Thursday, February 12


Identity Preserving Balaclava (all the warmth with none of the anonymity!) - More DIY How To Projects

Gleaning the cube

I read a fantastic article today in New York Magazine about the White Columns show "From the Archives: 40 years/40 artists," which is currently on view. Two things struck me as pretty interesting ideas put forth by the author. The first: Jerry Saltz's thoughts on the evolution of the gallery space into a visual presence itself. The New Museum's new digs is a good example of this: a beautiful space that does not feel like it houses the work it shows well. For a space that historically has been a fantastic laboratory for the cross-breeding of visual culture and socio-political thinking, it feels like the pressure of having a fancy building on the Bowery has really affected it's exhibitions and programming (i.e. a definite slant towards trendier work.) Anyway, it's refreshing to hear that there are voices in the art world who consider the space the work is in as much as the work itself.
Secondly: I love the idea of showing ephemera or revealing process, as this show appears to do. Saltz describes the gallery as "a test site" for new, experimental work and it's great that the gallery chooses to reiterate that by revealing that process. It reminds me of a "retrospective" of David Hammons' work at Triple Candie a few years back, which exhibited reproductions of varying quality of his catalog of work. It revealed the object in that the images were of artworks that could not be loaned due to monetary restraints, legal agreements and other bureaucratic hoops to be jumped through. The idea was illustrated for the viewer through the reproduction, as was the bureaucracy that prevented a small space like that to mount the show. In both cases, the importance of "test sites," especially at a time when the art world is positioned to reconfigure itself, can't be more relevant.

Wednesday, February 4

it's all around you

I attended a panel at USC on Monday night that is part of the series "Art in the Public Sphere" (I think it's a forum lecture series class for their arts grads.) At any rate, I was very excited to have the opportunity to hear Doug Aitken talk about his work, which he did in the way that someone whose tools for communication are visual as opposed to verbal (uh, read: somewhat tangental and very poetic; if words were too specific of a way to relate the slippery ideas he is trying to impress on the viewer.) I'll admit that my art crush has now been transferred from Sam Durant (sorry man) to Doug Aitken. The thing that seemed strange to me was the lack of video that he showed during his talk. I first saw his "Electric Earth" piece installed at the Whitney biennial and the thing that made it stand out from other emerging video work at the time was his fantastic sense of marrying the visual image to the audio, as well as a sensitivity to how the viewer experiences a projected work (thankfully, not on a monitor.) Aitken never seems to use the audio as a secondary sense, but as something that works in tandem with the visual experience (I think I've gushed about this before after seeing his "Migration" piece when I was still living in NYC.) At any rate, I really enjoyed hearing him talk about creating experiential work in his mystical and dry-humored way, and I've included the trailer for "Sleepwalkers" in case you've missed seeing how he works his magic in the past....
p.s. I also loved loved loved Ann Pasternack (of Creative Time); her enthusiasm and finesse for creating public art that was always a required see and opened up a community conversation has been one of my fondest memories of living back east and completely romanticized all my memories, making me want to get on a plane and go back there.

Sunday, February 1

I know a great pizza place in Los Angeles, but I can't tell you where it is because I've been told my legs will then be broken as I wait in an even longer line for food. It has very tasty eggplant and tomato pie and serves Moretti....

Most Wanted

I watched the film My Kid Could Paint That this morning and could not help but feel compelled by the discussion of what makes something genius and what makes something original. I've been reading Malcolm Gladwell's articles for the New Yorker the past year (I believe they culminated in Outliers) and have been thinking a lot about what may constitute genius, or even talent. Although the perception of talent seems to be that it is innate and apparent in the object itself, this documentary looks more to the fact that success comes from the context that the work exists in and the communication of that context. The gallerist, journalists and parents have much more to do with the sales of a four-year-olds artwork that the painting itself (Michael Kimmelman of the Times does a great job talking about that in this film.)
I thought the film would mostly look at art and the accepted perceptions of what defines it (which is what a four-year-old selling painters forces us to look at), but it is also looks at the story itself. , as it moved away from narrative and towards documenting the movements of the artist's gestures, now directly told the story of the artist and the personalities became part of the understanding of the work. The mythos around the object helped to dictate the understanding of it. Jackson Pollock became the James Dean of modern art. Most of the adults in this story seem to be projecting onto Marla and her paintings what they want from the worl of art. But as the filmmaker looks at all the forces surrounding the myth of the child painter Marla, he also looks at how the construction of his film adds to that myth by how it presents its subjects.
I couldn't help coming back to the mother's desire to protect her children from what she intrinsically felt were the pitfalls in the life of the child prodigy. The families desperation to have Marla's work validated as autonomous and original, without any outside coaching, becomes fully apparent when she pleads with the filmmaker to believe her, that it is of the utmost importance that he does. It made me realize that we forget the human once they have been put into the machine of a market.

support responsible abstraction

One of my favourite artists and graphic designers, Geoff Mcfetridge, will be showing work at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park from March until August.
Here's a video he did for the Whitest Boy Alive