Monthly Archives: May 2009

My Little Garden

I decided to go all out this year and experiment with a vegetable garden. I have a tendency to kill things (I’ve picked up 5 stray just born kittens trying out the neurotic mother role and they died in one weekend, I since then have looked up what I did wrong on sites like Playrightmeow) and fear my lack of garden knowledge and experience with lead to sad wilting greens. But honestly I won’t let it stop me. Plus my dad finally came to my apartment after 2 years of living here donning a sun hat with tools in hand and uprooted my backyard and planted amazing veggies. So a peek at what’s sprouting:

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Squash seedlings germinating out and overwhelming with its cuteness and potential,

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Cucumbers and spinach sneaking up, up and up,

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Kale is amazingly beautiful and cute in its seedling stages,

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I only recently knew what this was called in English: Perilla leaves are used to wrapped Korean BBQ short ribs with bean paste and rice and other condiments and then proceed to stuff into mouth. They are rough in texture and spicy upon chewing. It’s the most radical leaf you’ll ever taste, next to kale and swiss chard.

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Kitty break! This is my stray cat Granola. She’s the most affectionate cuddly drooling fuzzball ever.

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Lettuce, cucumber, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, squash, assorted herbs…you name it I’ve got it. For now anyway…

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Peonies,

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Delicate, pink peonies and

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Ruffled red roses,

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There are also a myriad flowers with names I cannot pronounce growing ever so patiently.

To be continued…

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Sophie Calle at Paula Cooper

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I have history with Sophie Calle’s dense and wordy series Take Care of Yourself and it wasn’t until this show that I was smitten. Working for a gallery that exhibited and inventoried this series I was briefly bombarded with reproductions and never got to experience them in person. I remember creating a checklist for a chunk but not all of the series and wishing I read french (although some actually are translated into English). It was a pain to clarify which multi-part photograph belonged where and which text based photo matched with which figure/actor/performer/woman professional. Hearing that some were available at Paula Cooper

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I knew I had to see it albeit with a bit of hesitance as I wouldn’t have the time nor patience to read through the overwhelming collection of content. But the beauty of being a conceptual artist is that not all of it actually has to be consumed. It’s a compulsive need rather than a requirement for me to want to consume every word and detail in order to understand that the work encounters love and pain, and serves as a alternative coping method for the artist.

IMG_2527Basically, Calle receives a break up email from a douchebag coward boyfriend (who actually is also a well-known artist apparently) ending the message with “take care of yourself”. She fulfills his request by distributing the letter to 107 women asking them to interpret the letter in accordance with their professional field. The show at Cooper is a measly yet action packed response from individuals ranging from a female parrot, to clairvoyant,  teenager,  composer, accountant, sharpshooter, detective, her mother, copyeditor, school teacher, dancer, astronaut, mathematician, and crossword puzzler creator. Some are hysterical (parrot munching on printed email), others heartwrenching (indian dancer dancing solo with such emotional fervor, set on a gold and crimson stage and costume as if set within the heart of the artist), and prescriptive (clairvoyant and detective judge and analyze the man’s every word. A stream of videos lets you witness some of these people performing the letter through dance, song, and literal reading. The entrance wall is packed by a grid of portrait photographs Calle tooke of these individuals each in the act of reading within their personal environment.

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We don’t see the artist. We merely but vividly catch a reflection of one person’s emotional discontent through the eyes and voices of many. Calle’s signature is hidden but not invisible, her authorship cast within a collective of authors. Each unique response is her means of taking care, exposing the weak only to make stronger, building a layer of defense that would allow her to carry on. The flaws may lie on the overtly emotional and sappy but it’s triumph that lingers on. I am drawn to the archival element to this series, the collecting, documenting, and expanding on one simple idea. The audacity to take one sentence and a baggage of pain to such far reaching levels provides an accessibility that is both welcoming and daunting and its this exact reaction that stirs me and keeps me in its company.

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Hit

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Last night I left Atlas Cafe and was riding down Bedford crossing Metropolitan when an airhead teenager ran a red light and hit the rear end of my bike. I remember looking to my right and seeing those headlights and I just closed my eyes tight shut and I heard glass breaking somewhere and I opened my eyes to see my dear computer laying on the floor in one piece. I just lay there for a few seconds trying to make sense of what just happened. Swarms of people gathered: “are you ok” “are you ok?” “ARE YOU OK?” I was cool and calm, silently got up and picked up my papers, my laptop, my bike, shaking and speechless and checked out a wicked scrape on my left arm. I spoke softly and reassured everyone I was just fine. A professional doctor man said he’s a professional and knows exactly what to do: call an ambulance. No I can’t afford an ambulance bill, shit runs into the thousands. No I can’t call the cops, I can’t go to the hospital, I don’t have insurance and I don’t exist in this country. Let’s avoid all legal issues as much as possible. I was getting back to myself and took down the number of the driver boy who was stricken with fear and witnesses who were totally taking control of the situation taking pictures of the driver and yelping “I’ve got your back! I’m your alibi! I’m your witness!” It was reassuring and very comforting to think people really go out of their way to help out when they can. I teared myself away from everyone, got on my bike and rode along home humming a song to calm my nerves. Then it hit me: I could’ve fucking DIED. I could’ve had a concussion, I could’ve been amputated, I could’ve been defaced. I thank my lucky stars I walked away in one piece, my computer and bike in one piece. I started getting a headache and got all paranoid that I’d fall into a coma or something so made all my friends call me throughout the night to wake me up. It was pretty hysterical how anxious I got all of a sudden and was seeking comfort from a person I TOTALLY should not have contacted. But alas, I was delusional and just wanted someone to cradle me to sleep. Blegh. But I’m ok now, my neck is stiff, my head hurts a bit and the arm stings but I’m OK. And lesson learned, I’m going to get a sexy helmet and lights for the bike. OMG if Mellow was in my basket as he usually is when commuting to work can you IMAGINE?! Shudder.

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Benefit Bake Sale this Sat at t.b.d.

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I’m organizing a benefit bake sale for the India Street Mural Project to be held during the Great Greenpoint BBQrawl at t.b.d. in their new Ginormous backyard. I’ll be baking shitloads of good stuff so come early (it starts at 3) and share the reverie. There’ll be free beer, burgers across the spectrum of participating bars and of course, sweets. MmmMMm sweets.

I’m also looking for friends and supporters whos itchin’ to bake and are willing to donate a baked good for the event. If so, shoot me an email! That would be so greatly appreciated.

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FEAST: May 9th

The third FEAST dinner took place two weeks ago (I wrote about the previous dinner here) and I must admit this was the best of three!

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The crowd was far more manageable than last (up to 300, this time we’d say 150) and the way we managed food distribution ran sooo smoothly and there was even some left overs (we ran out last time).

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The meal was more delicious than ever with goat cheese and homemade ramp jam spread on loaves with arugula accompanied by a bed of orzo and spring vegetables. It was light and refreshing, a perfect way to celebrate the warming weathering.

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There was great electro beats to bump to played by a duo on their magic machines as well as make uppers who glammed us up with sprinkles and pink claws and feathered eyebrows. Fabulous.

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We raised more money this time around even though fewer people joined the reverie. $1000 went to The Great Trans-Gowanus Cable project where a telegraph will be built across the Gowanus Canal and people can give and receive message via morse code. I love how we’ve been voting for projects that really incorporate sense of community, intimacy, unity, and general social well being. I actually voted for a guy in greenpoint who wanted to curate a show inside a gym. Sound potential to me. Runners up received $400 to support a project that creates local currency that circulates with the help of businesses and artists. The other project incorporates unemployed artists as dancers for a performance piece.

Suzanne over at fashion skool of hard knocks reports on the dinner as well with some pretty sweet pics.

I’m very excited to announce FEAST will be merging with NBPAC for the next dinner, to take place in front of the then to be completed India Street Mural Project. Woo Hoo!

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Hernan Bas at Lehmann Maupin

I wasn’t familiar with Hernan Bas and his earlier paintings of homosexual boys posing in acts of removal and exposure reeking in romantic dandyism. I think this was to my advantage as the new series emphasize crazed landscapes and mixed references and received mixed responses from a nostalgia for his earlier style to generic comparisons to uncharacteristic formal descriptions. I do love c-monster’s review deeming it a damn interesting show.

Picture 2Ubu Roi (the war march), 2009, acrylic on linen over panel, diptych, 84 x 144 in

I was waiting for a friend to meet me at the gallery giving me the opportunity to squint and glare at each piece with more time than usually allotted when strolling through a day long gallery marathon. I’ve concluded no matter how much time you spend with these paintings you will never grasp its grandiosity not just in terms scale but in its eluding to past styles and movements and artists, incorporating Monet, Futurism, Surrealism, fantasy narratives and dreams into a single overwhelmingly conglomerative canvas. My eyes were constantly reverting and spastically experiencing the scratchy colors, the jagged disruptive strokes and the procession of odd figures sulking, prancing, acting, engulfed in these landscapes of pseudo-abstract, pseudo-architectural, pseudo-modernist, pseudo-neo-expressionist paintings.

Picture 1Colored Plastic Complex of Noise + Dance + Joy, 2009, acrylic on linen over panel, 72 x 60 in

Colored Plastic Complex of Noise + Dance + Joy best represents this new series where figures encounter either physical or internal restrictions, in this case a procession of figures hesitantly cascade down a zig zaggy rock mountain accompanied by a futurist modernist structure that is grounded to the setting with jagged sharp edges cutting through the field. The tension between humans, nature, and structure varies in intensity where one overpower another in any painting. Here I’d like to think they are sharing a balanced relationship and its title suggests a raucous exploration of nether regions.

I wish my experience with these paintings were fresh in my mind, it’s been a few weeks and I feel like I’ve lost the sense of being lost within the works and now its just irritating trying to hopelessly recall each scathing section and the resulting subliminal awe it ensues.

Images via Lehmann Maupin site, show runs July 10th. You can also find a retrospective at Brooklyn Museum from the Rubell Collection. I will probably miss this show as I have little interest in viewing a collection within a museum setting. I just think it’s wrong.

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Some Photos

My life is quite simple. It consists mainly of:

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My horrendously good looking dog, (FYI Monday was his 1 year birthday. I contemplated baking a puppy cake and celebrate with bday hats, but then I’d be that lady who bakes puppy cakes and celebrates with bday hats for the pitiful dog)

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Puppy friends,

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lots of good food,

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I mean lots,

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food.

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Nature confined within urban chaos,

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Radiating,

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And blossoming.

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Yoga dancing is a great past time activity.

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Can his belly be any more rubbable?

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