Friday, December 31, 2010

art and porn... happy new year.

Daily Dose Pick: Destricted [NSFW]
2:00 pm Friday Nov 12, 2010 by Leah Taylor

Four years after it was banned from US release for its explicit content, Destricted brings together creative — and graphic — musings on sex and porn by artists including Marilyn Minter, Matthew Barney, and Richard Prince.

Among the DVD’s eight film shorts are Barney’s “Hoist,” a decidedly erotic take on man vs. machine; Minter’s “Green Pink Caviar,” featuring a woman kissing, sucking, and licking in extreme close-up; Prince’s “House Call,” a revision of a voyeuristic 1970s porno; and Larry Clark’s “Impaled,” for which he interviewed Gen Y-ers on their experiences with porn, then presented the reality of their fantasies. Together, the films are sexy, disturbing, and beautiful, all at once.

Visit the film’s official website, meet all of the artists involved, check out the Daily Beast’s coverage of the project, and buy the DVD.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body Art in the Flesh

I wanted to share with you today some our work from a body painting business that I and a couple friends have been doing this year in our "spare" time on the weekends. Lily Gonsalez and I (Karen Light) are the body painting artists and Lynda Guillu is the photographer. Our idea was to not only paint something that the client would like, but create an personal, perhaps even spiritual, experience that they could also take with them. We wanted our clients to really feel their individual beauty inside and out.

We have now painted women (and some men) of all shapes, colors, and sizes. All of them arrive feeling vulnerable and insecure about some part of their bodies. So, as we get to work drawing and painting, we pamper them with wine, snacks, music, incense, and friendly conversation to keep their minds off of what is happening until they forget to even be self-conscious. Slowly, as the colors start to pop and the images take shape, they become more and more excited. By the time the camera comes out, they are ready to strike a pose. Even the most shy, reserved clients become alive and open during the photo shoot.

It's been an amazing experience for me to be a part of this process. I feel very honored to be along with our clients as their transformation unfolds. I see the freedom that they suddenly feel in their own skin and find these moments of self-love to be inspiring and hopeful and it's deeply gratifying to know that I have been a part of making that happen.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Harmony Gardens Healthy Girl Initiative

Recently, I have been involved with The Harmony Gardens Community Initiative which is working collectively with mothers and daughters living in high risk Cincinnati neighborhoods. The goal is a collaborative effort where the women come together in their communities to dialogue on the topic, "What makes a Healthy Girl?" The end results of those discussions generated a list of concepts that might be used to answer the initial question. Furthermore, the mothers and daughters were sent out into the community to take pictures to support their ideas.
The next stage of this project involves artists visually responding to those ideas and photographs by producing a visual creative connective thread that continues the dialogue through a finished piece of artwork.
For my art piece I chose to focus on the question "Who Am I" in relation to making choices. One's personal chosen direction leads to answer the question. As young girls search for their self image and explore making healthy choices, the "who they are" and "who they want to be" becomes important to their success.
The lid of the decoupaged box poses the question. The images of natural vines are dormant, with only a hint of promise in the form of a few emerging leaves. The faceless figure with the words 'who am I' stitched on the face stands before an old stone archway referencing a photo of an overpass taken by the women. Once the lid of the box is opened, the promise is revealed. The interior contains the same arch, but now, the arched image is surrounded by flowering vines and butterflies emerging from the archway. The box "contains" the promise of a fullfilling life, if the right path is chosen.
The final step in this process is to spread the message of positive self image beyond the original community nucleus. The artwork, which travels to other venues in other communities, jumpstarts that conversation, bringing the initiative full circle and providing the stimulus for those communities to start a dialogue on "What makes a healthy girl?"
Jan Thomas

Monday, December 6, 2010

real artists don't eat or breathe or recycle or use recycled items in their art for that matter

I just finished a piece for a project in conjunction with the American Planning Association conference to be held in 2011.

I have been posting about the project on this blog, as it pertains to my idea to highlight Geographic thing leads to another and even though I included some studio thoughts along the way, I hope that there are some universal tid-bits that anyone can glean from the project, spark new thought or make new work, too.

The piece included cigarette ash, carbon monoxide blown on the canvas, crushed pine needles, embroidery, CO2 (aerosol)...I literally put aspects of the sky and of airquality on the piece. It was a challenge, but I am happy with the results. Except the piece smells weird. So now, it has literally encroached on your clean-air breathing - you can smell the CO2, like an old house that was inhabited by smokers. I'll see what can be done about that before it goes on display...or not. Maybe that is the irony.
My statement about the process can be found here:
"breathe" about AirQuality

Making art like this made we wonder how in the heck would we be able to portray, communicate or signify AIR in a public art sculpture? Aside from sculpture or mural, but really DO something about the create domes with little forests to sit in, or boxes with herb-scented public access gas masks?? Really, you would not believe that areas are mapped out all over the nation designating the responsibility for regulating the Air in an area/city/region. I find this totally ridiculous on one level, because it must be really difficult for Upland to keep their air clean with the stench from the Ontario Waste Water Treatment Plant fecal smog wafting up on a Santa Ana wind day...

I looked up some female environmental artists and am newly acquainted with Agnes Denes and was glad to see her Wheatfield, created about 25 years before the Lauren Bon Cornfield. Both very industrious projects. Here is another article on land and environmental art on World Changing dot com.

This last month I have also been thinking about sustainability which lead to thoughts about groceries. We have been really slack on getting our food garden this past if we have no motivation to survive. This is unlike me...or it's as if getting papers due, and making work for the some odd 20 exhibitions I have participated in, applying to graduate school and looking for work does not require energy. This also has nothing to do, at least I don't think it does, to the fact that I gained 18 pounds in the last 12 months and none of my pants fit so I am relegated to the same pair of North Face pants that I bought for exercising in.

What in the name of creativity does this have to do with anything for an art blog, you say? Because food for thought comes from anywhere. No, I'm not making art about my weight gain. But I did notice that eating well at least makes me feel better. I have a somewhat secret stash of photos of my food. I post them every now and then to the chagrin of unsolicited advice from people who tell me that I should only post serious stuff about my art if I want to be taken seriously. I don't know, I thought everyone had to eat, but maybe in some art world circles the artists exist on osmosis or something.

Here is some information about getting good food for cheap in the LA and IE areas:
Velas Market East LA
Unity Farm, owned by 2 brothers, organic, near Jurupa State Park, Riverside County Parks. Mini golf, fishing and camping at the park, too.
Amy's Farm, Ontario + Agrarian Solutions
South Central Downtown LA
and everywhere: local harvest. org
or home delivery from farms nation-wide-- these places cost more, though.

And in the spirit of the site and eco art - this tantalizing link:
Need I say that eco-art is big on Trendsetter. That's right appropriators, we are not original, we are mainstream. Cassette tape ribbon, water bottles, junk, trash, cargo containers - Take a look.

Well, have a nice month, 'til the next 6th of it.
In the mean time, live long and prosper.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Things I Wish I Had Made Part III

I have posted the things I wish I had made the last several posts. I thought, "Why not keep it going?"

William Lamson
Actions - click here to see the work on his site...fucking genius I tell you...

I am currently storyboarding a video that will be/have one long continuous take, two-three minutes. Which, is pretty hard to do well. Here is one of the best scenes that is one take...I hate the little quotes that pop-up, but, the scene is still great.

Tarantino is a master at it as well...

of course the Copacabana Shot is great

Friday, December 3, 2010

Luc Tuymans / Bad at Sports

Luc Tuymans, Himmler, 1998, oil on canvas, 20 1/4 x 14 1/8″

I've been obsessively listening to Bad at Sports podcasts from the past several years. Some are great, some terrible. I recommend searching the archives for all of Michelle Grabner's (they're all good - she talks really fast and everything she says is so relevant). Also, all of James Elkins.

Luc Tuyman's first major exhibition in the U.S. is at the MCA right now. He was recently there painting a mural in the atrium (done in a single day, just like the rest of his paintings). I think it's safe to say that it has become fashionable to dislike Tuyman's work. I never understood why he was making paintings, specifically. But my view totally changed after seeing the show like eight times, and then again after listening to him here:


Thursday, December 2, 2010



Still images from "Dying Oak" currently at SLAM



Link: ==> Check out a brief look into her process for her project "Metafoil"

METAFOIL is both a depiction of a new kind of landscape as well as an attempt to reimagine the heavy metal sculpture as a stage curtain. It is also a contemporary take on the centuries-old tradition of weaving, updated with digital technology.

METAFOIL takes advantages of the captive gaze of the audience, introducing a foil, a false reflection, an illusion of depth, a novel topography that disrupts expectation and challenges perception. Sculptural, seemingly spatial, the stage curtain rejects its inherent flatness.

METAFOIL plays with shifts in scale. Up close, it is a rich texture of overlapping colors; a few feet away, individual threads give way to form, a pattern emerges. From the vantage point of the audience it becomes a view into an otherworldy place, a metallic composition of colors and shapes.