Monthly Archives: June 2010

Mark, Paper, Scissors at Roos Arts

I’m sorry to say it’s taken me a month to have the opportunity to write about this show. It’s becoming more and more difficult to take the time to see shows and write about them, or to find the time to write at all lately, especially with any thoughtful substance. I’m considering retiring from planning all these random events for a few months and focus ONLY on experiencing and documenting that experience. Now if only I had money to buy a very nice camera…

My dearest Heige of Roos Arts came up with an ingenious title for a show highlighting drawing and manipulations on paper: “Mark, Paper, Scissors”. Seven local artists engaging in some physical act with paper, whether it be crumpling or cutting, utilizing the material as a means of serial mark making, or conceptualizing the idea of sketching one would do on a piece of paper. An inherent quality of drawing as being open to manipulations and experimenting, where no fine lines are final and the process of erasure and redoing is common, the works in the show leave room for many interpretations and explorations within this medium. Mia Pearlman, pictured above is a favorite, her stormy tumultuous powerful nature-like scenes on paper, slit and cut in intricate details, are quite ethereal and magical. Light and space is as important in the reflection and placement of these sculptural works, especially when beams of light flow in and out of each crevice, casting performative and drastic shadows around its surrounding space.

A series of small drawings by Adie Russell combines text with imagery, offering vague narratives and washy illustrations. Additional works by the artist includes crumbled paper depicted accumulated text shaped into a figure, a hole poked through and in that space a colored circle is painted on the wall. The artist’s play with material and story telling is suggestive and enticing.

The strongest piece in the show had to have been Nancy Murphy Spicer‘s Drawing Trying to Stand Up in which the artist invites Heige to balance a broom stick amidst a gentle tangle of black rope, a performative and literal act to drawing if you will. Additionally the artist mounted a small sketchbook of wispy drawings on the wall nearby and visitors were welcomed to browse and skim through each drawing.

Majority of the works in the show were of an intimate scale, which reflected the drawing process as being quite personal and intimate, which often is true. More importantly, it’s refreshing to see how these artists embed drawing with other mediums, cross-pollinating until there is that blur between sculptural and painterly.

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Think Tank Potluck THIS SATURDAY

In the last few weeks I have done nothing other than focus on the monstrosity that is now Greenpoint Food Market. This article resulted in the biggest shitshow in my entire life with phone calls being fielded between Dept of Health, Dept of Agriculture & Markets, leeching journalists and confused and disappointed vendors. This is by far the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced and one that equally mixes gratification and disease. I have literally come down with some ridiculous illness where my voice has left and in its place are pathetic wheezes.  I am now feeling some serious growing pains. I now know there are some serious consequences to my actions. Not to say I am an immature, irresponsible jokey clueless kid. I know there are folks out there who think this way towards me and my market and where you might not be wholly correct you are deceived by my ever cool nonchalance. Do not be mistaken, I do regret never having done enough research to legitimize the market, which is now suffering under health dept scrutiny and all the vendors and fans that have accumulated over the months are left angry, disappointed, confused, and supportive by default. I’ve made such a shitshow out of the situation and I can only pray everything gets smoothed out in the end.

I HAVE been getting support from friends, vendors, fans, and others and I am very grateful for the all knowledge and resource they are able to provide. The temporary canceling of the market and the hosting of this Think Tank Potluck conference in its place just proves the market has stirred something that goes well beyond a dinky little community oriented food market. The personal gets political here for sure.

I’m nervous as hell about moderating and public speaking and am determined to wear heels if it makes be feel that much more at ease. We will be discussing many a things related to the local food movement, small business opportunities, incubator kitchens, and the future of Greenpoint Food Market. It’s been hell of a ride, I hope you’ll join me this Saturday.

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The Smile

There’s a certain glow to the LES that’s unattainable and covetous. All those kids in their expensive fashion gear, their cooler-than-thou glares and body nuances. I hate it and want it at the same time. It’s offputting and desirable at the same time. This is what I experienced lunching at The Smile, a sub-underground eatery and general store on Bond St. Olde New York / country get away feel populated by the hipsters of a wealthier echelon, the space warm enough, the staff nice enough, the food good enough.

The sandwich selection sounded plenty appetizing. I had Harissa Honey Roasted Chicken Breast with roasted red peppers, manchego and lemon mayo and the Angel tried the Black Forest Ham with Gruyere which wasn’t as good as mine. The well rounded flavorings of the chicken sandwich pared lovingly with the uber fresh and homemade pickels, served with a side of chips. The ham was of a blander affair.

The “General Store” section is nothing but a bunch of stuff on shelves and I felt awkward and intrusive walking along people’s tables to look at a pile of yarn and ironic art books.

I really have nothing more to say except I’ll be back for the dinner menu. Have you tried The Smile and was it better than a mediocre experience?

I like this picture of their chandelier.

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Unpresent with Marina Abramovic

via MoMA Flickr Page

6 months of the year has flown by with high velocity and one thing I regret is not vising enough art shows. Galleries have been visited at a stark minimum in comparison to my weekly hoppings the last few years and museums adventures were rare, especially as I have no cheap way in (I’m really not trying to go the “I’m press” route). The remaining days to Abramovic’s show were dwindling fast and it took til the day before the last for me to finally make the trip to MoMA to see the artist in person. I received advice from friends to get their MAD early, especially as I was determined to be the very first to sit my ass down directly across from THE mother of Performance Art. With sheer obsessive determination I arrived with my Angel at the museum an hour and a half before opening only to be met with a disapproving line where folks have waited since one in the f*uc*ing morning. I was flabbergasted to see this fantastical need to experience the artist herself was shared by others. I stomped my feet and had a temper tantrum knowing there’d be fat chance I get to sit with Marina. We stuck around and waited to get inside upon opening and we marched on upstairs to the atrium when stop, lo and behold, there is, the one and only, Marina, Abramovic. Oh but wait, why the hell are there so many people here already, why are there one, two, three, four, five, six cameras and video cameras? Why is this security guard standing in my way? And there’s like, three of them, whispering to each other and shooing off visitors to stay outside the white tape perimeter. He’s telling the lucky guy who’s next that he has exactly 10 minutes. I thought you could sit an entire day with the artist if you so pleased? “It’s to guarantee everyone has a chance to sit with the artist during the last couple days.” Oh God and these bright lights! These huge photo studio lamps beaming at every corner, it’s cold and harsh and unbearable. At least Marina got rid of the table standing between her and the sitter.

I stood as close as possible, directly behind where the sitter was to get a glimpse of the artist and pretend she were looking into my eyes, and hope that maybe, just maybe she’d avert her gaze and pierce me with her attention, at least for a brief half a second. Even with this proximity, I felt, nothing.

I HATED that this is what my thought process and experience was like. In an attempt to be “present” with the artist, a purifying and meditative act between two individuals gazing within a shared force field, focusing on nothing but the current mindful moment, release all tensions and thoughts and pasts and relations to be present, all that was left in the end was this narcissistic glammed up shitshow. Marina was signing autographs with her eyes for 10 minutes at a time and the visitors have their moment of fame in breathing the same air as the holier-than-thou and get to have their photo taken as they stare blankly, or in many cases, cry in a moment of silent confession.

This would have been exactly what I hoped to have imagined it to be if all these extra particles of annoyance and self-reflecting documentations were gone. The piece would have reached it’s fullest potential if she was sitting in an enclosed room without inexplicably bright lights, without cameras, guards, white tapes, frills, and authorities. It would be pure and uninterrupted, unrecorded, raw, and it’d get her point across FAR more successfully this way. Instead it became her own tv show, nothing but a fad and an empty spectacle.

In reading this, please do consider I’m in a very shitty mood and WILL shit on anything that comes my way.

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Bushwick Open Studios

Bushwick Open Studios and Renegade Craft Fair never fails to launch on the same weekend. There is also always the guarantee that in those two days it will be motherf*ing hot. For the last couple years I’ve attend both events there was always the threat of windy thunderstorms and sweltering heat that make sweat beads collectible to save for rehydrating later (just kidding, that’s gross). So onwards I went to Renegade on Saturday and BOS on Sunday, handkerchief in hand dabbing my damp face every few seconds. It really doesn’t help that I have the sweaty nose of a panting dog and am uber self-conscious when anyone get’s too close to see my sweat trickling orifice.

This year round there were upwards of 250 artists welcoming us perspiring animals in their non air-conditioned studios. I started off at my girl Ali’s studio on Ingraham St and unfortunately didn’t make it very far thereafter. I visited 3 buildings within walking distance then freaked out when someone mumbled “Yea I heard there’s a tornado warning”. I swiftly jetted out of a building only to be greeted by a raging downpour. I stood outside Roberta’s and smoked a nervous cigarette while the rain calmed down and eventually stopped. I was too shaken to continue my journey and went home to tend to my veggie garden and take a nap. For those who are unaware, I hate storms and clouds. It makes me very nervous.

On that note I’d like to dabble on a few highlights and the one artist who really short of blew me away.

Let’s go ahead and start with Ali Aschman. Enter her sub-ground floor studio and you’re welcomed into a world of fantastical creatures moping and crawling about in their fluorescent pastel color dabbed surroundings. Reinterpretations of human-animal hybrids mingle with teardrops with ominous messages and geometric patterned little doll houses host a masquerade of some dark and foreboding narrative. I especially love sneaking my eyes around her desk, peering into her supply bin and wishing O so badly that I were an artist with a studio like this of my own.

Holly Rochilo‘s paintings incorporated many a patterns, including those using geometric optimal stencils. There’s all about intergalactic and voluminous space, with shapes connecting one to another while engaging in manipulating its surrounding space.

The large watercolors of Sarah Olson freakishly reminded me of my ex-boss’ work, Janaina Tschape. Natural forms redefined, manipulated, fierce in tone and color. I overheard her saying each drawing was made during a 90 minute performance for an opera where she played the character of an artist.

Standard sized photographs by Shanna Maurizi with images of animals are cut and collaged within human settings creating a jarring juxtaposition between human intervention and natural wellbeing. They’re creepy and gave off an air of emptiness and dread.

The studio of Future Archeology recalled science experiments from elementary school, except much smarter. I overheard the artist saying the trees branches were collected from wastelands over yonder (Jersey) alongside water collected from nearby polluted creeks. An ice cube from the said water source is tied atop this concoction of branch and string, dropping drops down various directional paths into containers on the floor. I know they recently had an installation at Firehouse 212 which I missed and was curious to find out about their intention to “investigate the cybernetic nature of ecosystems”. I’d like to know what cybernetic exactly means please.

The series After the Women of Paradise Road by artist Nat Ward short of blew me away. It’s definitely the highlight of my short visit around the studios. The artist takes photographs of magazine boxes strewn across Paradise Road in Las Vegas. By photographing the images of women on the covers of the magazines from outside of the box he creates this amazing visual affect that is pure and raw, untouched and unmanipulated. Marked layers from dry sun exposure, natural gritty stains, magazine holding bars, and scratchy reflections are all incorporated into the image. It’s the perfect conceptual reflection of the body as commodifiable object, worn and torn, used and reused to gratify temporary desires.

On the streets of Bushwick performances and artist interventions abounded. There was a lady drinking cocktails in a neon outfit inside a bathtub, three ladies in raincoats stretching outside a liquor store, and an art show taking place inside rental trucks. I definitely had one of those moments where, quote my friend Ram “Only in New York will you find such a concentrated community of artists”, thriving and creating, invading a neighborhood with art and turning it into a way of life. It made appreciate Bushwick a little more, considering I poo poo’ed on it more than once for it’s defined dirty grungy showyness.

Gitana Rosa gallery hosted a show of oil paintings to benefit The Nature Conservancy and their efforts to aid in the recovery process after a heinous oil spill. I love the above painting of the chiseled man. The intense and comical stare made me chuckle.

I’ve seen these paint dripping abstracted sculptures by Jonathan VanDyke at Scaramouche a while back and was intrigued by the work’s sculptural and painterly dualities. The time sensitive ever changing activity of watching paint drip and collect on the floor made me question whether or not the paint spill could be cleaned off the floor later.

Mathilde Roussel-Giraudy’s works on paper have an overwhelming immense sense of delicacy, quietude, softness, and whispering. They feel unwholesome and unfinished, but I say that in the best way possible. They’re glimpses and suggestions for something bigger, a something that will never quite be manifested. They’re personal without being too imposing and get to the heart of human feelings and matters. The above picture doesn’t say as much as I just described but check out her website and hopefully you’ll get my gist.

The candy colored paintings of Lori Kirkbride are particular in their ever so shiny quality, where a thick layer of resin looms over playfully patterned lines and shapes. This is my second year walking into her windowless studio and I’m again super intrigued by the sheer number of works she has up on the wall. No doubt she can spit these babies out with the speed of squeeze tubes squeezed too fast (what?).

I think I’ve potentially found a very talented artist named Johannah Herr. I was drawn to the pure absurdity of these photographs, the head pieces a reinterpreting of rituals and religions, costuming and sacrificing. The stark black background makes each figure protrude out the picture plane and the nitty gritty diy energy about it blends well with what seems like an innate elegance. Her website not only shows she’s super young, but also artistically diverse.

Jill Sigman was one of a few reenacting performers for Marina Abramovic’s recently closed retrospective. Here she gives a performance in reaction to her experience with a acts of improvised movements. I walked it as she sang a patriotic song atop her makeshift wooden storage closet, her arms expanded wide holding some nifty antennae sword. She climbed down and had a “present artist” moment with another performer and between then were some chunks of bloody meat carcass, remnants of a performance I probably missed. The room was silent and somber, reflective and serene. Her soft unassuming voice alone was enough to create a disturbingly soothing experience.

Marionette maker Erik Sanko set up his studio to look as creepy as possible. Mission completed.

There’s a sign on the wall where Wink Wink Pony installed a series of very cute and bubbly big-headed animals that says “Please don’t pet the animals.” This goes hand in hand with overhearing the artist saying something along the lines of “I’m not taking it too seriously”. You mean, art can be fun too? Yes, it can be fun too.

In the past I’ve had dreams where all my eyes could see was a heinously infinite field of white. These creepy dreamy white plastered objects by Kyu Seok Oh reminded me of those dreams and I shuddered.

This is the second year to come upon the ridiculous performative works of Kin Kyung Chong. I love the photographs above where she’s lathered herself in food products.

So as you can see, this year’s visit was very abridged and un-comprehensive. Let’s hope that next year there is no tornado warning and it’s not intolerably hot.

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Reader

Mira Schor on Marina Abromavic’s MoMA performance: “I found some of the visuals distracting, especially Marina’s red ecclesiastical garment, which one friend has compared to one of those snuggies, the blankets with sleeves advertised on TV.”

– A couple months ago Tim and Aaron started visiting random places and taking amazing pictures. Aaron is now a loser enjoying a long ass vacation in Greece but Tim keeps up the solo adventures and the images are quite stunning.

Marina Abramovic made me cry, Marina Abramovic made me high.

– RIP Louis Bourgeois.

Local distilleries are popping up everywhere.

– Art School Girls

– How to make spaghetti

– Abramovic interviewed post-present state.

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