Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Ho Ho

So What happens when the Reindeer get the flu? Well...Santa rides the subway.

Holiday greetings to all!
Susan and Kurt

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Exposed: Copies in Controversy

Following and combining two of my recent posts is another quirky story. An Alma Thomas work was loaned to the White House by the Hirshhorn Museum thus creating a mini controversy with her painting, "Watusi (Hard Edge)." The 1963 painting is extremely similar to a 1953 piece entitled L’Escargot by Matisse. As we know many painters copy favorite paintings as part of their developmental process as well as their dialog with art. Copies, elaboration, appropriation and more are all common grist for the mill these days.

Anyway, there was a lot of comment on line and the painting was removed from the White House. The White House press office says,"it was moved because it didn’t fit the space right."

Take a look and see what you think...

Above: Henri Matisse, The Snail,1953 Below: Alma Thomas, Watusi (Hard Edge), 1963; courtesy of Flavorwire.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


In spite of all our concerns about what's happening in the presidency these days, a "good thing" is the Obamas' interest in art (and cooking too if Michele Obama's guest appearance on Iron Chef is an indication). Museums and collectors have been quick to offer works for inclusion. Aside from changing the art dealer landscape, the works also have political implications. Included are: “Sky Light” by African-American abstract artist Alma Thomas; “Numerals, 0 through 9,” by Jasper Johns, “Berkeley No. 52,” by Richard Diebenkorn, and an Ed Ruscha canvas featuring the words, “I think maybe I’ll…”. Robert Rauschenberg and Louise Nevelson were also loaned from the National Gallery. F.Y.I. the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have more details.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Get in the Spirit of...whatever

This weekend why not hit some of New York's unusual Holiday offerings: Lettuce Rejoice
with Hedda Lettuce's annual holiday show; A Very SANDWICH Christmas at the ABRONS ARTS CENTER; Santa Claus is Coming Out and "Naked Holidays N.Y.C. '09: Fear of a Black Santa," at Ace of Clubs in the East Village.

You might catch us at Lettuce Rejoice. We really enjoyed her last year's show. Or if If you don't like any of them, well, as they said in Filthy Lucre, the burlesque Xmas show, "Bra Humbug!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Joe Mangrum — Art that Blows Away

Or at least I heard he sweeps it up to use again. He was at Union Square last week. I passed seeing the sparkling sand twinkling in the gloaming. The artist is Joe Mangrum who has created prints and book documenting the mandalas. It was fascinating to watch, mesmerizing like a Zen garden. He's received a lot of attention including the prestigious Lorenzo de Medici award in "New Media", for his striking piece, "Fragile." Catch him if you can, before it's swept or blown away.

"Portraits" Artist Joe Mangrum - a film by Repertorium Films Leandro Sanchez Director from joe Mangrum on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Missing Edward Winkleman

The thing about gallery wandering through Chelsea is that you intersect with lots of people. At the openings you expect it. In fact, I recently introduced myself to Chuck Close, a personal hero because he has that renaissance touch in multiple media, at a Pace opening. But the sweetest moments are fleeting. At the instant I was taking the photograph above, Edward Winkleman walked by. He saw me and turned his head to see what I was seeing and kept striding. By the time I gathered my wits to say hello, he was gone. For the rest of the day I felt an odd kinship, every photo a mapping of that oh so slender event.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I expose myself

Today I expose myself. I have been taking pieces of earlier paintings and exploring them inside my current work. It started with a chance remark by Cora Cohen, who questioned my landscape/truck paintings as being too cinematic. It got me thinking about earlier landscape painters. I decided to follow a time honored painterly tradition of repainting others work in the service of one's own. Here are some examples: Chardin followed by Soutine, Manet followed by Mark Ryden, Jan Davidz de Heem followed by Matisse, Cezanne followed by Susan Shaw, Albert Marquet followed by Susan Shaw. The most terrifying thing for me was to realize that I had turned Cezanne's beautiful late afternoon stormy landscape onto a post-industrial slag heap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Photo Pops at MOMA

Last month, Kurt and I went to a fun event at MOMA called "Picture Yourself." We had
after-hours viewing of the exhibition New Photography 2009: Walead Beshty, Daniel Gordon, Leslie Hewitt, Carter Mull, Sterling Ruby, Sara VanDerBeek.

At the event, using digital photo-booth technology, guests constructed their own take-away photographs using backgrounds newly designed by Gordon, Hewitt, and VanDerBeek. I thought the people shooting their self photos were riveting and, of course, Kurt and enjoyed seeing our heads 15 feet high at the museum. They now have a second life on Flicker in a group reminiscent of that famous Walker Evans studio image, "Penny picture displays" in Savannah, GA

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I didn't sleep with Tiger Woods.

I didn't sleep with Tiger Woods. Never even met the man. I wish I was a bull**** artist instead of a regular artist because right now my art would be in front of the nation. All I have to do is say, "I slept with Tiger Woods," and the scandal would be like magic.

Instead I slog along honing my skills with studio practice and the demanding flesh eating painting class. On this prurient topic, here are two new nude studies and one from recent Truck Paintings.