7-16-08 : Art Notes

I am pressed to believe in two incongruous notions. One in being a younger artist the work must take all the time it needs in order to develop unaffected by market pressures or recognition. This wisdom comes heart felt from many artists who have first hand experience with the vicissitudes of the creative life. I too agree that proper nutrition should be supplied to the work through time and struggle, a sort of ripeness. However, this 'maturation' approach increasingly appears counter intuitive to an ever changing contemporary existence, one which is filled to the brim with haste and expediency and thus is ever so difficult to contend with. We struggle with a glimmer of hope through our toil we work to survive until our mythological recognition becomes reality or until what we seek comes to fruition. * This is where I Remind myself of the journey as compared to a young sapling which knows it is a tree. It in time will grow broad and strong, tall and full. The sapling in age old wisdom is not in a particular hurry because it always seems to find time to dance in the sunny breeze. That is to say, life as a full experience, the wholeness of it. All tasks in a day through out a lifetime, though some seem banal, do in fact contribute to a larger repertoire- that is the self. 



West Village NYC. -I am sitting in a crowded Manhattan bar with Katya, Vera, Aden. Drinking beers & wines we are discussing our voting experiences this morning. CNN news election coverage is blaring throughout the bar on all TVs. We are among the youthful robust crowd of college graduates, M.A.'s and others excited together over what we are witnessing. What we are sharing. History. Pennsylvania is leaning our way to crowd applause. Good lead with senate majority. Tide has finally turned. Grant Park Chicago looks so beautiful on the screen. The miracle mile never was miracle until today. Optimism is thicker than butter in this humid warm air. Smiles are abundant and hugs are passed along with the drinks. T-shirts, buttons, homemade and those from the campaigns. We remain somewhat cautiously optimistic however I think we are all ready. Then it happens, state by state- swingers are swinging. Tight races, we see projections, the lead seems unreal. Growing more by the minute as each state is cheered by us with thunderous applause. Our country is changing. PA., OH., FL., CA., - OBAMA WINS. A flash of type on the screen, all I can see is blue. We erupt. We hug and dance and kiss with strangers. We scream, we cry, New Yorkers are running through the streets. We are all running throughout America. We celebrate & we announce our time, our place in history. 'Yes We Can'. People smile at strangers in the streets and in the subways, I hear cheers on every corner, every bar and at every stop. In all the places we congregate we celebrate. The belief in our ideals our republic and our next president. Barack Obama. -- It's still hard to imagine this thing that happened today. Yet it happened. I happened to all of us. We all are in it. The air, the energy, it all seems different, familiar but far from it. I tell all my friends and family 'I love you all and welcome to the right side of history.' via text. Then I receive a full list of joyous responses. It happened & it's time to believe. 

Art Notes: 11-2-08

Abstractions- Intuitive and non-narrative, they maintain a slight degree of motion not like animation. The vocabulary of elements that have been used are thought of as parts like those found in erector sets, legos or machines. These parts are tinkered with into the various apparatus constructions you see. I have a tremendous interest in engineers and their ability to take parts, tools and knowledge to develop and create functional things of value. The film projector is an item I find to be as interesting as the film or the art form. This sadly is true in many instances though the projector has fallen to the wayside as an antiquated piece of technology. For sake of point, the projector if it were to cease it's harmonious operation you would not have the film. I think of machines, engines, stock material, distribution, warehousing, manufacturing, production, not always in this order. The ideas they generate help in translating my experiences into a painting language.
I am interested in living a kind of pre-industrial revolution life style of the singular artist in the studio. Then again I like Andy's factory. How does does human experience of time and space change through the machine and info-tech ages into 21st century culture? There are indeed numerous connections that can be traced back into history many strong comparisons but what for the mutations of both individual and cultural value systems? Our sense of time, space and data is drastically altered from those of old, and this is what shapes our reality today. We are different people with the same internal hardware but with different external pressures. If we were cars, we'd be scrapped for better models by now. So much for intelligent designers tinkering the universe into harmony. Someone somewhere along the way through a fatty wrench into the machine if there ever was one to throw.


Rain all night into morning results in slow start today. Late trains wet weather synonymous, lack of clarity in judgement results in fatal mistake of stepping onto car with fat loud obscene youths full of morning attention deficit disorder and whatnot. Perhaps lack of love and affection at home. Gains pleasure in public performances unsolicited and of lesser quality than worth mentioning. Is humored by abrasive style and friends support her efforts in youthful reckless stupidity. Lack of discipline and structure, respect and otherwise. A sad case of contemporary degradation in this urban habitat. Emphasis on habitat. Animals- just animals.


9-10-08.  Wine in copious amounts result in a night of goofy rambling and doodles in pages prior. Burgers and shakes in Madison Sq. Park. A dinner following an AIGA show. 9-11-08. A.M.  Train late this morning platform is full. Woman doing yoga or just stretching. The car is already full. No seat. Is this Thursday? I foresee more wine this evening in Chelsea. One of those days. 9-11-08. P.M. B-Train- No A.C. and delays as it crawls its lowly broken self on down to 34th. MTA. Eventually catch the N where several homeless men in army fatigues cause a ruckus and aromatic bliss necessitating a full out abandon ship at Union Sq. A light walk in fresh air should to you good. Much needed. This diversion in the commute results in a call from K. Jury duty is done, but wait, we must go to aunt and uncle's tonight. No Chelsea, no studio, no wine. "But wait, are we driving?" K. "Well I have to find the car." Visions of thievery dance through my head. The car apparently towed for a parking on a street under repaving orders. "It may be a few blocks away." (possibly). Still not sure if we're driving. I hope she finds it. Woman gives child loud obnoxious toy and encourages button pushing. Clearly by coincidence of outfit, perhaps no 9-5 allows for such fun and luxury. *Note: No noisy toys, O.K.? This has gone on way too long. Everyone around me agrees. Exchanging looks of mutual disgust. Wow. She is proud of herself. With a look of enjoyment. She likes it. Spiteful don't you think?


Q.P.M.NYC- Where do we place our ideals? Mine float on a 15 degree slope about 12 inches up from my nose. The genius is in the green hand bag. Black leather, the staple diet among American foot wear & fetishism. (periwinkle, herring) Will Century 21 have to change it's name in a few years? How many misses were made before they came up with a name like Target? Was the dart board really full or was it a cop out? The guy next to me has nails longer than Tina Turner's hair in Mad Max. People should want Alexander Calder sculptures for there children. They'll call it Calders for Kids, copies will be made, that way yuppies could collect them all. Train door leaning is O.K. Just stop before you enter the station and before they open. Pink shirt, red back pack, sneaks on to train.

Art Notes: Rectangles 8.08

The floating rectangles. They seem to be very much like projections on a screen. Projectors and images of that sort are large, light and sometimes heavy, they have interested me as objects and ideas since childhood. People project themselves in every act of looking, it is a way to prepare putting your body out into the world. As in James Elkin's The Object Stares Back, what is seen is not what it seems. Vision as it turns out to be is not a passive sense completely within our control. This is comforting. It means we can question, reason and question again. Even question the question. If we have an idea we project that idea out before it can be realized. These projections can take many forms both material and cerebral. My interest is in the aperture. The framed image of the view finder. A prerequisite to the moving image, we experience the world this way. Framed in a generous field of vision yet we have a narrow focal field. If I look at one building closely in Manhattan off the bridges I cant count the windows in another especially the closer I get. This I suppose is a built in editing mechanism that is engaging. It is revealing, in image making it can act as an obvious demarkation like the yellow National Geographic box. It can be made as a subtle hint of blocked out paint rolled over graffiti pieces on brink walls that is a shade too light or dark, but always slightly off. 

Spatial Reasoning

If I stand here and want to walk there do I not in some capacity imagine myself moving there? I project my point of view, my sense of body and effort needed to travel to that point. Only then do I arrive. Yet vision and sight are not entirely reliable. You need good feet.


Had a splendid evening gallery hoping with Jessica in Chelsea. Saw but one really good show that caught my attention in a crowd of others busy and not so. We, I guided our traveling direction through the crowd and out toward Nathan's place as we were our plans. Nathan, an Englishman who had a raging love affair for banter as he said, "Is the sport of kings". Conveniently this furniture dealers place was located in the proximity of the gallery hood, we walked over to his flat near the village. Nathan buzzed us both up for some conversation and cool beer. Much needed in the July heat. After one round and brief chat Jessica left for Willyburg. We're both fans. *Note: Nathan makes great noodles and has a fine English taste for the choicest rum. Guatemalan is the way to go apparently. Yum rum. Indeed. He is leaving work... I congratulated him on his new quest. And his girlfriend's new show in Philadelphia who was there at the time. Some certainly seem destined for better and bigger things. To quote another Brit buddy, "Onwards and upwards". It's N.Y. The cream of America, the culmination of the U.S.A. milieu. I like oranges, noodles, I.P.A. & ice cream is good too. If life has direction its good to know he's going. A means to an better end. 

Art Notes: 6.08

Centralizing the figure on the ground plane in medieval art and works prior i.e. neolithic imagery including later Celtic design, we see a pattern of vision repeat itself. One of isolation and centrality in image production we may use a phrase such as central point of focus. These organizations support a view of the world which holds up the hierarchical concepts of their authors. Vision and thought are at a separation and reunion of ideas & objects. The mechanical nature of vision gives us only an object and it must be in our focal point before we fully can interpret the information. In art this seems to feed the origin of the icon. It's centrality and separateness from otherness. As bilaterally symmetrical beings we are drawn to symmetry as we are drawn to balance. Most of the worlds languages are written parallel to our horizontal vision or in the very least follow a grid system that utilizes horizon and verticality in tandem. The ground plane and horizon being that which is aligned with our eyes. One could suppose we are laterally inclined, parallel to the earth visually while we stand simultaneously perpendicular to it. We build vertical doors so that we may enter through the middle. We build round man holes in our streets so we can exit the earth through their centers. We make theaters so that we can watch the stage. The conductor orchestrates from the compass point of the arc of his musicians. We enter the world through the center of our mothers wombs. Our eyes lie at the center of our universe.


A father slowly realizes that he is out of touch with his young son who as a small boy may have smiled and laughed at his rich sound effects and back rubs in the past but now only seems emotionless. Without response barely aware of anything at all he sits hunched over completely absorbed by the 3 inch video game screen. I think the father is sitting there wondering and even perhaps regretting the purchase he had made to please his son. He is left alone to think of his own father and the conversations he had with him so many years ago. He now sits humming old Chinese harmonies to himself while the boy adjusts his glasses while both thumbs are caught in the button traps of the small device. This thing separates this father and alienates him from the very son beside him. The father appears to be beside himself lost perhaps contemplating the words to his music or what life was like as a boy back in China. He may be  hoping things will soon change for the better. He desperately seeks this son's love and affection and feels lost while he stares blankly at the small screen. Any conversation ends its meaning at what subway stop is next. "We're held here momentarily by train supervision- next stop 36th St." Game closes, boredom must have set in instantly, the world doesn't glow like it did before. Now is the time for father's jokes. They both laugh. Silence again. "Stand clear of the closing doors Please."