Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Monday, August 29, 2005
I happened across these last night and saved them to my flickr account but now I can't find the original website. Today I find that Mountain Man has posted some art and demolition derby photos from his own visit to a Pennsylvania fair!
UPDATE - still can't find the original site but it may be on one of the many bizarre pages of this website of photos by the photographer, Craig S. Thom. Am I allowed to post that butterheads photo? I don't understand the rules.
Two artists recommended in the comments of the previous radius250 post are Amy Lincoln and Joshua Rickards. Both artists are painters showing thinly painted works. Rickards has two very small paintings straddling that line between the scrappy and the crappy - one is a cloud dripping a rainbow of pale colors and was like a more hazy empty Ben Woodward piece, the other is a weird one with a middle-aged shirtless guy holding a sword. He's painted off to the bottom left side, like a sketch you'd find in a high-school notebook. The hazy beigeness and materiality of these pieces is very nice. Amy Lincoln's washy direct portraits have a strength, honesty and emotional assertiveness missing in so much of the scrappy. They are slight without being glib, like Elizabeth Peyton but with more emotion. A little less style and a lot more soul.
Todd Scalise - has a graphic latch-hook rug piece called The Prophet. Nothing to say about it but that I liked it.
Michael Seal - I hadn't noticed these at all on my first visit to the show. He has three open "books" on a low pedestal which are actually frames for small black and white photographs - I say photographs but they are in fact something called an ambrotype. These small photos are of a very tiny figure wandering through a forest of pillars and monuments, the tops of which all feature huge lumpy portrait busts of probably the same person. These have a funny scale thing because the pillar-scapes feel like miniatures but to the tiny figure wandering among them they are monumental. Also you have to bend over and peer into the book to get a good look at them.
Monica Palma Narvaez - this artist's work remains my favorite of the show. Here's the short statement that accompanies her photographs - "after arriving in Richmond from Mexico, I noticed some posters in the street that talked about citizen vigilance in the neighborhood. I decided to assume my neighborly responsibilities and monitor the activities in the street seen from my front window."
Saturday, August 27, 2005
On the occasion of the Andy Warhol Foundation's decision to license Andy's images to Levi's and Edward Winkleman's post on the foundation's previous post-mortem licensing deals I want to share a very funny old television commercial.
My friend Al started this site, Japander, of mostly American celebrities endorsing products on Japanese television. He's been threatened with lawsuits from Meg Ryan and Leonardo Dicaprio, so they might not still be on the site, but the best one of all is this one of Andy Warhol selling a television.
In case you don't speak Japanese, he is saying the names of colors, and then he says "pretty". It's hilarious! His pronunciation is awful.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Make sure you check out the archives, they go all the way back to 2000 and cover shows not just in Boston but also Giuliano's many visits to NYC, Europe, and elsewhere. Caryn Coleman, you would probably like this recent installment, excerpted below, with curator Linda Norden discussing Ed Ruscha.
"I went out to LA,” she said and met with the artist. “Ed had wanted to do Venice for the past 30 years. He loved the building as well as the prestige of the Biennale. He said ‘What do you do?’ I said ‘I think it is crucial that the project be really specific to the space. I knew the building and we talked about its symmetry. Donna (Desalvo) suggested that we leave the rotunda empty which we did. I thought it was important that people not feel that they had seen the work before. He made new work for the installation. I particularly liked the earlier ‘Blue Collar’ series which was done in black and white (based on photographs of industrial landscapes). He said ‘How long will you be in LA’ and I answered ‘About a week.’ He said ‘Come back in 48 hours.’ He subsequently created a new series of works, in color, that relate to the original 1992 series."
Can that be right? He made those Venice Biennale paintings in 48 hours? That must be just some initial sketches or something, right?
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Style Weekly's Shannon O'Neill has an article out this week with more info and introducing some of the artists. The article makes mention of my previous Sculpture Invitational post and refers to that as a "public-relations setback". Sorry, I thought I was offering some good ideas - and I do think this is great and am excited about it. Why does it so often seem that if you don't cheerlead for something 100% you are perceived as being against it? I would like to see Allison Smith's Muster invade Monument Avenue, it would be perfect.
I'm glad to see that the end of O'Neill's article does address my valid criticism of a fourteen artist invitational that includes only one woman. Actually, in thinking about the history of Richmond public sculpture, I was also wondering how many black sculptors were included. Richmond is a city that is nearly 60 percent black but I am hard-pressed to name a local black artist. Or a single black faculty member or black grad student in any department of VCU's fine arts program.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I need to buy some time to catch up or something to some of these midcareer artists only five years older than me, so I'm declaring myself at a quarter of my career. My mid-career point will be in 2020 when I'm 52. It's all done in fifteen year increments. I'm finished in 2050 when I'm 82. Here's my resume.
Am I still an "emerging artist"? I guess so. The best definition I have seen yet of "emerging artist" is Dieu Donne's "an artist who is professionally unrecognized but stylistically evolved". What is the opposite called, an artist who IS professionally recognized but NOT stylistically evolved? I know they exist! Does anybody have a suggestion?
I am ready for my Quarter-Career Retrospective if any museums want to get in touch with me.
SOME MID-CAREER ARTISTS -
Richard Polsky refers to Tony Fitpatrick as a mid-career artist. Fitzpatrick was born in 1958 and has been showing since 1985.
The Whitney's press release and Susan Freudenheim's 2/13/05 NYTimes review both refer to Tim Hawkinson's Whitney exhibition as a being a mid-career show. Tim Hawkinson was born in 1960 and has been showing for two decades.
Arthur Lubow's 04/03/05 NYTimes Takashi Murakami profile announces a midcareer retrospective of the artist at LA's Museum of Contemporary Art scheuled for 2007. Murakami was born in 1962.
Michael Kimmelman opens his 3/4/05 NYTimes Thomas Demand review with the sentence, "a dozen years ago, Thomas Demand, whose generally stellar midcareer retrospective opens today at the Museum of Modern Art, was studying in London, at Goldsmiths College." Demand was born in 1964!!!
Andrea Fraser was born in 1965 and had a midcareer retrospective in 2003.
UNHELPUL DEFINITIONS -
The California Community Foundation offers definitions for both mid-career and emerging artists seeking fellowships on it's website -
"a mid-career visual artist — defined as an artist who has seven or more years of active professional participation in his/her field. Artists must have documented exhibition history, publications or other significant proof of professional accomplishments."
"an “emerging” visual artist — defined as an artist who has up to seven years of professional experience in his/her field. Artists must demonstrate outstanding artistic ability and potential to rise from a challenging or obscure position or condition in the community."
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Above is one of the four photographs Monica Palma Narvaez has included in the radius250 show. Her four photos are all "surveillance" shots of unsuspecting passerby taken from the safety of home - through screens and between blinds. Here's another one from the series that is not included in the show.
Narvaez moved to Richmond from Mexico about eight months ago to join her boyfriend (now husband) and this work of an immigrant keeping tabs on Americans is an interesting twist. For me they also bring to mind the paranoid psychologist Dr. Fielding from Ann Sofi-Siden's Qm, I think I call her Qm as well as a summer a few years ago when my girlfriend and I sublet a place in Philadelphia. We were visiting from Japan and I know that she spent a lot of very bored afternoons looking out the window waiting for me to come home from work.
Radius250 is a grab-bag of a show, the work is all over the place. Juror John Ravenal said that he wasn't interested in pushing any one idea but instead wanted to highlight the diversity of work being made. Monica Palma Narvaez is my favorite of the show; some others include -
Althea Murphy-Price - she has made something that looks like an Afro-hat/helmet/teapot/wig. Here's an image but you can't get the hairiness of it. This is for a lady with long curling fingernails. I know a lady named Laverne who might want to wear this to church. Is it her hat? Is it her hair? Is it a wig? Laverne won't say! Oompa-loompa! This relates (for me) to Ellen Gallagher's plasticine hair stuff.
Robert Rainey - Robert is showing what appears to be a bland suburban family portrait of parents and son sitting on the front steps. Note the screaming little girl locked inside not allowed to take part in the photograph (very hard to see on the web). It gets a little creepier if you know gay Robert is posing as the father.
Beq - this painting is awkward good. Strange. Nice size and scale. Can't figure out if I like it or not or why. The calligraphy is distracting.
The show has gotten some press in both Style Weekly and the Richmond Times Dispatch but without making much mention of specific works. Does anybody have a favorite or least favorite they'd like to mention in the comments?
Friday, August 19, 2005
I want to make something like a nativity scene of my One Day in the Garden characters. They would be white ceramic with gold trim. A white ceramic gold-trimmed log and a ceramic or wooden pipe. Maybe a Czechoslovakian crystal caterpillar husk. Elegant!
Also some Capodimonte style One Day in the Garden lamps. Gorgeous!!!
I'm not kidding.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director Michael Brand has been named new Director at the Getty Museum. Brand is a native Australian and has been here in Richmond for five years.
Who will be our new Director?
Monday, August 15, 2005
"other standouts in the show include Melanie Stidolph’s large-scale digital photos and Sarah Bednarek’s screenprinted couch. Stidolph’s picture of a white horse and its foal has a strange intensity (due in part to its ethereal, washed out color-scheme) that refuses to be immediately characterized as "doing" this or that. The sincere beauty of the photo counterbalances the My Little Pony irony of the subject matter. Bednarek’s couch rises above a great deal of the "crafts"-oriented work one sees today, largely because of her talent for understatement. The piece features a repeating pattern of woodsmen, hooded flag bearers, and shotgun-toting thugs in various sylvan settings, tricked out in a nauseating shade of forest green. All of this might have ended up as simply sarcastic in less capable hands. But the bland subtlety of the figuration lends the work an eerie normalcy–it would be easy to have a seat on the couch without even noticing the creepy cast of characters in their paramilitary Arcadia"
Bednarek and Stidolph were my two favorites from that show too.
Richmond Related -
X on Relativity for NYArts Magazine - My look at the same show here and here. Unfortunately I never got around to writing more specifically about the work of Sun-Tek Chung and Chris Norris, but I understand they will be showing together this fall at ADA Gallery. I'll try to get to them then.
X on Katharina Grosse for NYArts Magazine - I blogged Grosse's lecture here and here. More photos of the installation are here.
Who is this X and how is it that he missed Meatballs at Stuffy's??? Oh wait, X is working for VCU and the two shows he covered are VCU shows. How much money is VCU indirectly paying for these reviews? Maybe I should save up and buy one too? X previously covered a VCU rental show in Beacon for the NYTimes - I don't think he was working for VCU yet.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
I included Merlin James in that group and asked "okay, that is four painters who also write art criticism - mostly about other painters. What about non-painters? Artists in other mediums?". An anonymous commenter added "what about female artist-critics? I hate this crowd of guys idea".
Can anybody recommend some other good artist-critics?
Related - Joe Fyfe for artcritical.com, Chris Martin on abstract painting for the Brooklyn Rail, Stephen Westfall for Art in America, Merlin James on Jean Helion.
PS - Is Heartney an artist also?
Friday, August 12, 2005
Diana Al-Hadid is showing at Irvine Contemporary until September 3rd. Richmonder Suzanna Fields is in that show too. Diana is also included in the MFA Graduates Exhibition at the Arlington Art Center.
Other recent VCU grads in that MFA Graduates Exhibition are Sarah Bednarek, Megan Biddle, and Timothy Michael Martin. I had thought JT was saying some good things about Mike Martin in his review but he backed way off in his comment to my post here. Sorry, Mike!
I'm a little confused about what JT thinks now because it sounds like he's saying he doesn't really like Mike's work but thinks that "priced at a mere $1,200" it is a good buy. I'm especially confused because back in the fun comments of this post JT seemed to be arguing that Jim Houser's work was priced way too high at $2,000 (Houser was having his fourth solo show at Philadelphia's Spector Gallery). Now I have no idea how JT decides something is priced well if he isn't basing his decision either on how much he likes the work or what an artist's track record is; $1,200 for a painting by an artist just starting out is too low but $2,000 for one by an artist with a good reputation having his fourth solo show at a large city's well-regarded gallery is too high? I don't get.
Coming up in DC is that prestigious MFA show Options 2005.
P.S. - not DC but Sarah Bednarek is also included in Cynthia Broan's summer show which just got reviewed on artnet. Unfortunately Sarah's piece was not one of those mentioned, but I was glad to see the reviewer enjoyed Melanie Stidolph's two photographs.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The piece above is one of the ten or eleven or so I own by Paris, also known as Paris the Bum, also known as Holy Joseph. I say "ten or eleven or so" because Paris often drew on both sides of whatever scrap of cardboard or paper he was working on. Here is the other side of the piece pictured above.
Paris was a center-city Philadelphia fixture when I lived there from 1986-1994. He wore aluminum foil turbans with big cardboard crosses, cinched his pants with ropes, wandered around softly muttering, and slept on stoops using his drawings as both sleeping mats and blankets. If he stayed on the same stoop long enough it too would be drawn on directly. He spent a lot of timed camped out decorating the stoop of the place that is currently the restaurant Alma de Cuba. I called him Paris because that's what he told me his name was but people also called him Holy Joseph.
I know I was not the only person that collected his work - I remember going to parties and sometimes seeing his work on the walls - and other people collected his work as well. John Ollman bought stuff. That must have been awkward - being an outsider art dealer with the real thing camped out down the block. I wonder if he has any plans to ever show those?
One time I took Paris home thinking he could bathe or eat or something but it was no use, he just wandered around my apartment muttering. It was really hard to hear anything he said, he always spoke so softly, but most of what he said didn't make any sense.
I left Philadelphia for Albuquerque in 1994 but a number of years years later took out a small ad in the City Paper describing Paris and asking anybody who might remember him to contact me, especially if they had any info, photos, or work. One guy did! I was given a lead to a homeless shelter that was familiar with Paris!
In 2002 I was able to visit the shelter and the guy in charge had very fond memories of Paris. I think he was a favorite. The timeframe of that guy's and my own experiences with Paris overlap - and he knew Paris liked to draw - but he wasn't aware of the extent of Paris' art life. I was told that they tried to track down Paris' family and find out his real name but were never able to get anything solid - and one day a few years before my visit Paris just stopped coming to the shelter. The director did have a photograph of Paris that he reluctantly parted with to allow me to make a color copy of. My sense is that it was unusual for him to have personal snapshots of these "guests" - Paris must have made an impression on him as well.
Here's the photo. This is pretty much how I remember talking with Paris, except we would be outside over a heating grate, his headpiece would be bigger and gaudier, and instead of blankets he would be covered in drawings. Actually, it looks to me like in this photo he is clutching at least one blanket-drawing. Also take note of the piece of charcoal and eraser on the shelf.
Here are all my images of Paris' drawings. These are all done with crayon on thin cardboard. Lots of religous imagery. Beautiful birds here and here. The brown line drawings are especially faint in these scanned slides but I like the man and the little bird in the left of this one. Here's Jesus walking on water with "God Bless America" written across the bottom. My favorite might be this one because sitting atop this man's staff is another little man - so hard to see in this scan, sorry. What's this one about? Are those white servants waiting on wealthy blacks? Was this a desire or a memory? Most of the drawings that aren't worked on both sides include strange symbols or lettering on the back. Stars and/or moons. Is it Muslim? Similar to the moon and sun in this picture. Many of the buildings in the backgrounds look Middle Eastern.
Last year I e-mailed Philadelphia artbloggers Roberta and Libby asking if they knew anything about Paris and they posted my query on their blog. Nobody contacted me but Roberta's post did include the information that Paris had been included in the show "Found Ground" at Moore's Levy Gallery in Jan. 1991.
Now I have my own blog so I will ask again: Does anybody have any artwork by, photographs of, or remembrances of Paris?
I remember Paris!!!
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Monday, August 08, 2005
Finch calls one painting "stunning", another "lush", another "surprising" - and adds "as with all great curations, "Extreme Abstraction" compels you to re-examine artists you may dislike or ignore."
Wow! You guys are great! Super! The bar is set so high!
P.S. The Albright-Knox website lists one of the Extreme Abstraction artists as "Arthuro" Herrera. I have a funny related Arturo Herrera story. How elegant!
Artspace's first annual Sculpture Invitational opens August 26th with a walking tour beginning at 6pm at Artspace and ending with the final sculpture at Legend Brewing Company.
Participating artists include - Margery Albertini*, Gabriel Bennett, Andrew Campbell, Tom Chenoweth, Frederick Chiriboga, Ed Holten, Greg Kelley, Jeffry Loy, Mackie Macmillan, Giovanni Meola, Fumiaki Odajima, James Parker, Charles Ponticello, and Wayne Trapp
This is a great idea, I'd especially like to see something interspersed - and related/reacting to - among all those Civil War statues on Monument Avenue. Maybe Allison Smith and those Muster people can come down next year and camp out on Monument? That would be a hoot. Here are some more Muster photos from Corny's flickr account.
For those that don't know - Monument Avenue is a broad avenue with a wide park-like median dotted with huge equestrian statues of Civil War heroes like J.E.B. Stuart, Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee. The last lonely statue on Monument is this one of Arthur Ashe.
*bad sign - fourteen artists and only one woman?
photo credit: Mike Lynaugh - The James River Rangers march past the "Stonewall" Jackson monument along Monument Avenue during the Confederate Heritage Parade in Richmond, VA. - here are more photos.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Allesandra Torres - is becoming very popular in DC. Amy Watson reviews Seven on Thinking About Art here. Lenny Campello has a photo and some links here. James Bailey has a crush and photos here.
Bonnie Collura - Libby Rosof attended Bonnie's talk at University of the Arts (my old school!) and took a bunch of notes and photos. She even got one of Bonnie!
Timothy Michael Martin - J.T. Kirkland has some very good things to say about (investing in) Mike Martin!
"Should any speculative collectors be interested in Martin's work (he's in Strictly Painting now too) then his three large paintings in this show are steals. They measure (a guess) 48" x 48" x 6" and are priced at a mere $1,200. Should his career take off eventually we'll look back and wish we had bought these pieces at these prices. "
Mike! Let's trade!!!
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The sweet William Blake piece linked to yesterday was one of the sources of inspiration for One Day in the Garden and above is another - Korean min-hwa, or folk art. The min means people and hwa means picture (I think hwa is the Korean equivalent to the Japanese e, as in ukiyo-e, sumi-e, etc).
I spent six months in Korea and was given a nice set of books on min-hwa shortly before I left. Everything about this art is so different from everything I was familiar with - it was a whole new microverse. The two figures fighting(?) from the page above helped to create this scene and the guy in the red robe became the guy on the left here.