Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Make my Stressful Day

It’s been a pretty incredible week. Good for dieting, as I can’t eat. Breathing is hard…
So to top it off, the student I suspended, and reinstituted, and had been relatively well-behaved last week, came into my class two hours late, totally high. I mean crazed. He seemed to think he was fine. He yelled at me, so I told him to leave or I was calling the police. That is IT. I will cancel my class for safety reasons rather than have him there again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Garden

Planted tomatoes and a bunch of seeds.
Transferred my compost. I just love making it, it’s like magic: fill a trashcan for 6 months with food scraps, coffee grounds, dead plants and hamster droppings, then transfer it to a smaller container for the next 6 months, then—wha-lah—rich, black soil!
Only bad thing was I saw, or I think I saw, a huge spider in my yard. A really HUGE one. Or was it a dream?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Turkish Soaps in Arabia

I watched some of these soaps when I lived in Turkey. Really interesting. The rich Turks are ultra rich, but there are middle class families in the mix, too. Extremely beautiful actors and settings in Istanbul portraying themes of family, honor, and love (although I didn’t really understand, as there was no English translation).
My Turkish artshow is gathering momentum!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Llyn Foulkes

Saw a performance of this legendary LA artist. Cool. He has created this huge analog music machine, and sings sort of like Tom Waits. Interrupts his performance to talk to the audience.
With him was another visual artist, Norton Wisdom, who “performed” painting. I’ve been aware of this phenomena for a while, and even planned to spoof it in a performance of my own. It’s even weirder than I thought. The artist “painted” on backlit glass with big brushes and squeegees, making strange figurative images. After about 10 minutes, he’d get out a camera, take a picture of his “work,” then wash it down and start again. The process of painting as a trained seal act. But everyone seemed fascinated to watch an image appear as if by magic.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Recent Reiss

One of the highlights of my recent art traipse was seeing the studio of Roland Reiss. He’s a subtle abstract painter who works with geometry and texture. Got a tip to ask to see his new work. It was really stunning--Dutch-like florals, highly finished, with his abstract imagery layered behind the bright tangled stems. I hope I didn’t offend when I said it reminded me of doodle art, those large poster and marker sets we used to get every Christmas. Imagine Lari Pittman crossed with Manny Farber.
He asked me not to publish photos of the new work on my blog because it’s still under wraps publicly. It was just great to feel his excitement at turning a corner, synthesizing what has come before.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's Hot, Besides the Weather, in the City of Angels

I saw lots of art recently up in LaLaLand. Open studios can clarify the trends, especially of what is selling: urban photography, decorative abstraction, glossy surface, Asian influenced imagery. Surprisingly not a lot of pop-surrealism/graffiti. But there was definitely some figuration and surrealism in the traditional vein.
This painter, John Zarcone, I liked--he stood out from the crowd. And since I’m into drips…

Monday, April 20, 2009

Turkey's First Mosque Designed by a Woman

I heard about this on the radio and just had to see images. Wow, it's great. All over Turkey new mosques are put up in the old styles, so this is really a big step.
Zeynep Fadillioglu is the architect.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally Painting Again

I got out the big brushes and started in again on the remaining unfinished Greek paintings. I think I have a handle on what needs to be done: abstract/tighten/loosen/tighten…
Will finish the series with two small stretched canvases, making it 24 paintings total.
Saw TONS of art this weekend, will post soon. Much of it wasn’t earth-shattering, reinforcing to me that maybe my work doesn’t always have to be profound, either.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Day

I’m formally declaring my bad luck streak is over. HEAR THAT?
Happy bday Gram, miss ya.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fun with Trash

Going through my backup hard drive, I came across a video I made in Turkey that I never uploaded to my Kloeamongtheturks YouTube channel. It’s sort of fun. Most of the students are Turkish, except for two women, one of whom ended up marrying a Turk and now lives over there!
Happy Earth Day this weekend...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


My studio is fast becoming one. I’m teaching less now, as my winter quarter classes have finished and one school hasn’t hired me for Spring. Although I definitely need the money, time off allows me time to breath, and work. I’m spending several hours each day within these comforting walls, feeling more and more at home.
What am I working on?
• Society Pictures (you can see them on the wall, they are miniatures)
• Regular nudes from models (my figure drawing group is now meeting in my studio)
• Greek Paintings (am trying to finish up the last half dozen, and maybe do a few more. But what I really need to do is show them, have tentative plans for June.)
• Trade Show, California – Turkey (this is a BIG project, will post about it soon)
• Plaster Drawings (still in design stages)
• Trauma and Bedroom Series (only planned)
Can’t wait to go there tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Days and Knights

So what have I been doing in these days without a computer? What else but go to a Greco-Roman battle re-enactment (I fit right in)…

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Society Pictures

I’m in my new studio now, but haven’t done anything big. I’m getting used to the space with some fun little gouache paintings on paper taken from a society rag. I’m very intrigued by the relationships of people at parties, what they wear, how they hold themselves. The magazine I’m using covers “Latino” and “White” events, without much overlap, which is also fascinating.
Congrats to me, this is my 700th post.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Another Post Computer-less

So almost a week ago my mac stalled and stopped.
I took it to a shop.
A day passed.
Another day passed. I'm not getting a good feeling.
They can't back up the info.
A third days passes and they call with the bad news, obvious at this point. Hard drive is done-for.
Nothing retrived.
They can install a new hard drive, but the guy apologizes that it's a bit expensive, recommends I shop around. I tell him, just install the damn thing, I can't shop around. FIX IT NOW, I NEED MY COMPUTER.
So I picked up my now totally nude mac, and pay the nice man...
Imagine a fire guts out your entire office. Or your closet with all your clothes floods and everything has to be thrown away.
That's the way it feels--liberating in some ways. But you know you've lost a lot, you just can't remember what.
And now I have to track down all the software, drivers, etc. I've never done this before.
I'm just a Bratz, after all.
But I'm reinstalling Photoshop, and should be able to post again tomorrow.
In the meantime, Happy Passover and Happy Easter.
Eat chocolate matzo and eggs like this is the end.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

That Thing You Know is Inevitable Happened

I've known for a while that I've become dangerously dependent on my Mac and the web. It was in Turkey, that I started to do most of my communicating online. Before that, the computer was not in the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen or studio. It was in a far off office, and if I spent time in front of the screen, it was not a priority.
In the space of two and a half years I've become utterly dependent.
Yesterday my computer just went blank. I was trying to help a friend and attached a foreign camera. I also downloaded a software update. Everything slowed, and stopped. Not good. I didn't even have a yellow pages to track down a shop.
Bad, very bad.
It's spring break so I don't have school computers to check online. What a strange feeling, to be so detached.
Anyway, if you know me, don't email. Thank goddess I don't have an iphone that depends on my computer.
And take a lesson: back up (I do this regularly). It could be worse.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Full to Bursting

I’ve seen six art exhibitions in less than 24 hours and my brain is about to explode with the highs and lows. Plus I’ve started a new artist group that I’m very excited about, a women’s figurative collective.
However, an experience sticks out and must be addressed immediately, a gallery exhibition of one of my favorite local artists, Richard Allen Morris. Several years ago I took a group of students to see his retrospective, and it was fantastic: the students were both outraged and intrigued by his experimental sensual abstractions. Morris has been a constant presence in the local art scene, but has only recently gained national and international acclaim (meaning: there is always HOPE). This show was full of tiny works, like little cakes, with thick impasto and taffy colors.
Anyway, I asked the gallery director for permission to take photos, and he said yes, but when he saw me in my cute little pirate outfit, he said that I/Kloe in the photo might demean the artwork. Which of course is utterly the opposite of what I intend. By inserting myself in every photo in this blog I only show I’ve really been there, and hopefully get my readers to participate in the artwork differently than a straight review with artwork-only photos.
But in deference to Mr. Morris and Mr. Stevenson, I’m breaking my rule and publishing the photos without my image. I do hope they will read this and see that I mean no harm, that in fact I am deadly serious about living and breathing art, albeit with a bit of sexy playfulness thrown in.
Anyway, Mr. Morris, I lurve your work!
With respect,
Kloe Among the Turks

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Next Istanbul Biennial will be POLITICAL

The September 2009 Istanbul Biennial is being curated by a Croatian Group, all women, called What, How & for Whom. The theme of the Biennial is “What Keeps Mankind Alive?” from Brecht and Weill’s “Three Penny Opera” (which I recently saw live, dark and fantastic).
I’ve edited WHW’s essay on how the Biennial will address the Opera’s themes:

The 11th International ─░stanbul Biennial takes its title from the song 'Denn wovon lebt der Mensch?', translated into English as 'What Keeps Mankind Alive?'. The song closes the second act of the play The Threepenny Opera, written exactly 80 years ago by Bertolt Brecht in collaboration with Elisabeth Hauptmann and Kurt Weill.
Isn't the question (What keeps mankind alive?) posed by Brecht equally urgent today? And is it not true that we live haunted by the fears of approaching global changes, consequences of which could have lasting disastrous effects, not unlike those that transformed the world after the economic collapse of 1929? And aren't today's questions about the role of art in instigating social changes equally pressing as they were in the 1930s, when the Left confronted fascism and Stalinism? ...
The Threepenny Opera thematicizes the process of redistribution of ownership within bourgeois society and, through a literary narrative, offers a still valid 'representation of capitalism itself—how to express the economic—or, even better, the peculiar realities and dynamics of money as such'.1 ...

'What Keeps Mankind Alive?' will serve as a trigger, as well as a certain script for the exhibition, allowing us and the artists to pose questions of economic and social urgency today. Even a quick look at the lyrics will discover many possible themes, such as the distribution of wealth and poverty, food and hunger, political manipulations, gender oppression, social norms, double morality, religious hypocrisy, personal responsibility and consent to oppression, issues certainly 'relevant' and almost predictable, which many exhibitions—especially contemporary biennial exhibitions—set out to engage with.
Today, biennial exhibitions are elements of cultural tourism through which cities attempt to use their benign and internationally communicative regional specificities to position themselves on the map of the globalized world; they are manifestations tending to 'cultural shopping' in which art is often presented as cool, fun, entertaining... Brecht was certainly critical of what he called a 'culinary' treatment of art solely as a means of entertainment, but he did not shy away from the entertaining role of art. In the popular and mass culture, as Brecht warned us, the problem is not pleasure, but its function...

Brecht invites us to rethink our position again and again, to see the world as amateur actors, without dulling our critical faculties or our potential for intervention and change by learning the rules all too well. As a writer and a director, Brecht continuously sought to slice open and display, then deconstruct and transform the theatre's 'production apparatus'—it is this approach that should lead us out of the current deadlock of 'contemporary art apparatus.' At this time, the question of 'usability' of Brecht means first and foremost a repeated need to observe the interaction of art and social relations. And in ─░stanbul and Turkey, where 'the conflict between an orthodox left position and contemporary art plays a critical role today in the understanding of contemporary art,'4 to exit the impasse of double-bind discourses of global neoliberalism and local ethno-nationalism seems to be the only endeavor worth all the trouble.