Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Marching Along...

(Note that this post is liberally studded with links - wherever you see the dark gray text,
click to find treasures far beyond the scope of this blog...)

March is proving to be better than February...

...in spite of continuing stormy weather that delivers no useful snow.
I see art everywhere I look!

At Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, a collaborative umbrella installation
is presented in the entryway.
Inside is the work of Basquiat, whom I will write about for d'ART International Magazine.
Here's a sneak preview of the first paragraph:
"In 1988, Jean Michel Basquiat died of a 'speedball' overdose when he was twenty seven, becoming a member of the '27 Club' along with Janis, Jimi, Jim Morrison, Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson of the Canned Heat, Kurt Cobain, and lately Amy Winehouse, just to name a few.  Speedballs are usually a mix of heroin (sometimes morphine) and cocaine, a combo that accentuates the positive and eliminates the negative until it’s too late and there you are floating away forever on your euphoric high – oops!"

This may have been his last painting, called "Riding with Death" (1988)...

(internet photo)

I also discuss in d'ART the eloquent work of Jennifer Wynne Reeves
at BravinLee projects.  About this piece, "Laughing at Snakes" (2011 -  2013) I write:

"...here [bits of flotsam and jetsam from the life of an artist] 

 are saved and held by this frame that has been calling out to them:  come and cover me, make me something, make me real, make me laugh, make me more than I am."

Then, these "Accidental Abstractions" appear...

(internet photos)
...while I'm watching Jon Stewart online -  he's in there somewhere.
It's the show where Tea Party Patriots are standing up for the rights of Manatee-riders.

And speaking of the TP, Sarah Palin is taking on the big issues, too.
Here she sips a Big Gulp and gets a standing ovation.

(internet photo)
They're all standing up for the right to digest 30 teaspoons of sugar in one fell swoop, 
whenever and wherever they want to, dammit, and subsequently require 
massive amounts of expensive health care.  The Big Gulp makes the "9 Offensively Enormous Drinks" list according to, yes, the "Reader's Digest," which says:
"Women who drink two or more of them a day were more likely to develop abnormal levels of fasting glucose—a sign of diabetes, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions last year." 

Other important issues of the day:
 Rush is taking on Beyonce about her latest song "Bow Down Bitches"
because, in his immense sad cluelessness, he thinks she means that she is bowing down, while of course it's just the opposite.  
Beyonce is ordering us all to bow down to her, and that includes, you, Mr. Limbaugh, 
because you're her bitch, too, regardless of your bully pulpit!
I like how the picture is labeled so we don't get confused about who is whom.
However, Noah Berlatsky on the "Atlantic" website reveals what Rush gets right in spite of himself:

'It's true that for BeyoncĂ© or for Nicki Minaj, "bitches" almost surely refers to the men who are beneath them, as well as to the women. But while that puts a twist on the message, it doesn't exactly change it. Femininity is still an insult, and power is being able to treat your enemies like bitches—that is to say, like women. BeyoncĂ© can be strong and independent, but only (at least in this case) by relying on the tired tropes of performative misogyny. Rush Limbaugh may not have understood much about the song, but he understood that, which is why he's laughing.'

(Beware!  Shameless self-promotion ahead...)
Speaking of press, I got some of my own recently
regarding my participation in "Sideshow Nation" the yearly extravaganza
put on by Richard Timperio in his Williamsburg gallery.

Above, Richard is more than ready for the massive
dismantling of the show.

My name appears in the review of Mario Naves on his excellent art blog "Too Much Art" where he writes:
"Am I wrong in thinking that Timperio’s overviews give a broader and, in many ways, truer overview of the contemporary scene than, say, the Whitney Biennial? Certainly, it’s a more generous endeavor and less prone to theoretical blather."
And then in the next paragraph he includes my name in his list of artists of note!
I am honored.
Frank and I, in fact, have acquired our own Naves painting,
"A Pigeon in Catalonia" 2011, 24 x 18"!

And Piri Halasz also writes a bit about my work in her review (see below).

(photo from Sideshow website)

I wish I could have made it to the opening, but as fate would have it, 
I was doing a screening that very night back in January at Gallery 128 in the Lower East Side, 
my collaboration with Kaitlin Martin,

Above is my artwork shown at Sideshow, "Feer Euphoria" 
where Alya of the Painted People 
floats through a mysterious world, a digital collage
which includes imagery from the Downtown Brooklyn Macy's Garage 
and Fort Tilden on the Rockaway Peninsula.

"Other, and more attractive, photographs that appear to shade into conceptualism 
have been contributed by Jeanne Wilkinson and Ralph Raphael Fleming,
both of whose pictures are dominated by delicate shades of gray.
“Feer Euphoria,” by Wilkinson, suggests to me nothing so much as the 
beat-up back of a car, but it is hung so high that I can’t be sure of what I’m seeing.
Hmmm.  Well, that's an interpretation I hadn't thought of.  But hey, words is words.
There were nearly 500 artists in this show, so being singled out is very self-affirming.

But wait!  There is more March good news for the Painted People (and me)!
We will be in:  


April 8 through June 22nd, reception and curator's talk April 18th, 5-8
The show is about "friendly gestures" and the press release says:
'Respectful of others, respectful of each other,* the spaces and programming of Namaste offer new perspectives on global respect through art, language, music, and performance. In modern interpretation from the Sanskrit root, 
"The spirit in me respects the spirit in you."'

"Mushroom House 9" is the piece that will be in this show, an image of Ayla and Cal which
 springs from photos I took some time ago in Minnestrista, Minnesota with my sister on one of our wanderings, of a mysterious sculptural structure that looked as though it had been abandoned mid-task.  
I have since found out that it's called the Ensculptic House, 
designed by the architect Winslow Wedin who brought a group of college students to work on the house in the summer of '69, stringing cable and spraying polyurethane foam.
Apparently it has been recently sold and the plan is to
restore and finish it as it was meant to be.  I hope to visit it next summer and perhaps
meet with the new owners, as Sherry and I probably won't be able to freely walk through
 the unlocked door and explore to our hearts content, as before.

I'm very happy to be showing at the Queen's College Art Center where I curated an exhibition some years ago entitled 

(photo from the M. Edwards estate)

'Australian-born and raised, Margery Edwards (1933-1989) lived in Sydney and later in the United Kingdom, East Africa, Italy, and New York. In 1975 she left her ocean-view home in Australia to find her mature artistic vision in a Manhattan loft overlooking the Hudson River. She also left behind her bright palette to immerse herself in an exploration of the moods and modes of black. Her life’s journey was an interior one, a difficult and deeply personal voyage. When she died in 1989, Edwards had created a series of images that trace a path both earthbound and ethereal—in her own words, a “progression through darkness and light.” '  (Quoted from the press release that I wrote.)

I worked with her husband, Dr. K. David Edwards, a retired research physician, for over ten years curating, documenting and placing her work in museums and private collections such at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Insitute of Art, and many more, 
including all the major art institutions of Australia.

This exhibition was also shown at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC
where Frank and I were graciously put up at the Jefferson Hotel.  They apologized because our original room was taken and, sadly, they had to upgrade us to a 
two-bedroom suite with dining room, living room and full kitchen.  
Three times the size of our Brooklyn apartment!

(Jefferson website photo)
Those were the days!  Of course we knew they would end after our three days in WDC.
We knew that we couldn't move into the Jefferson permanently.
The Australian Embassy budget didn't stretch that far.

Returning from those Halcyon days, currently there is more good news on the art front:
I will be screening new work at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn,
opening on the summer solstice, June 21st!
I was at Trestle last week and saw the extremely engaging exhibition 
Celestial Dome, curated by 
Shingo Francis and Eri Takane
where artists explore the world above in all its mysterious manifestations.

The opening was hopping. 

(photos by Hannah Gopa)

The show features the work of Shingo himself (center above), elegant monotypes that
 express the diverse colors of the sky 
from brilliant cerulean to deep ultramarines...

I loved this piece that was a collaboration between the artists
Christie Leece, Ben Light, Matt Richardson and Inessah Selitz, 
called "Bird on a Wire"
where if you called a certain number on your cell phone, 
the birds would fly off the wire.
I called several times and really got those lazy birds moving.

(photo from Trestle website)

(photo from Trestle website)

I'm working on a cave-painting solstice symbolism idea
for my interactive video projections for the June Trestle show.
So when I go to Madison for my spring break, I plan on going to the Priske farm
where Andrew got married, where they have a herd
of Highland cattle that I hope to film running and frolicking...

(Andrew on his wedding day)

Speaking of horns, I found this on 3rd Street in Brooklyn - it appears
 to be an object lost long ago by Hal Thompson.  Now he will finally get it back.

This arresting image is from Hal and Cody's latest "Fun Rangers" episode
that you can see here.

Here is how you pack when you're going to visit Hal Thompson, expert.

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