Sunday, August 30, 2009
That black cloud behind Disney Hall ain’t bringin rain. Temp read 108 in the car.
LA opening went well, my work stood up to the other work in the show. No sales, but didn’t expect any. I haven’t sold a painting in a LONG time.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I’m in a show this weekend up in LA. Driving into town was an incredible sight—the mountains behind Downtown were blazing. This morning the fire apparently jumped the freeway. Luckily there are no Santa Ana winds, or those expensive La Canada homes would be burnt tacos.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Since he could speak, Kid.01 has been very focused. He’s particularly interested in and sensitive to food and taste. Very strong opinions about cooking, and just loves to eat.
Kid.02 has been more of an unformed child, sort of all over the place. But recently he’s been making art in my studio, with only slight encouragement. He’s now preparing a collection of masks to sell for Halloween at an upcoming art show. And they are pretty great. He’s so excited about the prospect of people buying his masks, he can’t wait to get into his “store” and make more. The best part is his self-motivation, something more valuable than good looks or super intellect.
I'm not creating this monster, he's doing it himself.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Did you ever notice, when you have no money coming in, bills seem to mushroom? Like WATER bills in my town have gushed through the roof? Like cars break down, teeth need cleaning, and kids seem to eat everything you put in front of them and ask for more? Like a swarm of bees decides to move into your compost and take up residence? (Funny how that works: bees are valuable, but it costs almost $200 to have a beekeeper take them away to a new home.) Now my trashcan compost has bee pheromones all over it, and I have to buy a new one… argh!
The hot months and fire season are just around the corner. Calmate tia.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Six years ago, when kid.01 was a wee-thing, I painted a map of the States on the blacktop of his school playground. Needless to say, it needed re-doing. So I bought the lead-free enamel and have been near heat stroke as I slowly repaint each state. I work partially during recess, so the kids can watch, and “own” the painting.
After the first weekend there were skid marks from bikes crossing the states. The teachers were distressed, but it’s typical. It proves my thesis, that there’s an innate need to make marks. It’s not even malicious.
The kids are really cute, they say, “Wow, you’re doing a great job. You really know how to paint.” ☺
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Finally getting excited about my upcoming trip to Turkey. Have started to collect the gifts to bring to my friends there and organize where I’ll be staying. Will start out in Istanbul, then travel to Eskisehir, then maybe Izmir (many artists from the Trade Show are from this city, and I’ve never been), then back to Istanbul for the opening at Isik University on September 23. May have to get over to my gallery in Ankara too, but time will be short for that much bus time.
I imagine walking in my neighborhood, the sounds and smells. It will be hot. The Istanbul Biennial will be in full swing with fantastic shows, I hope. But mostly I’m looking forward to seeing the friends I’ve missed so much.
Image: Trade Show, Edgar Varela Fine Arts, Los Angeles
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thousands of people, you can barely walk on the sidewalks.
Great 2D, video, installation, sculpture.
Innovative use of empty storefronts, second floor parties.
LINES to get into some galleries.
Second Thursday of every month, between Little Tokyo and Skid Row.
Go before it gets too big and corporate America gets in.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
A friend recommended me to the gallery director where he shows. Because of this personal contact, she looked at my work and was nicely encouraging. She liked the most conservative of my paintings, which I agree might suit her clientele. Perhaps some time in the future I’ll show there, but the point is to make the connection.
This woman then recommended me to another gallery down the street as perhaps a good fit, as they mainly show figurative work. So, I took a deep breath and walked in for a cold call. The young man behind the desk said ok, bring in the work. I’m not sure what happened then. But he didn’t spend more than a minute looking before he dismissed me, saying the following:
“You have no voice.”
“You should research galleries before you approach us.”
“Never work in series.”
“There’s no consistency here.”
“Forget everything they told you in school.”
“No one will remember this work when you die.”
What did I glean from this battery? I’m too old for this gallery, which was showing more illustrative, graffiti inspired work. I confused him with different styles of painting; maybe he’s used to reading work quickly. I look like I’m on my last legs…
To be dissed by someone half my age, who obviously had the vocab of education, was eye-opening. I’m still glad I did it. Just shows the power of a personal recommendation and a bit of background. I could have laid into the guy, but what would be the point? It’s his gallery, it’s his powertrip.
Leaving the gallery, I walked next door to a Ralphs to shop and saw five cops flatten a kid for stealing a bottle of water. Over-reaction on all fronts.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
As I prep to teach my one remaining college course, an Ancient Art History Survey (aka “Caves to Cathedrals”), I got this note from my former department chair, who was very sorry to have to cancel my life-drawing class a few weeks ago:
Teacher meetings start Monday, and due to the state Budget crisis - we will be canceling all classes that have less then 20 students enrolled by the close of business Monday night. To complicate matters - the college district dropped all students who had not paid their fees last Thursday - changing classes that were once filled to now under-enrolled sections.
Academic Armageddon is coming next week....
This is particularly crazy because many community college students are not used to registering until the last minute, and classes are still a week away from beginning. For those who did register, some may not realize they need to pay the extra $6 per unit fee increase.
Are the community college districts web sites screaming, enroll now? Pay your fees? Classes are being canceled? They are not. Wait and see what happens when all the out-of-work Californians and returning GIs try to go back to school this fall…
(image from The Citadel, an outlet mall off the 5 Freeway in Commerce)
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I heard an interview on “Fresh Air” about the preponderance of cooking shows on television. It seems that the activity of food preparation may be wired into us genetically through thousands of years of human development. We may not do it in the 21st century, but we like to watch it.
Could it be that preparing images is also hard-wired? Is there some fascination about making drawings/paintings/sculpture (or watching others produce art) that started more than 50,000 years ago in caves?
Would you watch a plastic babe draw for 22 minutes?
Trade Show opens tonight in Lalaland!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
… after birthing my son, I started to bleed heavily. The doctors made an emergency decision to save my life: they gave me a hysterectomy. I remember the first time I saw the scar, I was in the hospital room with my baby boy nursing at my breast, and I couldn’t help but be angry at my body. The gift of creation, of life, my uterus, had been ripped out of me. I struggled for years with issues surrounding feeling like a woman since I had lost my ability to create.
It is six years later, and when I look at my scar now, I see that it has physically changed along with the emotionally traumatic fears I initially projected onto it. Today I see beauty, I see strength, I see survival…
From Ted Meyer’s “Scarred for Life,” in which he pulls monoprints directly off bodies. The exhibition is a moving combination of words, design, graphic photography and abstract, primitive images.
We all have our scars, but can we transcend them without art?
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Have been a busy little bunny, hopping here and there. Even up to a rooftop for a garden party high above downtown.
Finally arranged LA showing of the “Trade Show,” on August 13 at Edgar Varela Fine Arts. Hip, hip, hop.