Friday, October 29, 2010

Gregory Euclide's wonderful worlds

I recently came across the work of Gregory Euclide in a catalog for an Exhibition titled, Badlands: New Horizon Landscape that was a Mass MoCa in late 2008 (

The work selected for the exhibition are these beautiful landscapes created on paper but instead of the image occurring on a flat plane, Euclide's landscapes occur on andin crevasses created on a crumbled piece of paper. They are really quite beautiful.

Also check out his latest installation titled: real, natural, and unsustainable

He is simply brilliant!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Richard Hawkins

Lives in L.A. His show just went up in the Modern Wing at the Art Institute. I had a studio visit with him last week. I don't really believe in luck but that was lucky (there's a lottery system for one-on-ones). He has an extremely diverse studio practice - collage, sculpture, painting, drawing, assemblage, and also what looks like some computer graphic work. I was completely overwhelmed by his show and thought I'd share. Info on the show:

It's traveling to the Hammer Museum in Februrary.

I'm breaking the date rule. Where are all the posts anyway?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Green Pornos by Isabella Rossellini

Something for the boys, the girls, and the boygirls... a few of the many Isabella Rossellini mating shorts. Joy!


Though are connection to physical things seems ever diminished by the veil of technology, we as individuals seem to be gaining new powers.

An old friend who has taken up astrophotography came across this project:

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Banksy & "Simpsons" Collabroate

October 11, 2010, 1:50 pm
‘The Simpsons’ Explains Its Button-Pushing Banksy Opening

How did “The Simpsons” manage to track down Banksy, the pseudonymous British artist, and get him to create the powerful opening-credit sequence from Sunday’s episode, which seems to reveal the torturous sweatshop responsible for the show’s creation? And how, after all that mockery, have the producers behind that Fox animated series been able to retain their jobs? Al Jean, an executive producer and the longtime show runner of “The Simpsons,” pulled back another layer of the curtain and explained the stunt to ArtsBeat on Monday afternoon.


How did you find Banksy to do this, and now that it’s done, how much trouble are you in?


Well, I haven’t been fired yet, so that’s a good sign. I saw the film Banksy directed, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” and I thought, oh, we should see if he would do a main title for the show, a couch gag. So I asked Bonnie Pietila, our casting director, if she could locate him, because she had previously located people like Thomas Pynchon. And she did it through the producers of that film. We didn’t have any agenda. We said, “We’d like to see if you would do a couch gag.” So he sent back boards for pretty much what you saw.


Were you concerned that what he sent you could get the show into hot water?


I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it for a little bit. Certainly, Fox has been very gracious about us biting the hand that feeds us, but I showed it to Matt Groening, and he said, no, we should go for it and try to do it pretty much as close as we can to his original intention. So we did. Like we always do, every show is submitted to broadcast standards, and they had a couple of [changes] which I agreed with, for taste. But 95 percent of it is just the way he wanted.


Can you say what got cut out?


I’ll just say, it was even a little sadder. But I would have to say almost all of it stayed in. We were thrilled. It was funny, I watched “Mad Men” last night and I wondered if this was my Don Draper letter to The New York Times. I knew just how he felt. But it was great to have a secret.


One of the things Banksy is known for is disguising his identity. How can you be sure that you were dealing with the real him?


The original boards that we got from him were in his style and were certainly by an extremely proficient artist. We were dealing with the person that represented him making the movie. I haven’t met him, I don’t even know what he looks like, except what the Internet suggests. And he’s taken credit for it now so I’m pretty sure it’s him. We went through the people that made the movie so I assume they would know how to get to the real him.


Even compared to how “The Simpsons” has mocked Fox in the past, this seemed to push things to a different level. Are you sure there’s no one higher up than you on the corporate ladder who’s displeased with this?


I think that we should always be able to say the holes in our DVDs are poked by unhappy unicorns.


Has Banksy’s criticism made you reconsider any of the ways you do things at “The Simpsons” in terms of producing the show or its merchandise?


I have to say, it’s very fanciful, far-fetched. None of the things he depicts are true. That statement should be self-evident, but I will emphatically state it.


A lot of the show’s animation is produced in South Korea, but not under those conditions.


No, absolutely not.


And even that closing shot of the 20th Century Fox logo surrounded in barbed wire?


Approved by them. Obviously, the animation to do this was pricey. I couldn’t have just snuck it by Fox. I’ll just say it’s a place where edgy comedy can really thrive, as long as it’s funny, which I think this was. None of it’s personal. This is what made “The Simpsons” what it is.

Mural Arts Month in Philly

One of my colleagues at the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia is the lucky husband of Jane Golden, founder and Executive Director of the Philadelphia Mural Arts Project. Knowing my love of art, he drove me by a brand new mural last week while I was in town. It is called “The Evolving Face of Nursing” by Meg Saligman. The mural was dedicated during the beginning of Mural Arts Month and, like so many of the murals in Philly, it was impressive and inspiring. What really blew me away, though, was the mural artist decided to experiment on this mural using LED lights. As the lights slowly changed colors, parts of the painting disappeared while previously hidden parts emerged. The description or following pictures don’t do it justice, but if you happen to be in the area, stop by Broad and Vine and check it out. Also, check out the Mural Arts website to learn more about the incredible murals and tours:

Also happening in Philly during Mural Arts Month, from Oct 7 – Nov 7, is the opening exhibition of a traveling mural project of the American Friends Service Committee called “Windows and Mirrors: Reflections on the War in Afghanistan.” I shared one of the pieces submitted for this exhibit a couple months ago and wanted to share the rest now that it has been unveiled. 45 mural panels, each about 4ft x 6ft, make up Windows and Mirrors and it will be traveling next to Queens, New York, then L.A., and Chicago. Future locations to be determined. Check out the exhibit which has been receiving much press and was Philadelphia Inquirer's Art Pick of the Week at

Monday, October 11, 2010

Artica: St Louis's Confluence of Creative Expression and Ancient Burial Grounds

A living entity to some, the Mississippi has churned industry and trade for a lineage of civilizations along its banks. When St Louis was established as a trading post by European explorers in the 1700s it was commonalty referred to as Mound City due to earthen structures constructed by a previous civilization, the Mississippians. In 1040 AD it's thought to have been the largest metropolis of its time.

As an homage to whom many refer to as the "mound builders" this past weekend artists, musicians, performers and members of the Burning Man community gathered for a yearly renegade art festival called Artica. The festival is on the site of the Big Mound, one of the largest burial mounds in North America removed in the late 1800s.

Artica in many ways seeks to encapsulate the City's past and connect to the future as its known for hosting a blend of experimental projects, ritualistic performances and site specific works that mimic the site's current incarnation of industrial decay.

Ironically this year's festival was dubbed "Return of the Mound Builders" as the St Louis Art Museum dumped two massive mounds of dirt from their expansion on the land. This created an exciting and drastically altered landscape juxtaposing a large homeless encampment along the riverfront.

Highlights from this year's event included a tent-size camera obscura, Stations of the Cross Grotto, a colorful woven web inside a dilapidated industrial complex, and a memory exchange project. As well as performances by the Unsceen Ghost Brigade, a group of street performers from Minneapolis traveling down the Mississippi on a raft who embody the stories of river rats of yester yor.

After sunset the Artica Effigy was ceremoniously torched as fire spinners, breathers, dancers and a light display entertained an audience of hundreds. The event concluded Sunday with a parade of dreams as festival goers floated handmade biodegradable constructions down the river.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Some of My New Favorites...

Un-Blink/Blink (diptych), oil on canvas, 24 x 22 and 24 x 24, 2006

New Weathers, oil on canvas, 84 x 59, 2009

All Our Wandering
wood, vinyl, pigment print, ink, acrylic, colored pencil, ball point pen, Velcro, foam rubber, felt
76.25 x 79.5 x 142.5, 2007

GasFace, acrylic, gouache, and cel vinyl on MDF, 48 x 72, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

*cough* *cough*

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours” - Swedish Proverb

Allesandro Ricci - smog paintings
Article about the artist.

Kim Abeles
smog portraits, maps etc.

Artist known as Smog City

Charles Gaines "Greenhouse" + article in White Hot Magazine

Air Now dot gov -- link to air quality website

UK smog exhibition

I should really quit smoking. I just don't feel like it right now.

Particulate Matter - little air polluting particles

breathe in, breathe out

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.” - Anais Nin

Monday, October 4, 2010

How Many Billboards? Art In Stead

How Many Billboards? in a larger map

Kerry Tribe
LOCATION: La Brea Ave, north of Venice Blvd, on the east side of the street, facing north.

Ken Gonzales-Day
LOCATION: Olympic Blvd, west of Gramercy Pl, on the west side of the street, facing east.


"The philosophical proposition of the exhibition is simple: art should occupy a visible position in the cacophony of mediated images in the city, and it should do so without merely adding to the visual noise. How Many Billboards? Art In Stead proposes that art periodically displace advertisement in the urban environment.

Billboards are a dominant feature of the landscape in Los Angeles. Thousands line the city's thoroughfares, delivering high-end commercial messages to a repeat audience. Given outdoor advertising's strong presence in public space, it seems reasonable and exciting to set up the possibility for art to be present in this field. The sudden existence of artistic speech mixed in with commercial speech provides a refreshing change of pace. Commercial messaging tells you to buy; artistic messaging encourages you to look and to think.

Time and space allotted for artworks in commercial space is limited, and the sea of signs is vast. How can a billboard exhibition make a strong enough impact? Most importantly, the art cannot be passive. It must take a strategic approach, be critically oriented, and explore the billboard as a site.

Artistically and culturally, Los Angeles is an aggregate of dynamic histories. Experimental architecture has been active here since the early twentieth century, radical art since the 1950s. An acute awareness of urban space has always influenced both avant-garde architectural and art practices in Los Angeles. Southern California's overlaps and interweaves of architectural adventurism, pop, and Conceptual Art have generated rich environments for artistic production and yielded influential bodies of art. My co-curators and I felt that these So-Cal syntheses are relevant for the dynamics of pop-public space in Los Angeles today.

It's a win-win situation.

Los Angeles public space begs for smart art to break up the monotony of everyday media fare, and the billboard provides a fertile position for artists who work critically and site-responsively to test their ideas in urban media space. Contemporary art gains a momentarily broad audience, and city dwellers are extended a daily invitation to reflect and contemplate. Channels are opened for experimentation, innovation, and cultural exchange.

The MAK Center
, the project partners, and I invite you to explore, enjoy, and tell us what you think."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A different Nick Cave

The designer, performer, and dancer Nick Cave is the director of the graduate fashion department here at SAIC. I recently became familiar with his work from seeing posters around school and reading the Bad at Sports blog. His Soundsuits are fabricated from found and collected objects, human hair, and natural materials. They are named for the rustling, crinkling, and whooshing sounds of the material when the costumes are activated by movement, and not because of added sound (which I thought was the case). These costumes are also shown as still, sculptural objects, which I imagine changes the whimsy (knowing there is a human underneath) into sleeping-giant creepiness (most of the suits are over 8 feet tall).

Below, the same costume:

It's incredible how with one object, Cave is able to create so many cultural and temporal layers. The past is tied with the future - ancient, tribal rituals, textile motifs, and transformative properties of material that in turn transforms person into beast. Then, gender designation is thrown out completely, and he gives us the formidable, faceless, alien-like androgyny we've learned, through science fiction, to attribute to the future.

I am having him as an adviser before my two years are up. Can't. Wait.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dirk Skreber on Ego and Humility

-Exhibition No. 2 Graham Walker (aka Dirk Skreber)

Slide show of exhibition.

Press Release:

Exhibition no.2 is one of an unknown number of ongoing exhibitions at unknown locations.

Over a decade ago I came across a centuries-old Chinese story about artists who, once they began to achieve fame and success, cut all ties with their names and took on new ones. Their desire to work under a new identity instead of basking in their fame and wealth impresses me immensely, and I have great respect for those who committed to this decision and its aftermath. The philosophical depth of this act is immeasurable. While I am in awe, however, I could never do it myself. The permanent consequences of such an undertaking, while certainly daunting, are not alone what would deter me.

What ultimately would prevent me is the emotionless discipline that is required to carry out such a deed, a discipline that is strange and incomprehensible to contemporary western civilization. Not knowing the story’s origin makes it even more fascinating to take a close look at its fundamental meaning. Upon analysis, it soon becomes clear that the values and actions of artists who did this are quite out of sync with those of most artists living in the western hemisphere; the former desire independence and freedom, while the latter accept their dependence on the market and wealth.

Those that did this subordinated the ego to humility in an act of self-abandonment to artistic dignity and, more often than not, poverty. For the others, however, the ego is the point and the art itself becomes beside the point. Those who did this are constantly building upon their will to concentrate on the thing – the ideas, the work, the practice – and on nothing else. For the others, success and decadence diffuse artistic practice and dedication, and they consequently remain submissive to the power and allure of the market. Jonathan Meese is one of the only young artists today who is addressing humility and who talks about art as being something larger than the artist. He interprets art as an undoubted but indescribable entity that uses the artist as a medium through which to emerge.

John Frankenheimer’s Seconds is an exemplary depiction of characters struggling with this same notion. In it, a middle aged man (John Randolph) buys a new identity from a dubious agency, which includes a new face and different body. He wakes up as Rock Hudson

living as a painter in a neighborhood resembling The Hamptons of Long Island. The agency takes care of all aspects of his production process. His neighbors do what he did as well. Incapable of adjusting to his new life, he tries to get another identity with the help of the agency. He has already broken his contract, however, by visiting his former house and speaking to his former wife, and the agency therefore decides to off him.

In both stories, the consequence is to become unable to talk about your past or who you have been and I could never go that far. Exhibition No. 2 examines the impossibility of this experiment: If executed, you can’t ever talk about it because it’s part of the experiment not to.

Dirk Skreber Amanda Schmidt 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010


Joseph Beuys I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974

René Block Gallery, New York..

Rivane Neuenschwander & Cao Guimaraes :“Quarta-Feira de Cinzas/Epilogue” (2006) Ants Gathering Sugar Coated Confetti:

João Onofre: Untitled (Vulture in the Studio), 2002

DVD, 400 x 300 cm video projection, 9 min. loop, stereo sound

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot at Barbican Centre, London.

Zebra Finches & Electric Telecasters: