“When you proceed on your course, never forget you are not alone. You have friends and family, but you also have you ancestors. Your ancestors sing in your blood. Call to them. Their strength through the ages will come into you. And then there are your spiritual ancestors. Call on them. They have set themselves up through human history to be at your disposal. Jesus, he said, “I am with you always, even into the end of the world,” Allen Ginsburg, Walt Whitman — they are with you. Choose the one you wish to walk with and he or she will walk with you. Don’t forget that you are not alone.”—Patti Smith, May 2010 Commencement Address
“Letter to Piet Mondrian, May 1956
‘Mondrian, if your strength can save me, it would be like a raw steak placed over this painful eye so it can see again as quickly as possible and can face this sometimes unbearable truth: the artist is a lonely person.,”—
Letter to Lygia Clark, 2014
My dearest, I couldn’t resist. I am here again in front of “Contra Relevo” 1959, Industrial Paint of wood. How I crave the open space: right lower triangle expanding out to the wall. Penetrating, the white below the left black diamond half. Only a think white layer differentiates the two blacks. One dark one envy another burnt ashes. A harmonious expansion as one steps forward to find the black layers below sandwiched by ivory boards. We are part of the accordion of architectural canavas. We are alone in our own space.
“Do not fall in love with people like me.
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.”—Caitlyn Siehl -
Literary Sexts: A Collection of Short & Sexy Love Poems
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.
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.
Eva Mayha: Melancholy with a spring… like waking up from winter, rustling to wake up
Marina: The last clipe is Simon and Garfunkel. It’s from the album bookends. The last instrumental bit is from the soundtrack of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I wove the Simon and Garfunkel song into the instrumental of Eternal Sunshine.
Music inspiration, exploring sound, listening to every step I take.
Because purple is my favorite color - Armory Show 2014 Review -
This last week was Armory Week. In the art world this is the starter course to the Spring and Summer season for upcoming openings, museum shows, fairs, fairs, fairs. I made it through only five of the innumerable fairs around the city and now I will recap with several posts. We’ll start easy… favorite colors, historical references, design, conceptual and ars gratia artis. Breath.
Robert Mosse, It Was A Pleasure Then, 2014 Digital C-Print 110x140 Inches
“As far as I can make out, edgy occurs when middlebrow, middle-aged profiteers are looking to suck the energy — not to mention the spending money — out of the “youth culture.” So they come up with this fake concept of seeming to be dangerous when every move they make is the result of market research and a corporate master plan.”—Daria Morgendorffer (via sayitaintsho)
n his 2012 book, The Value of Art, dealer Michael Findlay likens the proliferation of art indexes and mutual funds to the “ancillary services” of the Gold Rush, the “greedy supporting cast of assayers, saloon-keepers and prostitutes” ready to help the prospectors spend their money. With art prices climbing ever higher, an optimist might look at these start-ups this way; after all, the people who sold pick-axes made more than the people who died on the mountain because they didn’t know what unprocessed gold looks like.
To be honest, I am torn. On one side I believe in accessibility. Art is for the world to consume, enjoy, and relish in flavor. However, when it is readily available online it’s language and context is changed. One is no longer invaded by art. It’s difficult to explain; when I walk into a museum or a gallery the work is part of my space. I am wrapped into its detail, angles, and depth. The physical presence and the brief moment where my mind falls in love with a work can only be of that moment, of that space and work. How can this happen through a JPG? Art is reduced to commodity, not that it wasn’t before, but it’s reduced to the internet vortex. An insult.
Can I be happy with this ease of accessibility? No for the sake of integrity but if it becomes my job and pays my rent then yes, into the trap I shall fall.
“Unlike gold and diamonds, art has this other value, and that’s what makes it fascinating. Everything else is trying to sell you something else. Art is trying to sell you yourself. That’s what is different about it. Art is what makes life worth living.”—Keith Tyson, Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton
Do you remember that bird? It was a huge bird,perched on a far off antenna.
What is education? Who needs it? What is it? Why is todays model insufficient and counterintuitive to what the world needs? Where are our skills and observations? Our reverence to LIFE and mother-earth?
An interplay of we are what we eat and we are what we do. Sensitivity to sound, scenery, people… emotion and spirituality. Perhaps only jargon but one must have a vision, live with your passions. If you lose them you’ll lose yourself. Envision what your life will be , what you want it to be. Prepare to work and live by it. There is nothing wrong to starting a draft on your life manifesto, the architectural design, or budget plan to your life. Just keep thinking.
“Their job as public institutions is to change our habits of thinking and seeing. One way to do this is by bringing disparate cultures together in the same room, on the same wall, side by side. This sends two vital, accurate messages: that all these cultures are different but equally valuable; and all these cultures are also alike in essential ways, as becomes clear with exposure.”—
Yesterday was the last day that Christopher Wool was on exhibit at the Guggenheim. Originally from Chi-town, his works will make an homage exhibit at the Art Institute in March. Friends out there, get ready for bold, flat, translucent layers, patterns, of monochrome abstractions.
Wool has been working out of New York since the 1980s, the show is a retrospective of his career up to date. Starting with his bold stencil-lettering, patterns, prints, photographs to his use of photoshopped manipulations in prints. There is a variety of material and mediums, what keeps me wondering back to the work is his process.
I wish I would have posted this earlier in the exhibit but once again, I am too self-conscious to place my voice among every other “art writing”, that waves into the internet after a recent opening. So here I present my closing statement.
The Guggenheim is an interior that commands its displays and Wool’s paintings were on the edge of tension with the space. As I walked down the rotunda, the images and movement blended resulting in a dizzy spell. Wool’s use of pattern and printing technique create large work table canvases, what look like spills and mistakes compose a balanced print. On the other hand it could be that mistakes are a lack of technique but no, I refuse my own cynicism; after all it’s contemporary art. Mistakes are but process, human hand and conscious decision that create movement. The layers of screenprint over and over so that they create an earthquake effect. The deliberate placement of pattern large and speckled appear as layers that indicate a depth within the flat canvas. At points I want to peel of one layer to reveal the underneath only to find myself entangled with more layers.
In the work Untitled (2000), well, most works lack a title. Let me describe the work made with enamel and silkscreen ink on rice paper… also on the label. Let me try again. A large print, about 4’x6’, from the top right a black ink-spill like form is prominent. The stain drips down —- around it there’s a pattern. A floral and organic wallpaperesque print layer surrounds the black blotch. Stepping closer into the frame, the layer is visible over the black spot so that the black pattern is on black. Black on Black. I will not make an AC/DC reference. The tone variance in layers adds dimensionality, there is a sense of quality in the sensitivity of the print and tension with the black spot. Again and again layers of detail draw my around and through layers.
Wool’s bold letterpress statements are some of the well known, these made me laugh.
The stronger the infection, the better is the art as art, speaking now apart from its subject matter, i.e., not considering the quality of the feelings it transmits. And the degree of the infectiousness of art depends on three conditions:
1. On the greater or lesser individuality of the feeling transmitted;
2. On the greater or lesser clearness with which the feeling is transmitted;
3. On the sincerity of the artist, i.e., on the greater or lesser force with which the artist himself feels the emotion he transmits.
The more individual the feeling transmitted the more strongly does it act on the receiver; the more individual the state of soul into which he is transferred, the more pleasure does the receiver obtain, and therefore the more readily and strongly does he join in it.
Jason Dodge, “White to rose light, rose to white light over and over”, Casey Kaplan Gallery
I was debating whether I would go out at all but then I saw that there was an opening for Jason, Jason Dodge. Yes, I feel comfortable enough to be on a first name basis. I saw him last spring at UW, I attended a lecture and saw his work at the Henry Art Gallery. It was like “contemporary” slapped me in the face and said - just think damn it, think! I rant a bit more about it here.
At the time and now I continue to feel like I got it… okay. In a sense… I’m trying really hard not to be a pretentious asshole here, cut me some slack. It’s abstract and provoking, it pushes me to think about everyday objects out of “ordinary” context. In essence, I smell an inevitable Duchamp connection perhaps best expressed as a post-Duchampian vibration. Art does that, at least I truly believe it’s purpose is to push one beyond everyday thought into a realm of doubt.
1. Walk in. The cable, against the entire outer wall of the gallery outlines the space like a nerve. It carries electricity and light but also guides our gaze throughout the space. It’s above eye level, up close one has to look up to follow and from a far it’s hard to keep an eye on it. In the first room, there’s a chimney or heating vent system of sorts, polished reflective and laying on the side. Next to it a pillow and a set of spoons in a pipe contraption. So far, I feel at home with cables, pipes, rough exposed metals, spoons, and one pillow are reminders of my Brooklyn not-cool-but-out-in-nowhere apartment — ones’ domesticity.
2. Continue following the cable to the next gallery. Stumble across a large basket and notice the rod that penetrantes the walls across the room. Dismiss it in confusion and proceed into the next room. Take note of the nestled deodorants in the tissue boxes. Ah. Domesticity, I have tissues and deodorant too. I keep myself clean or rather I hide my odor, tears, and snot.
3. In the final gallery there’s a ladder, pink and white halogens, and two water tanks. All of a sudden, the electricity following the wire is cut then one notices the cable prongs submerged in water. It kills the lights and the core energy, the sense of a safe domestic sphere is diluted. The dim lighting in three-quarters of the room is a subtle reminder of a broken home, an empty space, hazardous while also inviting to fix it. The halogen lights on the ground set next to the ladder are a logical path to a crossroad; Are the lights being changed to be all pink or all white? Will the room dim into a fuschia or light into white? The room’s disorder is begging to be cleaned up and organized. Walk to the end of the space and find a grocery bag filled with, well, groceries.
4. There is also a grocery bag at the start of the show, I missed to take note of it but now it has come to a full encircling of a domestic scope.
5. Find Jason and ask him about the basket. It’s large, a nest, also a home. I want to be inside, be carried away in it. Where is it from? Berlin, a blind woman made it.
6. Get another beer, and repeat.
Jason Dodge, “Electric”, Casey Kaplan Gallery
Jason Dodge, “Electric”, Casey Kaplan Gallery
Jason Dodge, “Carrier”, Casey Kaplan Gallery
Jason Dodge, “A chimney pointing north”, “A lightning rod pointing north”, “The Mayor of Nuremberg is sleeping” Casey Kaplan Gallery
Thoughts after visiting The National Museum of the American Indian, NYC
One takes very little time to understand our space. One takes very little time to understand the minds around us. It seems so natural to be afraid of time passing us by too quickly that there is no point in understanding. I like to slow down and realizing my surroundings and nature has been an ongoing process.
I was eleven or so, standing on the edge the balcony facing east, towards the view. The volcano, El Nevado, I’ve seen it all my life but I was only now admiring it. Towering over a city, a land, it continues to hold its royal posture today. Realizing how small one is against the world is overwhelming and I realized this then. In fact, it seems to never stop because human ingenuity has also managed to put me at awe. In terms of space, there are castles and skyscrapers as for minds; there are canvases and stimulating conversations.
Being an observer of the world allows for meditation and appreciation. My interest and magnetic draw to Native American culture is the common interest in nature, attention to life, and color. My own background is nestled in ancestral Mexican traditions, folklore, flowers, fresh fruit, and long black hair with ribbons. I am but one manifestation of the contemporary American Indian. It is a literal truth.
Now that I’m living in New York City, I’m lucky to be near the National Museum of the American Indian. I can learn more, I can see more, and inject it into my life. The bead work, the colors, and the feel of earthen clay, there is nothing else like it. Not to mention the political and cultural implications that come with iconography as it is embedded into contemporary society. I love the layers, the history, and legends. Now what is left is to share it with you.
“It seems to me that the years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest, psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it is time to become an adult – but you are not ready.”—Helen Mirren In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures (via cavum)