character of everything from venerable pubs to palatial eateries migrate with their names and owners? This portability issue has gained new urgency in a season of economic disarray, when property owners are less willing to extend the leases of even the most beloved old-timers. New York is so provincial, three blocks is a huge distance.
In New York, the cultural ramifications of a move are huge and the cross currents of the biggest building boom and economic crises in decades does not bode well for the local haunt or the over comfortable regular. Changing scene in Brooklyn has arguably eclipsed Manhattan. You find yourself routinely at a loss for all the new local spots mushrooming and at the same time lamenting that you now "hate the crowd" at most of the spots you've been anchored to for years. Here, the cultural turnover of a neighborhood has to be approaching the speed of light. It's not simply the old guard versus the transplants, it's the transplants versus the transplants too. I always assume that what makes a bar so great to be in is the place itself. A place built by the wear and tear of the clientele over the years. In New York, this often means a holdover from another era, heightening one's sense of legacy. In truth it is the balance of a predictable and familiar clientele with a storied room and bar. The local question is, will the "local" be part of the vernacular in the coming years in an atmosphere of rapid economic turnover and an increasingly transitory populace?

Hat tip: phronesisaical
Image: Rosemary's Tavern/NYMag

Saturday, December 27, 2008

anatomy of a painting [6]

So I actually got a real shot of this piece at it's current stage. Not much to report other than that. Some minor tweaks to the grid are still in order but the next big issue is how best to activate the left quadrant of the painting and whether or not a figure(s) will be required. Also, I'm half considering the nuclear option of painting over the lower third entirely and rethinking that part of the painting. It's an ugly choice but I learned what I needed from the grid process even if it doesn't remain in piece. We'll see where the trail of dead leads.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

new paintings

The WhiteNoise Suite (no.4), 2008
The WhiteNoise Suite (no.4), 2008

So I'm continuing the White Noise series that I started and posted about back in the summer. The top one is the newest (no.4) in the group which ultimately will number 9 I think. The second one is actually no.3 from the summer but I reworked the cloud/dust portion. I'm much happier with this result than previously. Each measures 24 x 18 in.

Monday, December 22, 2008

New paper works cont...

Here are a couple of more. These two are also oil on primed paper. 30 x 22 in. each.

New paper works

I'm finally getting around to documenting some work from the last few months. These two are oil on primed paper measuring 30 x 22 in. each. More to follow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

the muck

I've always been struck by the muck of the Auerbach studio. The horror of ever advancing paint droppings and dust. When you look at his process you see the endeavor of persistence and the growing density of failure. The record lays bare the accumulation of the years marking, scraping, poking, smudging, groping through the gray light where the act never changes. It's good to see examples of this kind of activity as a reminder to guard against the external pressures of an accelerated world of information. Such work addresses physical reality, the tension between process and intention.

Increasingly I'm experiencing a need for painters who have a permanent sense of the tangible. Making work that doesn't simply mirror our times or arranging signs/symbols but making work that is an independent entity in itself. Works that grow through a process which are still vitally indebted to their sources, but ultimately veer towards an independence from those sources. A separate existence from the artist - palpable, fully intact and ready to demand a response by the very nature of that existence.

image: Frank Auerbach studio circa 1984.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dey Know ...Blago

This gets high points. Behold the evolution of the news cycle!

Via: Matt Yglesias

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

If I was high class.....

Sometimes you need a little APP....

Color Traits

I recently came across this project by Alan Woo which should hold some interest for artists. The above pie chart is the "color" of Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Pretty cool.

Alan Woo:
Curious to see if there were any stark similarities or contrasts within particular films, Pie aims to create an incredibly simple and concise baseline of comparison of films trough one particular trait: colour. This project was also the result of my first explorations into processing. The outcome is a number of triptychs comparing various films of particular trilogies, directors or genres. A program written in processing captures each frame of each movie and essentially creates a 'pie chart' of the colours contained within each film producing a simplistic and abstracted representation. Each poster includes the film title, year, director, cinematographer, running time and occasionally, various surprising/unsurprising similarities.
If this kind of thing interests you, a good art related book on the culture of color is Chromophobia by David Batchelor.

I wonder what color Chelsea would be.....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Girls Write Now

The above clip comes via Maud Newton. I think you'll agree it is quite moving. Times are hard this year fro many of us but we should remember to find ways to support others, especially those striving to find a voice in a world that is often stifling and cruel.

Maud has this to say on the organization:

This year I joined the Board of Directors at Girls Write Now, an amazing organization that pairs talented at-risk teen girls with mentors — authors and journalists — who meet with them regularly one-on-one and support their writing.

What impresses me most is that the girls go on to college. So these mentoring relationships have the power to change the mentees’ lives not just for a few months, but forever. And while we’re focused on New York City right now, long-term we want to support disadvantaged girls across the country.

If you have a little to give, please do. A $25 donation will cover one of the girls’ costs for a quarter-season, and a hundred bucks sponsors her from start to finish, and into a completely different future.

If you can’t contribute now, please consider joining the cause at Facebook, to support us in spirit and remember us once change is jingling in your pockets again.

Additional reading: J. Courtney Sullivan’s article at the Times, “With Mentors at Their Sides, Girls in Need Write Their Stories and Find New Lives.”

Monday, December 15, 2008

feeling Baker Street

Not sure if it gets much better than this one.

Chris Jagers at Americans for the Arts

Art blogger and Slideroom guru, Chris Jagers is guest blogging at the Americans for the Arts blog. The subject is "Public Art", with Jay Sullivan, Professor of Sculpture and Chair, Division of Art: Meadows School of the Arts.

Here's and excerpt:

CJ: When I first asked you to do an interview with you about “Public Art,” what did you immediately begin thinking about?

JS: I first thought of Foucault’s idea of Heterotopias: spaces within a space, where a certain kind of special activity can take place, both within and also slightly outside of society. Classic examples of this are hospitals, insane asylums or graveyards. These are places where society can have safe conversations about things that they don’t want to deal with all the time or everywhere. Ironically, when I think about Public Art, I think about the Percent for Art Project and this notion that we seek to beautify train stations, airports and other things. There is a heterotopic feel about that. On one hand, it is defining certain structures (usually municipal) as being public in a way that other spaces (like major street intersections) are not. For instance, if I put a big sculpture at a major street intersection, I could get into more trouble (aesthetic) than if I put the same piece of sculpture in a train station—the spaces are “public” in different ways and we expect different things to happen there.

Of course, work like Richard Serra’s “Tilted Arc” violated all this … it went into a public place which was owned by the government, a super public space. Yet, it did some things within that plaza that attacked pre-existing boundaries of that being a public space normally appropriate for such works.

CJ: How do these ideas relate to the administrative process of choosing a project?

JS: I have had a chance to be on a few Public Art review panels, and its very interesting to hear the discussion of the jurors who represent the community. And it is also interesting to see what is given as the agenda for pieces because these things are always supposed to address the community. Projects are supposed to be responsive to the place, but at the same time they are encapsulated in a way that can be easily ignored or marginalized. And when a piece is easy to “bracket off” visually, it becomes difficult to address the community. A thing may be there, but it becomes ancillary to the space itself.

Of course, art has always occupied a special place that is different from ordinary objects … so it’s always a negotiation. A negotiation with the public about goals, the role of the piece and which spaces are potentially available for art versus other public spaces which are viewed are more private. In the early stages, but even later, the artist doesn’t have too much say in all this, which is difficult–the panel is in some sense “guessing” who would be best.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

crime scene

image: John Cole

Friday, December 05, 2008

Artist Lecture Series/Bidonville Cafe, Dec.7

The first Sunday of the month is upon us again and so another "slide show". I really encourage people to come out for some old fashioned art banter at Bidonville. The lecture series has been consistently good and I for one am glad to get another dose before the Holiday crunch fully descends. This month is Nancy Goldring and Zoe Pettijohn Schade and I think both are doing interesting work. So if you are not in Miami, stop by ...
Sunday, Dec. 7 @ 7:00 pm
Bidonville Cafe in lovely Fort Greene

Willoughby Ave. (b/w Clermont & Adelphi)
Bklyn, NY 11205
G or C train to Clinton/ Washington and march north
This month's artists:

Nancy Goldring

“Foto-projection,” is a term I coined for a unique process I have been developing over the last 24 years. This approach proposes irreconcilable time frames, shifting vantage points, and changing moods, and corresponds to my understanding of human perception. Though itself a synthesis, each foto-projection represents only one of the many possible ways of depicting or evoking a place. When viewed altogether, the non-narrative sequence of images offers a personal system for ordering the multiplicity of experience.

“Goldring’s images are the tools of an understanding located in a discrete zone somewhere between philology and an impression of reality, an understanding that must never be lost…”

- Paolo Barbaro, from Palimpsest: The Photographs of Nancy Goldring

Zoe Pettijohn Schade:

The artist works from the tradition of painting textile patterns with gouache, while burying each repeating layer of imagery beneath other layers. The embedded and abstracted images rise to the eye in their own time like memories. The geometry of repetition has as much perceptual and psychological ramifications as the image. Working with historical decorative structures and personal imagery, a constellation of associations is woven through each painting.