Sunday, March 18, 2012

Comments, Complaints, Cavils.

(Shen Wei's "Undivided Divided" dance performance)

How do you know, like with cigars, when a comment is just a comment?
 What if it's really a complaint, a critique, or even a cavil?
Is it all in the ear of the beholder?

When I asked my son Aaron (the comedian) if he'd seen my last blog-post
 he thought for a long moment while I could hear him fiddling with his computer,
and then he asked, 
"Was that the one that started with all the Andrew pictures and was really long?"
(Andrew is his younger brother.)
So does "really long" mean wonderfully long, brilliantly long, why not longer?
Or something else?

In any case, this post will be different.  
It will start with Aaron, for obvious reasons, and will be shorter.
Sort of.
Here is Aaron with his Hal Thompson birthday cake.
(I designed the Hal logo.)
Below is Hal himself, showing his ham.
Here is Aaron playing "Beer and Board Games" with Greg Benson of 
Mediocre Films.  The game is Dr. Ruth's "Game of Good Sex."  
Greg is playing the woman, Aaron the man.

Here is Aaron as Chad Vader, with Matt Sloan as Clint.
Okay, that's all the space there is for Aaron.
Now I'll show and tell a bit about my week, full of art and 
various annoying things for me to "comment" on.

Here's the sunrise at Kingsborough where I teach Art History at 8AM on Monday mornings.  
Due to the unnecessary and absurd onset of daylight savings time, I catch the morning sun rising over Sheepshead Bay.  It's another beautiful day in the making, way too warm for early March.
More Ted Bundy weather.  When the ice sheets dissolve, this scene will no longer exist!

During the weekend, my artwork is in the Fountain Art Fair at the Art For Progress booth.
Go, Art for Progress!  We love you.
The Painted People are there, as is famed art critic Jerry Saltz, who might have missed them, 
an oversight now corrected through the magic of Photoshop.
I share the space with (among others) Chris Twomey, a great artist and friend whose 
elegant and erotic prints-on-metal-foil are shown here:

Below is the work of Don Porcella (in the foreground and on the left) 
 in the Big Deal Arts space, curated by Ginger Shulick Porcella 
who is launching a new Manhattan gallery next fall called Durable Goods. 
Don's sculptures are woven of pipe cleaners, 
a task he sometimes does in the subway, like knitting.
They are whimsical, satirical and adorable, poking fun at Pop precepts
and the human condition, for what it's worth.
Kind of "commentaries" in a way, of the pipe cleaner variety.

In the Curcio Projects booth, Christopher Chambers new sculpture shines and undulates, 
charging the space with its muscular but delicate movements.
And below is the haunting imagery of Michael Zansky, whose paintings make you forget 
where you are as you're lured into a Grimm-style world that both charms and disturbs 
in a continual unbalancing flow.  

Speaking of art, I went back to Mana Contemporary for a 
weekend performance of the work of Shen Wei Dance Arts.

I am accompanied by my friend Jack Sal, 

who goes with me on the posh bus
through the glistening Holland Tunnel.

Emerging from the Holland Tunnel, we confront many more red lights.
We are in New Jersey now.  

At Mana Contemporary, Shen Wei photographs the dancers in his piece,
 "Undivided Divided".

The dancers and the paintings merge identities and movements.

The audience is allowed to walk amongst the pieces, 
which makes for a wonderful interaction, an immersion into art and dance,
and many photos are taken.

I note some changes in Joshua Hirsch's piece, "Sympathetic Resonance."

Before (above, from earlier in the week), 
and after (below).
Not only has he neatened the cord-tangle into separate spirals, but
also he's added a yellow cord amongst the red.  
The piece is making me think of
the Lakota tradition of the four sacred colors of red, yellow, black, white, 
which represent north, east, west, south, respectively.
Unless it's white/north, red/east, yellow/south, black/west.
Truth is not a static code in Lakota tradition, but a moving, undulating, ever-changing thing.
Like the music that emerges from Hirsch's artful machine.

After a weekend of art, Frank and I struggle to put up blinds
in my studio, both as a projection screen and to block light.
Let me say that it was a nightmare from start to finish.  
One of those projects that should be easy but isn't.
And annoying enough, there is a big seam halfway down the screen!
Too late to turn back now, however.  Must live with it.
Not that I'm complaining.  Or even caviling.

Frank, however, made a few pithy "comments" throughout the process, especially while on ladder duty.
But here he is after it's all done, peace in the studio finally regained.
And here are the Painted People, watching themselves star in their very own drive-in film, 
even though they did nothing but sit around and watch us labor away on their behalf!

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