Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Snippets Samplings Static—the Opening

If you missed the opening, there's still time to sample it. The show doesn't close until April 10. Besides if you don't see it, how will you be able to answer Cora's question, "With the end of modernity and the loss of absolute ideals, faced with a sense of fluctuating values, instability, in a context of incessant questioning, reconsideration, how do artists make work?"

I ask myself that every day....
Ernest Rubenstein Gallery, 197 East Broadway, NYC on the Lower East Side!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Verily Verité

Writing about Cindy Sherman seems redundant but a terrific film I saw this weekend has prompted this post. A look into two artist's processes, an incisive and funny slant on the art world, and a fairy tale of love, Guest of Cindy Sherman is a terrific ride. Artist and TV personality Paul Hasegawa-Overacker (known as Paul H-O) has warmth and charm, and I felt for him remembering that my own ex once introduced himself as Mr. Susan Shaw. After the film, he took questions from the audience—I've posted a few clips (including a hard luck for artists clip) here as well as a clip on Cindy Sherman from Ovation TV. There's also nice article about the film on ArtInfo by Jillian Steinhauer, and to flesh the column out, some of the amazing chameleon images from Cindy's work at Metro Pictures.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thanks Soooooooooooooo Much!

Just wanted to take a minute to say "Thank you!" to all who came to the Snippets Samplings Static openings, who read this blog repeatedly, who email me about exhibition and grant opportunities, who offer criticism and mentoring, who help with technical know how, and who are my cheerleaders no matter what. You are great and I am grateful.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A simple walk #... oh, who cares

We've had a great spell of warm weather and I've been using every free minute to walk in the sunshine snapping away and plying my movie camera. As I was on my stroll, I was greeted by a very elderly lady, also out enjoying the weather. She saw my camera and commented, "yes, there are some lovely things starting to bloom." I had to agree although the only thing really blooming here is myself.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Apples...

When you have more than one child you need to follow the equal time rule. Here are some of the artistic pursuits of my other two and yeah, I'm just as proud.

Max is interested in Dance and Theatre. Here are clips from recent performances:

Chloe is more interested in design and photography when she's not playing the guitar, violin, mandolin, clarinet, piano or drums. This is a book of her photographs that I really like.

There you have it. New York is a place for creative people—and for apples. We're the second largest producer of apples in the United States. As for our creative people, it's a wonderful fragrant orchard, apples and interesting seeds.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Painters Painting and Not Painting

News and Miscellaneous:

A second opening for Snippets Sampling Static tonight. If you missed the first... Hope to see you!


Interesting article in The Brooklyn Rail about Facebook.

And on Webdesigner Depot, The "Ultimate" Guide to Everything Twitter. An alphabetized glossary, as well as popular Twitter applications and instructions for incorporating Twitter into your website and blogs.

Everyone should be reading or twittering Art Fag City. Paddy Johnson's blog has gobs of info including answers to questions you didn't even know you needed the answer to like, "What artist has the largest number of public sculptures captured on Google Maps?"

Interesting video!
Painters Painting
Emile de Antonios 1974 documentary Painters Painting. The American Avant Garde after WWII. a rare collection of interviews with american artists. And as a side note bit of trivia Emile de Antonio used to have an office in the same building as my studio.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hard Times for Artists = Creative Materials

I've seen art on cardboard, cereal boxes and lots of other found materials. Yesterday I saw these. What a good idea! Large size, good quality paper, the background already roughed in and a subtext layer of interesting content. It bears some thinking about.

O.K. Here's what I might do. Entitled "Mapping the Language of Love." see image below. Looks like a Susan Shaw, feels like a Susan Shaw. References her photographic portraits and therefore appropriate in the context of her continuum of work. She actually worked on both layers of image, one in the '70s (as a map designer) and the other in the '80s. Is definitely personal, yet is about push/pull of the picture plane. Resembles a prior body of work by Shaw, exhibited internationally and hotly collected. Hmm....maybe hard times are looking good...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Fall from the Tree

I'm hoping the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I so enjoyed this show that I hope some of my teen's stellar drawing skills will rub off on me. I am very proud of Nemo, an aspiring cartoonist and arguably the best critic of my own work. His work is currently on exhibit at the High School of Art and Design. I was really gratified to see his work —I think Nemo may have found his metier in caricature, especialy of his teachers. Case in point: the drawing he did of Mr. Filardi and the real Mr. Filardi taken by me at the opening.

It was inspiring to see the work coming out of the cartooning and animation group. The work was passionate and the opening fun. Here's a selection of pix from the opening pix and more work in the show.

Last image is another of Nemo's caricatures. I must admit to wincing a bit when his incisive glance was turned toward me, but I will say, I now have the most stylish, crankiest, plumpest, orange wearing avatar in Wii Fit and I can twirl that Hula Hoop in style. I love his work, and it is not just proud mama talk. The Big Apple produces seeds of interesting trees.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Parody, the Sincerest Form of Flattery

Elvis Presley Painting with Cheetos Cheese Puffs on Velvet

Eclectic Asylum uses common objects in an "artistic" way. He says he does this "because many types of art are far removed from the average person." He says, "Creating art with things people come in contact with in their daily lives closes that gap."

His idea for this piece came from what else, eating Cheetos. His fingers turned orange and created accidental marks on his clothing. Lightbulb!...fabric as a surface....lightbulb!...velvet paintings. And Elvis, the most famous incarnation of a velvet painting. Velvet Elvis or Velveeta Elvis? Kitschy, cheesy, likeable, lickable art.

If you have to have this... Limited Edition Prints by EclecticAsylum available now. Music "Rocking with Elvis" by Dean Vegas (Elvis Tribute Artist)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Damn, it's Parody

DAM! aka Dyke Action Machine! is a public art project founded in 1991 by painter, designer and writer Carrie Moyer and photographer Sue Schaffner. Both Carrie and Sue are working artists who successfully use parody in the political art they create for DAM! From 1991 they postered New York City with culture jammer projects that combined Madison Avenue savvy with Situationist tactics. Their campaigns dissected mainstream media by inserting lesbian images into recognizably commercial contexts.

While questioning, through art, basic assumptions that one cannot be “present” in a capitalist society unless one exists as a consumer group, DAM! subverted the role of the advertiser to change existing mindsets. A typical DAM! campaign was comprised of 5,000 posters wheatpasted over the course of one month. Then as corporations and activists battled for dwindling public outdoor space, DAM! turned to other modes of propaganda (lightboxes, catalogs, matchbooks, buttons and stickers to name but a few) and other distribution channels.

Recent news, Paddy Johnson has given DAM! space for an advertising campaign at Art Fag City, which is one of the best art blogs here in NYC. Check out the "Steal This" part of the DAM! site, they have some great posters to download—and yes, it's legal and it's parody.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Illegal art #3

Here's an artwork where the author/artist used the legal system to create his work. In 1998, Kembrew McLeod trademarked the phrase "Freedom of Expression" and created a magazine with that title. He enlisted a friend, Brendan Love, to pose as the publisher of an imaginary punk rock magazine also called Freedom of Expression, whom he then pretended to sue. McLeod hired a lawyer and didn't let her in on the hoax. The lawyer sent a cease-and-desist letter to Love:

"We represent Kembrew McLeod of Sunderland, Massachusetts, the owner of the federally registered trademark, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ... Your company has been using the mark Freedom of Expression ... Such use creates a likelihood of confusion in the market and also creates a substantial risk of harm to the reputation and goodwill of our client. This letter, therefore, constitutes formal notice of your infringement of our client’s trademark rights and a demand that you refrain from all further use of Freedom of Expression."

Shortly thereafter, the Daily Hampshire Gazette ran an interview with McLeod. He played it straight, telling the paper, "I didn't go to the trouble, the expense and the time of trademarking Freedom of Expression just to have someone else come along and think they can use it whenever they want." Two years later, when McLeod asked to reprint the Gazette article in his book Owning Culture: Authorship, Ownership, and Intellectual Property Law.Book Cover The paper denied him permission.

This recent ad campaign brings up another copyright query. Marilyn Minter on the left, new Lee ad on the right. You decide...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Illegal Art #2

Today copyright owners are likely to sue artists who appropriate their work, after all they now understand the full value of brands. In fact, Shepard Fairey has done his own share, suing people for using "Obey" attached to their artwork. The question becomes for artists not whether you can win but whether you can afford the lawsuit.

Quoted in New York Times article from 2003

"Legal worries convinced Diana Thorneycroft that she should pull several drawings from a recent exhibition in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canadian law does not consider parody fair use. The pieces, now on display as 'Foul Play' in 'Illegal Art,' depict dolls of familiar characters like Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson being bound or 'killed' by hanging or gunshot.

'I think my drawings are clearly dealing with parody,' Ms. Thorneycroft said. 'But you know — I mean, murdering Mickey Mouse, the people who work for Disney may not agree with that."

However there was a lawsuit that gave me hope. It was one between Tom Forsythe, a photographer and Mattel, relative to the series, "Food Chain Barbie." At the end of a decision where Forsythe prevailed, Forsythe's legal team asked for all legal costs to be paid by Mattel to send a message to corporate America that artists do have some rights in fair use, especially the one of parody. The firm Howard, Rice, Nemerovsky, Canady, Falk & Rabkin did pro bono legal work for Forsythe in excess of $1.5 million in defense of the case and Forsythe personally spent in excess of $200,000 for legal out of pocket costs. After a round of appeals, the District Court echoed the Ninth Circuit and ordered Mattel to pay all legal fees and expenses. That award of $1.8 million is on top of an award of $300,000 for the cost at appeal, with Mattel writing a check for $2.1 million.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mapping #2

Continuing my obsession with mapping, this slide show at CIO.com of the "15 Must-See Sights in Google Earth" compiled by Diann Daniel is truly wonderful. The article has the mapping coordinates for you to explore on your ow. These images preview my favorites. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Appropriate Appropriation?

An exhibition I saw recently at Cheim & Read hosts recent work by London-based artist Paul Morrison. Morrison is best known for boldly graphic landscape paintings, wall drawings, sculpture and animations. his work brought up some of the "Fairey Use" issues we've been discussing but is so beautiful I didn't care at all. His work incorporates found imagery culled from various pictorial genres and different time periods; early botanical illustrations, Northern Renaissance woodcuts, and even Disney cartoons (Oh Fairey...) I especially liked the way he uses scale both in the works and in the installation. He also had an elegant blue moulin video, simultaneously soothing and slightly menacing.

Continuing Ed.

At Work Sample Dos and Don’ts, offered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a very informative session answered questions like; Who reviews work samples? How are they reviewed? How important is formatting? Where should we place our cue points for video? What about Context? Look and feel for public art proposals and more. We saw a lot of different artists submissions as well. 9.9 on the excellence scale, all the evening needed was the addition of a real Manhattan for a 10!

On another note, as long as we're downtown, Alyson Pou has been making installation and performance work weaving together the social and the personal. She has a new piece "A Slight Headache" opening March 20 through April 19 at the South Street Seaport Museum in the Melville Gallery. She's an interesting person, so check it out.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Desperately Seeking Content

Today I'm at a low ebb where the blog is concerned. I had to dig deep into my archives to find something to post. These are shots of a photographic textile sculpture I created in the form of a book in 1975. It is called "Days in the Life of Aunt Maudie." All the fabric started as plain white polyester, which I hand printed, layering snapshots and old scientific and botanical illustrations. The found photograph of Aunt Maudie is repeated over and over again, framed and dolled up from page to page. And no, that's not Aunt Maudie on the left, she's the quiet one on the right. My favorite page is the one "taken by a bad photographer." Tonight I feel like that, blurred with voile and solid, desperately seeking content.