I laugh because I must not cry.Abraham Lincoln
“Abraham Lincoln Wisdom and Wit”- 1965 Peter Pauper Press
I laugh because I must not cry.Abraham Lincoln
I paint flowers so they will not die.Frida Kahlo
Do not fall in love with people like me.Caitlyn Siehl -
I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth.
I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.
It can’t only be me that is intrigued by people watching. I do it all the time, on the train, on the street; in galleries I find myself observing reactions to certain artwork just as much as the work itself. How people are when they don’t have their social shield on. To show a genuine reaction, one has to be alone, in one’s own mind or physically; being alone is key.
At the Whitney Biennial, Michel Auder’s “I Was Looking Back To See If You Were Looking Back At Me To See Me Looking Back At You”, the work doesn’t need an explanation. A 15:12 minute film, compiled with over 30 years of recordings of overlooking into the night and dusk windows of various neighbors.
I watched as strangers cooked, sang along, wondered, with their lovers, on their own, on the phone, in their homes. Then I started to watch the other spectators. The artwork triggered my own voyeuristic senses as I watched how people entered and left the room.
I watched for more than the 15 minutes. Some people were there longer, 5 minutes, most left before 1 minute. When a the widows were empty, people stopped watching. At the sight of a naked body, more people than would admit stayed. I watched them watching. Then… there were those that quickly left when they realized the neighbors were having sex. On one hand they leave because they are taken back. But mostly, there is a sudden awareness of communal voyeurism. Exposing our curiosity for the lives of others. This reaction was not only for the nude episodes but also for the emotional scenes. Seeing someone sad, angry, lonely, one begins to connect to fundamental human emotions simply by watching.
Michel Auder, Still from Untitled (I Was Looking Back To See If You Were Looking Back At Me To See Me Looking Back At You), 2014. © Michel Auder
(Burrito de Pollo)
A serious note on living in the art world, writing, and learning. Work with everything you have. Don’t miss your opportunities, if you do, you die. Ask questions, ask about everything. Show that you’re thinking, with concise language draw in spectators. You’re in a circus, selling popcorn in the stands don’t funk up and you’ll get in the ring one day. Think about everything, be everywhere.
On a side note, I’ve never had a burrito on a plate. Drizzled with sour cream and sauce, garnished with tomatoes. The burrito’s savage nature was stripped away or should I say, metaphorically unwrapped so as to only be visually appealing. I couldn’t pick it up, I couldn’t grip it. I ate a burrito with a fork and knife because restaurant yuppie ideals are manipulating Tex-Mex cousine to assimilate and cater to manicured hands.
Form is also color. Without color there is no form. Form and color are one.D. Judd, “Some Aspects of Color in General and Red and Black in Particular”
What makes art (appealing)(attractive)(alluring)(seductive)(enticing)?
I tend to fall into a binary where work which I am compelled by is either visually and technically intense or it is conceptually heavy and historically tied. I review these criteria daily and I am constantly challenged by my own contradictions, which also allows for flexibility in what I write, how I react, and how I talk about it.
Today there is an uneasy play of bone piercing chilled rain with a confusing sense of “could this be spring?” syndrome. I walked into the Whitney Museum, it’s my first visit and all my senses are triggered. Do I think about the rigid brutalist architecture… cement walls, just as cold and constant as the rain? But then again… the 5th floor walls are lined with a modernist exhibit American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe and the rest of the museum is invaded by the Whitney Biennial 2014. . #Museumprotip Start from the top down*.
Calder was a pleasant surprised, I hadn’t seen much well know work in a while, it’s refreshing to find myself in a historical context after (and before) the overflow of contemporary.
Equilibrium amongst fragmented pieces, a balance of metal sheets and organic flowing form. Their colorful presence versus their distant black and white shadows.
Pomegranate, 1949. On a white pedestal 1 by 1 and 4 feet in height, stands in perfect balance a half circle curve of steel rod. It extends beyond to the right the rod curves dows and to the left the rod curves up about 2 feet. At each end there hand a combination of black and red metal sheets shaped in organic leaflets forms. The left arrangement is of eight metal sheets that are roughly 1/2 to 2 feet in size. The top two are black sheets that curve to the right like the tip of one’s’ nail, then there is a red shape curving to the left just as organically as a leaf. Below that there is a peculiar shape, a silhouette of a tulip of black metal sheet, a bulb with three blooming points. Overall, there is balance in contradiction. The sculpture is perfectly still in the midst of its own kinetic nature.
More on the Biennial to come, there was a lot to see and if anything, I recommend the second and third floor, the fourth was a bit disappointing…
* Museums as temples of learning are set up to guide you and educate, from floor one to the top, one physically ascends into their ideas. When working your way down, one is not being taught but is rather learning, dissecting what was supposed to be implored on one to begin with.
Cool figures generally come from working- or middle-class backgrounds. In a secular, democratic society, they argue, cool is a sign of cultural democracy, a status that has to be earned, rather than passed down by an aristocratic elite. Mystery, steely independence, self-possession and confidence also figure into the mix.Who’s cool? What’s cool? Thank you “social democracy”.
Bill Jacobson, Place, 28x22 inches Archival digital pigment print
Marc Bijl, Nite Flights (after Piet Mondrian’s Victory Boogie Woogie) 2014 Epoxy, household paint 150x150 cm
Marc Bijl, Abstract Activism (After Piet Mondrian), 2013 Epoxy and silver paintbombs on canvas 100x100 cm
Charles Avery, Untitled (Boogie Woogie) 2012, card paper bronze, acrylic 80x20x40 cm