Sunday, May 30, 2010

Virtual LA Trip

I just got back from a trip to the mountains and I will be leaving to go on another one to visit the family. That means all my days not traveling are spent worn out and not getting much art done. For shame! This also means that even though I have been reading a lot about what is going on in the Los Angeles art arena, I won't be able to go visit until I get my shit together and make more art. Never fear, there is an alternative that is much cheaper and easier than a road trip: Virtual Tour via a million hyperlinks! If I was to go to LA, like, this month, this is what I would check out. This info is subject to change, and note that some of my favorite galleries are not showing work I would want to see right now.

I would go check out Ooga Booga, a tiny art and book shop in China town at 943 N. Broadway #203. I went there once with friends but I was hungry, pissy, and not at all in the spirit of digging through all the cool finds I remember them having, so I need to give them another chance.
I would try to arrange a studio visit with Alika Cooper, a great artist who went to CCA a few years back. She also shows work in the flat files of Triple Base.
I would go see Alice Neel at L.A. Louver. Read the review from the LA Times.
Dawn Clements, who makes drawings on pasted together pieces of paper, would be a good stop at ACME. I read about the show in the LA Times, and she is apparently also showing at the Whitney Biennial 2010, which is over this week.
Ooh, speaking of the LA Times, they just ripped on the upcoming Dennis Hopper show at MOCA, ribbing incoming director Jeffrey Deitch about the easy and too-quickly-put-together show of Hopper's photos, not knowing that Hopper would pass away almost in the same moment. RIP Mr. Hopper. I would go see your work. Read the piece from The LA Times.

I also would go check out Mickalene Thomas at Susanne Vielmetter because, although I am not crazy about her 70's vibe, I do like rhinestones and patterns. Read about it at Daily Serving.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Artists I Love: Becca Mann

I had the chance to see Becca Mann's paintings few years ago when my art collective, Thin Ice Collective, ( which has since disbanded) had a phenomenal opportunity to show in a group exhibition at Roberts and Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles in a sister space called Domestic. Becca Mann was showing in the main space, and it was one of the few times I can recall being absolutely enamored of the way a painting was painted in a gallery setting. The combination of realism and delicacy with strange subject matter and a masterful technique in oil left an impression on me.

She paints and draws found photos from many different places and time periods, and uses a subtly modern palette to inject magentas and bright blues into the black and gray colors of the photo. She also paints in the worn edges and tears present in the original photo to make the painting a representation of the photo and not simply the image. I don't know much about what she is up to now, but she got her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and had another solo show at Roberts and Tilton in 2009.

What made the show really unexpectedly great for us was not only being at a super fancy gallery in LA, where we were even taken to a fantastic dinner, but also that of all people in the crowd Robert DeNiro came to the opening! Holy shit! Then we found out that Becca Mann is the daughter of uber-famous director, Michael Mann, of "Heat" and "Last of the Mohicans". We figured that DeNiro was there as a bud of her dad, but it was still cool that he saw our show and we were star struck. Ordinarily, I would have said something like, "Oh, typical. Pampered daughter of famous dad gets the royal treatment at a prestigious gallery!" However, I think she really has the goods as a painter, and I say that she deserved the spotlight.

Mary Lone Bear
Romanov Family Portrait
Sapphire County

Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm a C.R.E.E.P.

I've been working on these collages of what I'm calling "skin suits". I know, I'm a creep. It puts the lotion in the basket.

I've been MIA

In case anyone has checked out my blog recently and discovered no one at the helm for awhile, this is why. Lake Tahoe! Real beaut, eh?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Upcoming Shows

This Friday, May 21, a bunch of my friends from CCA's MFA department will be having an exhibition opening at Queens Nails Projects in San Francisco. It looks like it's going to be a great show!

I will be having a show June 11 at The Lab in San Francisco where my paintings will be at the entrance to their annual strip tease fashion show. I have no idea what is going to happen, but it sounds like fun!

Thread Bare
5th annual striptease auction & trunk show
Runway show and live auction:
Friday, June 11, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
$10 – $20 sliding scale admission
Trunk show:
Saturday and Sunday, June 12 – 13, 12 – 6pm
Free admission
Your emcees: Michelle Tea and Danyol Leon
Performance by: SF Boylesque

thread | bare is a celebration of Bay Area independent fashion spirit. Local designers innovating in form, material, and interpretation create one-of-a-kind works and are brought together with performers to showcase their fabrications. The clothes are auctioned right off the models as they walk the runway, while scores of outfits and accessories are available in the concurrent trunk show.

Designers: Miss Velvet Cream, Turk + Taylor, KITTINHAWK, Mittenmaker, Blessings to You!, Stars + Ravens, Alexandria von Bromssen, GINNE, Invisible Hero Clothing, Medium Reality, and more.
Models: Jesse Hewit, Natty A. Justiniano, Anna Constance, Ryan Crowder, Kevin Seaman, Kirk Stoller, Lily Taylor, Macklin Kowal, Kate Dunphy, LissaIvy Tiegel, Peter Max Lawrence, Philip Huang, Rebecca Parks-Ramage, and Fauxnique

Hair: Glama-Rama!
Styling and accessories: Cyrus Rhine
Design Sponsor: Satellite Design

Front gallery show of fashion ephemera curated by Michelle Blioux, with artwork by Serena Cole.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Artists I Love: Storm Tharp (of course)

Since I am here in California and poor and in Graduate school I will not have the chance to go to New York to see the Whitney Biennial 2010 before it closes soon. Do it if you can! The artists look pretty fantastic, maybe fewer than in the past, but solid nonetheless.

The artist I most want to see is Storm Tharp. The parallels between his work and mine are obvious, and it's satisfying to know there is still room for painters like him in the Whitney. Hurray for portraits, water media, and drawing! All drawings featured below are combinations of goache, ink, colored pencil, and graphite on large format paper.

With a BFA from Cornell in 1992, I'm not sure what he has been up to other than making work, presumably in Portland, OR, and showing at PDX Contemporary. His statement is short and sweet; no concrete prescriptions for his work and vague enough to cover all of his multidisciplinary work, from portraits to video to color fields. "My work can be distilled in two distinctive points of interest. One would be the tradition of the hand made object and its inherent ability to reflect nature. This is often a technical aspect that imbues its own meaning and beauty into the subject. The subject is almost always ripped from pop culture, and reflects various attributes of contemporary and historical life". I am refreshed to see that without a hard lined definition of what his work is specifically about, the viewer sees the work for what it is. I am further encouraged that the Whitney Biennial chose work that needs no thesis to unwrap, letting the beauty, unease, and unfiltered associations come through in the images.

Jodie Jill

Pigeon (After Shunsen)
Miss Cloud
Rare Bird
Strangers Coming

(All images from PDX Contemporary's website. The top four are featured in the Whitney Biennial.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bad at Sports: Not Bad at Interviews! Jeffrey Deitch with Carlo McCormick

I found an interesting hour-long interview with Jeffrey Deitch of Deitch Projects interviewed by Carlo McCormick on the website Bad at Sports. Taped in April, 2010, this is a great current introduction to Deitch. He talks about being a performance artist in the 70's (!) and about how art has changed over the last three decades. I, for one, welcome him to California as he becomes the new director of Los Angeles's MOCA , (despite grumblings from art people on youtube, etc). Greetings, Mr. Deitch, and thanks for making the West Coast a little fancier.

(photo from ny magazine)

(photo from Bad at Sports)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Reading List

This is my summer reading pile. It's a little ambitious, but I'm banking on being nerdy enough to pull it off. A little history, a little art criticism, a little Capote... something for everyone.
From top to bottom, The Penguin Book of Classical Myths by Jenny March, Seeing Out Loud by Jerry Saltz, Air Guitar by Dave Hickey, The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects by Deyan Sudjic, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life by Jacques Barzun, Addicted to Celebrity; Griffith Review 5, and The History of Beauty by Umberto Eco.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Art in Space (For Julie)

Recently I was asked about the lack of astronauts on Artists and Astronauts, so let me explain...
When I was a punk, a million years ago, I read a quote in a book that said, "I'm an anarchist because I am angry about not being an astronaut". Ever since then I have equated the likelihood of becoming a professional artist with the chances of becoming an astronaut. In other words, incredibly hard, but not impossible! That guy who was quoted should take that chip off his shoulder.
But, specifically for my friend Julie, of the great art blog Daily Serving, I also found an awesome Spark* episode, (the KQED show I mention below in another post), about art in space. I had previously screened this episode in my "Space: One Word Many Concepts" class, (Oh, CCA). To the amusement of all students watching, Frank Pietronigro, whose company, Zero Gravity Arts Consortium, aligns artists with space researchers, gets permission from NASA to paint in zero gravity. I can't tell you any more about it because you have to see it for yourself. Please watch the Spark episode here. Happy trails, fellow artists and astronauts!

Zero Gravity Arts Consortium link here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gigantic MFA Thesis Installation Preview!

I have been working a job as an installation prep person for the MFA Thesis 2010 show at CCA which is opening tomorrow May 6th! That means I have been sanding, scraping, painting, and lifting heavy things all in the name of help to the graduating class. Because I this I have had the special opportunity to see the spaces transform into awesome graduation exhibitions and I am so excited to see them fully finished tomorrow! Here are tons of pics of the works in progress.

A fellow prep worker and partner in crime, Radka, helps with labels for Georgia Carbone.

Paintings by Doron Fishman and stage installation by Tiger Brooke Fifer.
Installation by Sidney Russell.
The worker's eye view of piano installation by Joshua Webber and sculptures by Llewelynn Fletcher.
TV installation by Ashley Lauren Saks.
Brigid Mason sets up her paintings.
Brigid Mason outer wall.
Sean Leake starring in paintings by Sean Leake talks to Joshua Webber.
Sculpture by Llewelynn Fletcher, Llewelynn working out the kinks.
Dorathy Lye
Hyun Sun Jo and her paintings.
Eric Martin sculpture, Eric in background.
Eric Madsen
Nanci Ikejimba
Kaif Ghaznavi
Hilary Wiedemann and sculptures.
Emily Eifler checks out Mara Baldwin's paintings on wallpaper.
Little tiny Warhol piece by Sasha Krieger.
Wall by Sasha Krieger.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our Bay Area non-profit TV station, KQED, does a fantastic job of covering local art. They have a great archive of shows like Spark*, (which unfortunately is no longer up and running), and shows like KQED's Gallery Crawl. See it here. When I was checking out some videos online I had no idea that my friend and fellow classmate, Mark Taylor, is actually the producer of the show, as well as KQED's arts editor. Well done Mark! Isn't it cool to find out your friends are even more talented? Here are a couple episodes which I particularly liked (and the Mission one features a cameo of art by yours truly).

CCA MFA Exhibtion 2008 here.

Mission Galleries here.

Here's a featured painting by the wonderful Michelle Blade.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

CCA Graduate Thesis 2010

I am excited about the CCA Graduate Thesis night on campus on May 6 ( located at 1111 8th st. in San Francisco, CA) for a giant reception for the MFA class ahead of me. The school is organized enough to have put previews of all the work online here. It is an exceptionally big class, making for an exceptionally big reception, along with the Curatorial Practice Department in the Wattis on campus to round it out to a gigantic show. Here are a few selected images from some artists I like from their class. All info and images are available in the above link. Why are my favorites all female? The men had better take notice!

Rebecca Najdowski
Carmen Winant
Sun`e Woods
Sidney Russell
Brigid Mason

Congrats MFA Class of 2010!