Each generation goes through the trash of previous generations, looks for overlooked beauty and meaning in the refuse that might lend understanding to the present. What's left?
I told my dad I went to MoMA, he responded: "It's all garbage." #rubbish
Edit 3/ 19/2014: Even this commentary is recycled, I'm sure. Hear it elsewhere? Heard it better? Please enlighten us with a comment below.
Here are some low quality photos of quick sketches I've done recently. I'm trying to quit smoking again, waiting for the obsession to be lifted...any day now. Below that is a video still from a photo project I'm working on with Mistina Hanscom. That's me in the photo, the still is courtesy of Bob Menefee, who has been video recording our antics. I'll get into more about the project soon. It's called 'Drag Me to Heaven,' and that is indeed myself in the photo. Below that is a video of the lenticular version the floral GIF from my last post. This video is from the Love Haven show at Trolley Square that I was lucky to be a part of.
A friend has a couple cats and a boyfriend she really loves. Boyfriend lives in another state, and is hard to shop for, so she has a grand idea: "Hey! I'll have some paintings made of the cats for ______, it'll be the greatest, least expected holiday gift!" She comes to me to paint her cats, then I have a grand idea: "Hey! Let's put your hand photographing the cats in there so it's a double portrait, two for one! Plus, Iphones are the new cats, right?"
Cats are what smart phones are for.
Questions, comments, complaints? Philosophical musings on the relationship between the representation of cats and digital technology? Feel free to leave them below.
I grew up in Hollywood, couple blocks north of the pink sidewalks with star shaped placards for mostly a bunch of people no one remembers. Yet still, it drew tourists, crackheads, homeless teenagers and prostitutes of ambiguous gender orientation from all corners of the globe. Walking to the bus stop, I had to navigate throngs of people delighted to see Jimi Hendrix, Fred Estaire or Red Skelton's name in bronze, embedded in a pink sidewalk.
People would get really excited, as if they were seeing 'whomever' themselves. They'd take photos, make crayon rubbings, call home, leave flowers. It was like a pink and gold cemetery, lined with 24 hour tattoo, wizardofoz/elvis/marylinmonroe, exotic dancewear concession stands. The good old days, that was back in my day 10 years ago. It doesn't look like that anymore, thank you Disney for your thorough gentrification efforts.
Back then I hid my backpack under my jacket and appropriated a limp so that I'd be noticed as a potentially violent hunchback and people would drop their crayon rubbings and clear a path. This also helped assert my position as even more frightening than the people with large bits of pointy pottery implanted in their skin. You know you're tough when Constructs of Ritual Evolution looking people clear a path for you.
My upbringing might also explain some unusual college behavior: high on...'life' (I'm a grade school teacher now, you see), I'd paint on a mustache and wave my fists at a panel in the sky of dead great minds: Nietzsche, Van Gogh, DaVinci, Foucault, Warhol, Gandhi, Jesus, Duchamp, Sly Stone (even though he's still kinda around). 'Let me into your goddamn club,' I'd say. This was no doubt some obsession with fame carried on from the land of my childhood, maybe a touch of narcissism and gender confusion as well.
Speaking of gender confusion, very briefly, I dropped the ball on exploring ideas about gender a couple posts back with the drawings of supermodels and drag queens. About half a year ago I decided I wanted to try being a girl. So, I bought pink nail polish, took ballet lessons and decorated my wall with pictures of pink fluffy poodles. I was not being ironic, this was quite in earnest. Only looking back does it feel strange. I'm still kind into it. Any similar experiences? More recently I've started looking at the female identity as it relates to the symbol Yin: cold, calm dark, wet, mysterious. Can talk about that another time.
Anyhow, yeah so I decided to get back to my roots and pay homage to some famous people. It seems to be the thing to do now and forever. Maybe because it associates their Brand with my Brand, or because it'll make them more likely to visit me in a dream. Or because it's what people are most likely to buy...people love portraits of famous people (these are all for sale!).
I wish I had more to say about the cult of celebrity, but currently I'm pretty preoccupied with the people I actually know. Luckily there are many books by distinguished academics and Lady Gaga albums about the cult of celebrity so you don't have to take my word for it anyhow.
ALSO, I now have a shop. Please check it out and consider buying a piece, there are only a couple of each left. And if you want any of these, message my with a price offer and we'll go from there.
A couple days ago I was at Hull's Art Store in New Haven, killing time and trying to maximize the purchasing power of my tight budget. I found myself in the children's section looking for something cheap enough to keep me amused until my therapy appointment and I found Multicultural Broad Tip Markers. Jackpot.
There shouldn't be much of a fuss over a box of markers intended to reflect the wide spectrum of the flesh rainbow, however the word "multicultural" is loaded. It brings to mind well-meaning education programs of the late 80s that attempted to remedy racial injustice by lumping all non-white racial groups under the heading "Multicultural." There was a "Multicultural" themed Whitney Biennial that featured the race-related work of black, brown and asian artists; this show was criticized for re-enforcing ideas of a non-white ethnic 'other.' (It's along the lines of the concern: If February is black history month, what are the other 11 months?) Similarly, there was the 1989 Magiciens de la Terre exhibit at the Centre Pompidou which aimed to represent the works of the "ignored 80% of the world," yet was accused of reenforcing racial stereotypes and a French colonial agenda that showcased her grateful colonized.
Anyhow, I bought the markers. The colors were really hot and the name was thought provoking. I take no issue with the product, I'm glad it exists. I'm just struck that this completely innocuous pack of kids markers can seem so political and require delicacy of approach. The colors include: Bronze, Light Brown Fawn, Olive, Terra Cotta, Sepia, Tan, Beige, and Mahogany. To my surprise, each marker is distinctly different from the rest...I was expecting something akin to those 400 color marker sets in which all 10 of the different shades of purple mark the exact same color. But no, these are good.
I drew a picture of my boyfriend using all 8 markers. It's funny, but in this picture doesn't he look like he could be black, white, latin or asian? It wasn't my intention, I guess it was the markers.
Here's this guy finished. I uploaded this as a work in progress for my first post, and wanted to follow up with the finished product. From one piece to the next, they're all so dramatically different. I don't know how to account for this, but I like it.
Nicole Eisenman was known for a similar tendency. She said that her early solo exhibitions looked like group shows. Sounds like a good show to me; I like it when people articulate disparate parts of themselves and present them all together. It allows me to continue to piece it all together long after I've seen the works.
It also seems very honest and courageous. Like, there are certain aspects of ourselves that we bring out for our friends, while there are other aspects that we bring out in a job interview, or around an uncle. What a relief to be able to articulate and externalize different facets of the self and present them all in the same room, and then assure people that it's all me, the me that you see here.
These little gems are the by-product of a construction job. Nicky and I were hired to renovate the bathrooms at the boat yard. Our first order of business was to rip out the 40 year old vinyl/asbestos tiles. They didn't exactly pop out with ease, so we had to power sand the left over bits off with a power sander. The vinyl tile bits would melt onto the sander sheets and render them unusable. The melted tile, wood chips and floor grit made the most beautiful patterns on the sander sheets; they looked to me like mandalas.
I saved them, took them home and made these. They were the by-product of one production process: a bathroom renovation. Each one was used, rendered unique and cast off. I took them home and brought them into a new production process: making art. I worked to develop the characteristics each sheet had taken on for a collaborative creation between myself and the act of renovating the bathroom.
For a while now, it has occurred to me how wasteful the process of art making can be. I use brand new sheets of paper for sketches I throw out, and my mark making is done with toxic materials that are the by-product of some harmful process. It was nice to be able to appropriate something beautiful that would have ordinarily been thrown out in lieu of making another new purchase at the art store. I just get tired of buying shit.
There is just so much stuff in the world; what a joy to be able to use what one already has...or doesn't need.
Now I have to figure out how to frame these things, any ideas? firstname.lastname@example.org