Sunday, August 31, 2008

TRACEY-Contemporary Drawing Research

Look what Mary Addison Hacket found: TRACEY-Contempoary Drawing Research. I haven't had time to go through the entire site, but did really enjoy the sketchbook pages.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Alessandra Exposito

From the Mixed Greens website, the q & a made me smile. Actually, hit on the sidebar's "about the artist" for the entire q & a, for some reason it links halfway in.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brenda Goodman

While obviously well-established, Brenda Goodman is new to me. Thanks to Martin at Anaba for referencing her (as a comparison to Kathy Bradford's work, which also looks very interesting).
This is my new go-to artist for inspiration, for remembering why we do this. Her site shows bodies of work dating back to 1973, and it all is phenomenal.
I am really really really stoked by this work.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Deconstructing the Paper Piles

I cleared two areas of office detritus today. Mostly piles of paper with writing scrawled on it. I went through my business card/contacts pile. I sorted all unfiled paper, some of which had been stacked and re-stacked over a period of several years.

It gave me a very depressing perspective on the casual human contacts in my life. About 75% of every scrap I handled reminded me of a slightly or fully negative experience. By slightly negative, I mean simply an unsolicited artist's card which was aggressively offered by someone whose work I really dislike. Just that tiny little bit of intrusion. No biggy, except that I had a couple dozen such cards, and only a handful from artists of whom I desired such contact info.

I found the cards of people who have moved away or passed away.

I found the designers for whom I'd worked, and various other business contacts, which just didn't work out. Some of this was my earlier inexperience, some of it was their nonsense.

A dog trainer who I met once at a clients house gave me about 50 cards. I don't know why I kept them, but they have been constantly falling out and about, always there. I have handled and shuffled these cards so many times. I mean for years. Yes, I tossed them all.

I found a partial letter from a friend I'd known in Austin, Tx. I keep wanting to contact her again, and I suppose I pulled out this last contact so I could make relevant conversation. It was dated 1990, and I understood none of its contents. I no longer knew the people she mentioned in it.

Some paperwork reminded me of how much time and resources I have spent jumping through hoops for a certain arts organization.

I stopped writing in sketchbooks a couple years ago. I just grab paper now, or use the wall. I found so many sheets of loose ramblings on art. It was in my handwriting, and it was familiar, but it was also peculiar. I threw all these sheets in a folder to be sorted at a future date.

It was a little depressing to be hit by so many years worth of detritus. It was the stuff that could wait and its cumulative aura was just nasty. I do feel jarred out of day job mind-mode though.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tiger Ramblings

wall area 16' x 54', "opening" 10' x 18'

The image in person has a lot more presence than these shots indicate. The wide-angle lens pushes it all away.

When I imagine this middle school gym during a game, with its one wall of bleachers, I imagine a lively and intimate place, very vibrant. It's funny how sporting events are still about an active engagement in physical reality, both for the players and the spectators. No wait, I've really only been to a professional tennis match recently, and I was shocked by the invasion of media. The big screen imagery, mostly advertisements, and the booming music were so intrusive. This all flattened the experience. It was no longer about being an individual in a place, with my own unique observations and input. It was about being swept up psychically into a codified experience.

Perhaps non-commercial sporting events, like at this middle school, are still a good place to have one's own experience (unless everyone is texting the event). If so, I can't help wondering: In real terms, does this commissioned sports mural function more meaningfully than my personal art? It's just so much of the real-event world. It has a place where it functions with great impact. It is exciting and a bit odd to think of this effect in contemporary art terms, re-contextualized as a uber-conceptual performance art piece. Ultimately though, a commissioned tiger mural is a commissioned tiger mural. I'm left pondering the very real impact of this work, in its intended context, versus the more nebulous position of my "real" art work.
When I was in my 20s, I had no patience for physical reality. It seemed a hindrance. I dreamed of a purely conceptual life, where we connected through thoughts and ideas, none of which required materialization. I wanted to start idea banks. If other universes existed, surely one was purely mathematical. I resented having to eat regularly; this seemed the most ridiculous waste of time. Sleep eight hours a day, every day????I think for most people that time of life is about selective disengagement, be it from parental authority and values, the confines of physicality, or just daily living hassles. I applaud all who spend this period giving themselves and the world a rigorous shakedown.

I can see how enticing and how right, how dead right, seems a technologically achieved concept-based reality. It fulfills my deepest past fantasies of reality.

But I'm finally discovering physical reality and emotional connection, and I really like it. There is a point in painting where ideas generate simultaneously with their own physical incarnation. This is a pretty special experience. One can't go through this and then reject physical reality, not entirely.

I can't help but wonder if most people follow a similar pattern of nihilistic rejection followed by acceptances which then lead to willing engagement.

I'm suggesting that much of our current cultural presumptions arise from a youth-generated outlook, and while the influences of breakneck technological changes can't be denied or diminished, our reliance on youth-centric interpretations creates distortions of which we should be aware. The rich dimensionality of physical and emotional engagement becomes diminished, through the double whammy of technological filtering and youthful disinterest.

I'm not really proposing anything specific here, I'm mainly fascinated that this mural will succeed as a physical experience, more so than anything I create as art. I'm not sure there even is a context for my personal art.