Sunday, March 30, 2008

What Kloe is Missing

I accidentally opened my email account to a page that showed letters from a year ago. And there was my gram, vivid and alive, advising and loving me from SoCal to Turkey. Her birthday is soon, like mine, and I really miss her.
Here is what she wrote me:
Dear Kloe.
I'm imagining that you are having a completely wonderful
time at your show in Ankara. Trust you are living up to the
recognition and the satisfaction that comes with it. Hope your health survives.
Today I was going around my house and reading from your sketches and
paintings the dates they were done. How much angst when you had to pay for
framing them and spending time in the so-called gallery . Things from 1990, Mexico, Arizona desert, Africa, Spain. Thanks for not giving up.
I enjoy everything of yours, back to when you drew yourself practicing
the piano at age 10.
Best of success at each thing you are doing. Your blog has been
great--even though I don't always "get it".

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Have you lost any objects recently that you would like back?

• 18 kt gold puzzle ring had for 30 years.
• An interview I did with a photo-mart guy.
• My wedding ring that was given to me by my grandmother. It was stolen.
• When I lose things, I let them go rather quickly.
• My grandfather’s mother-of-pearl cufflinks.
• A diamond.
• One Tahitian pearl earring—in a Paris hotel. DANG!
• Camera, it was a good one.
• Two NG4 controllers, countless CDs, toys from my childhood packed into boxes.
• One of my mom’s pearl earrings that she let me borrow.
• I'd like to regain a good erection.
• $600 in an unmarked envelop.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Risk and Exercise

And, yes, in my next life I’m going to be an amazing girl skateboarder. Now I have to be content with blading—excellent for sculpting the back end…

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What is Missing in Your Life?

Here are some (mostly serious) answers from Americans…
• Direction.
• A sense of good, wholesome food that nourishes...but without the White pretentious, yuppie, upper-class associations of today's American society.
• My father; I have never met him.
• A well husband—hugs and flirting from him.
• Competition, thrill, a job.
• My youth.
• Friendship, friends you can really count on.
• Financial security.
• A man—a wonderful, adventurous, compassionate, bright human being who loves to travel.
• Certain old friends.
• A granddaughter.
• A supportive partner.
• Risk and exercise and sex and poetry.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Odunpazarı Projesi, Eskişehir

Odunpazarı’nda gerçekleştirilecek olan bir sanat etkinliğinde katılımcı
olarak yer almaktayım. Bu etkinlikte gerçekleştirilecek olan işler,
geleneksel bir yerleşim merkezi olan Odunpazarı’nın farklı pek çok noktasına
yerleştirilecek ve izleyici olarak bu yerleşimde yaşayan geleneksel halkı ve
işçi sınıfını hedef alacaktır.

Benim gerçekleştireceğim proje, “kayıp” ilanları üzerine olacak, Türkçe ve
İngilizce olarak hazırlanan kayıp ilanları, insanların değer yargılarını
sorgulamaya; farklı ülkelerde nelerin değerli, nelerin değersiz olduğunu
düşünmeye yönlendirecektir. Bu ilanlar aynı zamanda 9/11 New York saldırısı
ve 1999 Türkiye depremi gibi daha derin kayıplara da gönderme yapacaktır.
İlanlar, metin ve görsel içerikli olacak ve Odunpazarı evlerinin duvarlarına
ve pencerelerine asılacaktır.

Aşağıdaki soruları yanıtlayarak projemin detaylarında bana yardım ederseniz
çok sevinirim. İsminiz saklı tutulacaktır.

Çok teşekkürler, Kloe Among the Turks

• Hayatınızda ne kayıp? Neler eksik?

• Yakın zamanda kaybettiğiniz ve geri gelmesini istediğiniz bir
eşyanız var mı? Varsa nedir?

• Türkiye/Avrupa/Orta Doğu’da bulmak istediğiniz bir şeyi tarif

• Hiç bir evcil hayvanınız kayboldu mu? Lütfen tarif ediniz
(fiziksel özellikleri, adı, belirgin davranışları vs.)


Odunpazari Project, Eskisehir

I am participating in a public art festival with many artists in a
traditional neighborhood in Turkey. The art will be placed in various
locations in the neighborhood, and is meant to involve the local residents,
who are mostly traditional, working-class Turks.

My project is to make “missing” flyers, translated in both Turkish and
English, to get people thinking about what is valued in different cultures.
The flyers will also refer to more serious loss, such as 9/11 and the
Turkish earthquake of 1999. These fake flyers will contain text and imagery.
They will be posted on walls and windows of the neighborhood.

Please help me with details if you can. No names will be used.
Thanks, Kloe Among the Turks

What are you missing in your life?

Have you lost any objects recently that you would like back? What?

Please describe something that you'd like to find in Turkey/Europe/Middle

Have you ever lost a pet?
Please describe the pet (physical description, name, any special behaviors)

Thanks to Melike Tascioglu for translation
Esin Kucukbicmen for video

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Two Easters

Last year I spend Easter Sunday in Istanbul at the Hagia Sofia, one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in Christendom. Afterward we went to Starbucks with a carpet toot. Just today I got an email from the Turkish friend who traveled with me, I haven’t heard from her in months. I hope she stays in touch.
This year I spent Easter Sunday with a big Mexican clan eating ham in the backyard while the kids searched for plastic eggs in the lawn. It was about 85F—forget spring, summer is here already.
Don’t know which was more surreal.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Art Tribe

Something new has begun to develop in my life, that I have friends I get together with to talk Art. I experienced this in Turkey with my colleagues, really for the first time since grad school. Now I have been invited to join a painting group here in SoCal that meets regularly to show work and discuss topics that affect us (last month we talked about art we’re afraid to make, next time we may talk about image/branding). I also have some individual friends who drink coffee or beer with me, and we have fantastic, full discussions about theory, art education, how art fits into society (or not), etc. We leave family/work/gossip alone, and just rove around in these topics that consume us.
It’s surprising and lovely. I send these friends many kisses!
Photos are from LACMA again, an installation by Chris Burden of streetlamps. Feels just right, like an ancient temple. Kids were totally into it, me too.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Koons in LA

It’s Spring Break, and boy did I need it. I realize teachers are spoiled with our short breaks and long vacations, but it really does make us better at our jobs to have time away. I think everyone should have a week in Spring.
Went to see the new addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was well worth it. The new building by Renzo Piano now unites the two blocks on Wilshire of LACMA into one long complex. This Jeff Koons piece is in the new entrance (one of the only places you can shoot photos). The inaugural show has full rooms of artists, like Twombly (of whom my kids said “those are the ugliest paintings EVER,” but I love them), Rusche, Sherman, etc. Also two huge Serras.
I’ve never been a big fan of Koons, but I totally got it this time—the playfulness, the sexiness, the great craft. Kids approved also.
Hot tips:
• LACMA is open noon-8pm, but after 5pm it’s pay what you can.
• Sign your kids up for the Next Generation Club, and they get in free until they’re 18, plus one adult per kid also gets in free! Now that’s a smart museum.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I teach a linear perspective course. The subject is as tough as they come, 44 hours of nothing but one-, two- and three-point perspective instruction. Lots of students can’t hack it, and drop. But they’ll just have to take it again the next quarter, cause it’s a requirement for all majors, for good reason.
Here’s a project I was absolutely thrilled with. The problem I assigned was to create an interior and exterior with horror overtones using a two-point grid. Student is an interior design major, with mediocre drawing skills, but she’s smart. Plus she’s older, with teens at home (and if that doesn’t make you determined, I don’t know what does). She took two iconic images, Whistler’s “Mother” and Wood’s “American Gothic,” and transformed them from one-point to two-point. Media is marker on vellum with prismacolor pencil details.
Isn’t it great? Appropriation, narrative, correct perspective, and rich use of media.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


.01 said to .02, as he threw him over his lap and played him like a piano, I love you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Old and Alone

I have this friend, J. We’ve been close for years, and it was his 80-something birthday a few days ago. I took him to lunch and brought him some Turkish glass birds (he believes in Luck). He’s had an incredible life, but a hard one: war, injustice, prison, short marriage, lost kids, voodoo, underworld, poverty. He’s always lived life on the fringes.
Now he’s old and alone. He may have always been alone, but when you’re old, it hurts more. I tend to think, that won’t happen to me. But I’m fooling myself. Being alone in old age could and does happen to anyone, even those with large families and money. J isn’t homeless only because of the social safety net and because of being a WWII vet.
I’m not feeling very optimistic today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Different Kind of Art

I spent the evening baking lemon bars and brownies with good, expensive chocolate. My mom is giving a “ladies’ luncheon” for her friends, isn’t that cute? I’m doing dessert.
My grandmother and my mother, along with a few women I roomed with, taught me how to throw a party. My sister is also good at this, better than I am. Dinner, brunch, luncheon, cocktail, it doesn’t matter, we can host 10, 20, 50 people, no problem. I don’t think this is something you can learn from reading Martha Stewart; you need to experience how to do it. Most people wouldn’t even consider throwing a party. So it’s up to us few, who can cook and organize, put music on, buy some flowers, straighten up, get conversation going, set a table, drink some wine, enjoy. A lost art.
(yellow flowers above are broccoli)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Not Pretty

The shoe is falling. Today Kid.01’s teacher got a pink slip from Arnie, along with three other teachers at the school of 450 kids. It was based on seniority. So that means 4-10 teachers at just about every school K-12 in California got notice today, or will soon. Yes, they’ll finish out the year, but how? With such uncertainty, how can they be effective teachers? And without those teachers, how will the public schools function? Will class size, which was reduced to under 21 pupils for K-3, be increased again? More cuts in non-tested no-child subjects, like art/music, p.e., science?
How is this possible???? The State of California is trying to balance its budget on the backs of little kids.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Art Challenge

I’ve been invited to participate in an art exhibition that will take place in the old neighborhood of My Anatolian City. In this area the houses are Ottoman style, and the people are mostly working class and traditional (as opposed to conservative). Their understanding about Art is most likely limited to craft, and the idea of this exhibition is to involve the locals.
I can’t travel to Turkey now, so I’m doing a conceptual project I will email to assistants who will install it. The idea is to post “missing” flyers, the kind you make if your cat has disappeared, or more poignantly, if a loved one is lost after planes fly into a building. I’ll write more as I develop the themes, and the text will be in Turkish and English.
Are you missing anything that might be found in Central Anatolia? I'm taking suggestions!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Goal of Being a Cultured Person in this Money-Crazed Society We Live In

I’m currently teaching a large lecture course called Art Orientation. It’s for non-art majors, and satisfies a humanities requirement for general education. So my students are from all over the map. The course combines aesthetics (the study of beauty), basic design principles, art-making techniques, art history, and art criticism.
As opposed to my Art History course, which is difficult for me, teaching Art Orientation comes easy. I strive to turn my students on to Art, get them excited or outraged just a little bit. I want them to know about all aspects of art, to go to galleries and museums, not to make money or get ahead in life, but to become more interesting people (I sneak in that being art-educated also makes them more attractive to possible dates, art = sexy). This goal of becoming cultured is not at all valued by the average American, even those attending college.
Anyway, I’m about to give my first test, so we’ll see if any of this is sinking in. Attendance has been pretty good for such a large class with this bad flu season we’ve had here.
painting by Gail Roberts, and yes, still have dogs on the brain...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Soft-Centered Kloe

My kids are at that Why-can’t-we-have-a-dog stage. It might be nice (I’ve never had a dog), but friends have told me it’s like having another baby. And I’m so glad the baby stage is past.
Sometimes you feel yourself getting worn down, though. Like an ice cream cone slowly melting, leaving big chocolate rivulets.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Overwhelming Art

I love to experience art in a totally emotional way. Many times in my life I’ve attended live performance—classical music, opera, pop, dance, theater—that overwhelms my emotions. I find myself with tears streaming down my face, and I can’t help it. It’s not the same as being manipulated to cry during a Hollywood movie. I cry when I’m experience extreme and painful beauty.
The irony is that my own field of visual art rarely elicits this reaction from me. Maybe it has to do with the time-basedness of the performing arts. Or maybe visual art is just too cerebral.
But the other day I was watching Art 21, a PBS series of interviews with contemporary artists, for my Art Orientation class. Some of the artists are down-to-earth, some arrogant, some funny, some sarcastic, some all business, some cryptic.
But then came an interview with sculptor Louise Bourgeios, one of the grade dames of the High Art world. She is about 90 now, her French accent still thick. Maybe it was that I so rarely see someone of advanced age on video. Maybe that it was that she reminded me of my grandmother with her intelligence. It was certainly the artwork that broke me down and had me weeping at its beauty.
She took large rough blocks of black marble, about three feet high, and carved only the tops, from casts made of her own arms and hands, and the hands of other people, including children.
She then placed these fragile fragmented limbs on their pedestals in a wild grassy urban park, with no grand walkways or clearing, so if you came on them it was a surprise. The grace and timelessness of these sculptures totally tore out my heart. They are like the missing arms of Greek statues, or found limbs of those blown off by land mines. You should see them.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Yes, That's a Dead Pelican

I teach for three different institutions. Two public, one private (I’m working on a post on for-profit higher education, whole other story). The school I’ve been with the longest, we’ll call it School A, has a very strong teacher’s union, and as this union cares about its part-timers, it's gotten us a pretty good hourly. Not the top in Calif, but close. Now Arnie-Baby is messing with education at all levels here, and many cuts will be made in a few weeks at the elementary through high school levels. You will hear the screaming all the way to the East Coast, believe me. It’s affecting higher ed too.
Anyway, my new place, School B, is nice, good facilities, friendly people. But I got my first paycheck, and the hourly turns out to be quite a bit less than I expected. I’m totally shocked. (How, you ask, can you agree to work for a place when you don’t know the hourly?… state institutions are Byzantine—you tell yourself, “hey, I’ve got a terminal degree,” they must respect that fucking piece of paper and all the years of experience I have…) Even a PhD with 30 years of experience who comes to work part time for B gets the same low pay!
Teaching is really starting to FRY ME. I’m so exhausted most days, I spend all my free time prepping lectures and answering student emails. Now this pay. We’re public servants, yes, but there’s a limit.

Don’t even get me started on my first art history exam, which I gave a few days ago and is taking me about 10 hours to grade. Example: Give three reasons prehistoric peoples would have painted in caves. “For business.” "Because they didn't have pen and paper." "For kicks."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


One of my best students just found out she’s getting redeployed. She was doing so well in class, excited about drawing, and now she’ll have to drop. When is this war going to end?

Sunday, March 02, 2008


K: We have rules in our classrooms.
02: Like no talking when the teacher is talking.
K: Exactly, my students listen to me.
02: Well, they’re grownups—of course they follow the rules!

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I was totally out of it yesterday when I wrote that post. Don’t even remember typing it. I guess all the stress just built up and I needed to PARTY. And that photo, really… bad girl, Kloe…