It is studio time all the time and the heat is beginning to go to my head as I gear up for some exciting September projects. What's a girl to do but crank up the stereo, stand in front of the oscillating fan and work!
I loved my recent trip to San Antonio and had such a terrific time meeting so many new friends and talented artists from Texas, Mexico and South America. Curator Patty Ortiz put together a wonderful group show and it was great to get to talk about ideas and processes that each of us shared in some way or another. Among the 10 artists currently on view as part of FLATLAND, I was super happy to meet Panama City based artist Cisco Merel, who told me all about living in Berlin and his recent show in Guatamala and how he manages his studio practice no matter where his travels take him.
I also loved meeting Mexico City based artist Ricardo Rendón and realizing we knew people in common and he gave me the scoop on the best paper store in D.F!
All in all, it was the perfect summer break to get to visit a city so close to me in Austin, but still so different and new. If you happen to be in San Antonio in the next few months, I recommend taking a swim at San Pedro Springs Park, San Antonio’s oldest designated park, eating tacos at Taco Taco Cafe, having a drink at OCHO and yes, please pop over and see all our work now on view through October 11!
I'll be hitting San Antonio, Texas next week to install two wall installations for a group exhibition entitled FLATLAND. Described by the curator as "presenting artists at the intersection of cultural form, process and meaning in this emerging flat world", I am interested in seeing how the work of the 10 exhibiting artists pulls together in her vision. If you are in the area, the work will be up at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center July 11 through October 11, 2014. It'll be nice to stretch my legs out of the studio and make something BIG! Stay tuned to see how it goes!
As a person interested in many things I have difficulty focusing
I love the blurry and banal
Folk signage: KEYS CUT HERE
Old traditions of fine craftsmanship
The spontaneity of a child’s scribble
I believe in the phonetics of materials and the grammar of space
I’m interested in the invisible systems of the everyday
Twisting a joke out of the mundane
The subjectivity of words
Perception and the complexity of the human eye
Loops, self-referentiality, pangrams
Ridiculous self-imposed constraints
Collecting, archiving, processing, filtering, editing
Patterns and the quest to discover them
The rich history embodied in a rusty tool, or threadbare quilt
Skipping while frowning
Recognizing social and urban phenomena
The peculiarities of human behavior
Pointing at things
Directing attention to something easily missed
Grouping like things together (or unlike things)
Bouncing things against each other
Shifting focus and contexts to widen Art’s lens
The drive to relate to things
Missing the exit
Doing the The Hokey-Pokey to the Macarena song
Doing the Macarena to the Bird dance song
Hope and Humiliation
Affinity toward all colours known and unknown
Colouring outside and reading between
I'm currently infatuated with the work of Vancouver-based artist, Ben Skinner, ever since I stumbled upon his work via The Jealous Curator. I also really love his artist statement (above) which reminds me of the LIKES/DISLIKES project I was just a part of. I have been saving my pennies to get one of his sculptures from his recent body of work SAME SAME, an ongoing series of brick sets made of plaster and in wildly delicious marbled hues with phrases like CHOP CHOP, KISS KISS, NO NO and other playful colloquialisms. These works alongside paintings, drawings and installations are currently on view at Vancouver's Back Gallery Project.
Put A Little Love in Your Heart - Jackie DeShannon0:00
Things I like: fires, Venice, tequila, sunsets, babies, silent films, heights, coarse salt, top hats, large long- haired dogs, ship models, cinnamon, goose down quilts, pocket watches, the smell of newly mown grass, linen, Bach, Louis XIII furniture, sushi, microscopes, large rooms, boots, drinking water, maple sugar candy.
Things I dislike: sleeping in an apartment alone, cold weather, couples, football games, swimming, anchovies, mustaches, cats, umbrellas, being photographed, the taste of licorice, washing my hair (or having it washed), wearing a wristwatch, giving a lecture, cigars, writing letters, taking showers, Robert Frost, German food.
Things I like: ivory, sweaters, architectural drawings, urinating, pizza (the Roman bread), staying in hotels, paper clips, the color blue, leather belts, making lists, wagon-lits, paying bills, caves, watching ice-skating, asking questions, taking taxis, Benin art, green apples, office furniture, Jews, eucalyptus trees, penknives, aphorisms, hands.
Things I dislike: television, baked beans, hirsute men, paperback books, standing, card games, dirty or disorderly apartments, flat pillows, being in the sun, Ezra Pound, freckles, violence in movies, having drops put in my eyes, meatloaf, painted nails, suicide, licking envelopes, ketchup, traversins [“bolsters”], nose drops, Coca-Cola, alcoholics, taking photographs.
This material is excerpted and adapted from the forthcoming book “As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980,” by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
About a month ago the divine Leigh Patterson, editor of SYNONYM and contributor to Alldayeveryday, asked me to participate in an ongoing feature called Likes/Dislikes. For this series Patterson, "asks interesting individuals to create two lists: one of their likes, one of dislikes. The feature is based on two things: an excerpt from Susan Sontag’s As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 and another from Roland Barthes’ autobiography (trans. Richard Howard, 1977)." At first approach this project seemed completely daunting since I do not fancy myself a list maker or collector of thoughts in this fashion, however as I thought about it more and more it was remarkable how things just popped into my brain into groupings because of Patterson's prompt.
Even before the invitation, I have long thought that categorizing items was a very human quality, perhaps a strange survival technique in some way. How many selections do you make in a day based on what you enjoy and what you'd rather not experience? Is this safe, is this dangerous? Does this feel good, does this make me feel bad? As a visual artist, I find myself asking all kinds of questions and striving to find a harmonious balance in the choices that I make. Much of it is instinctual and always seems very personally distinct, but variable and capricious, too. In creating my lists for Alldayeveryday I often felt compelled to include gratuitous conditions to certain likes or dislikes, and then quickly realized that I had to commit without apology to this list. I hope that the readers understand the exercise and that these collections of items or sensations are certainly truths, but can't be perceived as permanent since nothing certainly is.
So here it is folks, a list of likes and dislikes from me created on May 18, 2014 at approximately 6:02 pm. I look through them now and see some reign true today, but then some don't. Thanks to Leigh for thinking of me for this project, it was so much fun and delivered so much insight!
As a note: the awesome print above of Susan Sontag is part of the incredible pinup writer collection that Erik Heywood creates for his Oakland book store called BOOK/SHOP. Sontag is PINUP NO. 4 and is available now in their shop, but you can also get your hands on one by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond elated to have an exclusive collection of prints now available at one of my favorite shops, San Francisco's Little Paper Planes. Working with Kelly Lynn Jones, LPP founder, and her team has been wonderful and while I have been approached several times about translating my original works into prints, I never even remotely considered it until Kelly sent me an email outlining their Artist of the Month print project.
Little Paper Planes is a company founded in December of 2004 by Kelly Lynn Jones and started off initially as an online shop. With this shop Jones sought to create a platform from which she and her friends, who had just graduated from art school, could present and sell their work to a wider audience. However, as the number of artist-participants grew over time, it became clear that Little Paper Planes had grown up to become a broad-ranging community, composed of both the circle of artists themselves, as well the people who love and support their art. It seemed the natural progression of this growing inertia was to facilitate dialogues and awareness around Contemporary art between both the artists and public alike.
Little Paper Planes assists artists in their careers through print editions, publishing, curatorial and licensing projects. As of May 2013, LPP opened a physical location in San Francisco which has enabled the company to provide more opportunities in the space including lectures, events, exhibitions and workshops. With the new space LPP started LPP+ Residency which functions as a rotating work space for a diverse group of artists, designers, collectives, and curators to engage with the public.
I have long lusted after their diverse inventory and incredible roster of artists and am proud to be representing the month of June! Check out their shop online or in person and collect a print or two. They are all so affordable why not make it three! Oh, and I did an interview with Maggie Haas, LPP Featured Artist Editor and San Francisco-based artist, that dives into some of my recent revelations on my practice.
A sweet collection of new work hit Uprise Art's The Shop today and all were inspired by the juicy colors of a hot summer ahead! I can't say enough wonderful things about working with these ladies, so please send them your support and check out their brilliant roster of talent. I dare you to find something that doesn't strike your fancy!
Aht Uh Mi Hed - Shuggie Otis0:00
Barbara Walters retires today from the tiny screen and ends a long and fabulous career in television that began over 50 years ago in 1962. ABC News put together a terrific slide show capturing Ms. Walters at her classiest!
Her retirement reminds me of watching 20/20 as a little girl being both frightened and fascinated at the variety of people she was getting indepth interviews on. It also reminds me of the ineffable Gilda Radner as Baba Wawa :)
Just got back to Austin from a whirlwind trip to NYC for work! I had the most amazing lox and bagel washed down with a beet and lemon shrub at Russ & Daughters, blissed out in the sound landscape of La Monte Young's Dream House and finally got to meet the lovely ladies behind Uprise Art! I was so pleased to get an email today from Christina Lawrence, Uprise's Curatorial Coordinator, about a post that founder & CEO Tze Chun wrote for Harper's Bazaar! Big projects are in store for me and these terrific women, so stay tuned!
Be My Baby - John Lennon0:00
Five Easy Pieces, 1970 Dir. Bob Rafelson
“On rainy afternoons, embroidering with a group of friends on the begonia porch, she would lose the thread of the conversation and a tear of nostalgia would salt her palate when she saw the strips of damp earth and the piles of mud that the earthworms had pushed up in the garden. Those secret tastes, defeated in the past by oranges and rhubarb, broke out into an irrepressible urge when she began to weep. She went back to eating earth. The first time she did it almost out of curiosity, sure that the bad taste would be the best cure for the temptation. And, in fact, she could not bear the earth in her mouth. But she persevered, overcome by the growing anxiety, and little by little she was getting back her ancestral appetite, the taste of primary minerals, the unbridled satisfaction of what was the original food. She would put handfuls of earth in her pockets, and ate them in small bits without being seen, with a confused feeling of pleasure and rage, as she instructed her girl friends in the most difficult needlepoint and spoke about other men, who did not deserve the sacrifice of having one eat the whitewash on the walls because of them. The handfuls of earth made the only man who deserved that show of degradation less remote and more certain, as if the ground that he walked on with his fine patent leather boots in another part of the world were transmitting to her the weight and the temperature of his blood in a mineral savor that left a harsh aftertaste in her mouth and a sediment of peace in her heart.”
― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Such vivid visuals pop into my head when reading the words of García Márquez and believe my favorite book of his is Cien años de soledad/One Hundred Years of Solitude. He was a truly remarkable writer and a master of the literary genre known as magical realism. His rare vision will live on in his dreamy prose. RIP Gabo.
Breezy psychedelic tunes for these woozy days of spring!
I am excitedly in the midst of planning a 4-day trip to New York City this coming May for art fairs, studio visits and more! I've never been to NYC in the Spring and I am looking forward to planning a trip when the weather is warmer since I am already well accustomed to sandals at this time in Texas. BUT I must say, out of all my planned art adventures I am most excited to see the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark (1920—1988) at the Museum of Modern Art for an exhibition showcasing the last 40 years of her career. Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948–1988 is the first comprehensive exhibit to be shown of Clark's work in North America with over 300 works drawing from both private and public collections, including MoMA's own.
From their press release:
This survey is organized around three key themes: abstraction, Neo-Concretism, and the “abandonment” of art. Each of these axes anchors a significant concept or a constellation of works that mark a definitive step in Clark’s career. While Clark’s legacy in Brazil is profound, this exhibition draws international attention to her work. By bringing together all parts of her radical production, the exhibition seeks to reintroduce her into current discourses of abstraction, participation, and a therapeutic art practice.
I was first exposed to the work of Lygia Clark in an amazing lecture course I took with the incredible Dr. Jacqueline Barnitz at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Barnitz pioneered the historical study of Latin American art at UT Austin and literally “wrote the book” on the subject: her Twentieth-Century Art of Latin America is based on her primary research and interviews with artists in Latin America and New York over four decades and is the standard text now used by teachers of the subject.
Lygia Clark, Bicho - Em si [Creature - In itself], 1962
Card, Adhesive tape, graphite
As Dr. Barnitz flipped through slides I was immediately taken by the stylish photo documentation of Clark's work. A trailblazer of the Brazilian art scene, Lygia Clark broke the mold with her paintings, later deciding that the canvas should not be considered the only plane option. As a student of painting questioning my own relationship to the canvas, I devoured information about how this artist would transform her mode of working. Soon she would free her art from the canvas, moving on to sculptures and the most interestingly sensorial objects which incited participation from viewers.
There is a fantastic blog post on which some of this text is drawn from on The Creator's Project site, plus lots of great texts like Dr. Barnitz's. I completely urge you to read further and discover why she is such an iconic artist of her times. I promise you'll be a fan, too, and just maybe I'll see you up in NY this spring checking out her work at MoMA.
Pretty little spread in Austin, TX publication, Tribeza, matching my contribution to the annual fundraiser at The Contemporary Austin with a bright and buttery outfit to die for. If you are in Austin tonight, come and add to your art collection with about a zillion sweet 5 x 7 inch works to choose from. All available for the incredibly affordable price of $150. A fun excuse to put on that volcanic ensemble and shmooze!
Living like a lusty flower now for 67 years! Cheers Sir Elton!
I Don't Want To Be Too Cool - Kate Fagan0:00
Valley Girl, 1983 Dir. Martha Coolidge
I've been thinking a lot about density, volume and the general oomph of art objects lately and more and more I am drawn to chunky ceramics and sculpture. I just visited the beautiful exhibit Converging Lines that pairs the work of Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse. Hesse's sculpture on view is sensual and meaty with forms heavy just begging for you to hold onto their love handles. The work of Brooklyn-based sculptor Stacy Fisher beckons similarly.
Green Sculpture with Painting, 2011 / Hydrocal, wire mesh, wood, repurposed latex paint, oil on canvas, 52 x 23 x 9 inches (sculpture), 8 x 6 inches (painting)
Fuchsia Sculpture with Wood, 2010 / Hydrocal, wire mesh, wood, repurposed latex paint; 49 x 25 x 7.5 inches
Installation View at BravinLee Programs, Familiar Places, 2013
Fisher separates her work currently into two series; one of groupings of objects all similar in size, shape and color and the the second more abstract and related to painting. It is the latter that is shown here and the playful push and pull of textured surfaces and found and created material is delightful. I especially love the conversation Fisher creates between the object, the pedestal and the wall. Fisher is also a member of a collective Art Book Club that consists of a group of artists in New York City that get together every four to six weeks to discuss an art reading, either a book, magazine or essay. I am pleased to have stumbled across her work in the vast online archive of Beautiful Decay and hope that I can see her work in person someday; I promise to keep my hands to myself!
Famous Groupies - Wings0:00
This is Spinal Tap, 1984 Dir. Rob Reiner
SXSW reminder to not take this music thing too seriously ;)
Returned from a week away in Los Angeles and came home to a lovely thank you note from LEIF celebrating another sale together! Fresh new works to brighten up your space, as we usher out winter and plead the weather deities for warmer days!
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!! To honor this lovey-dovey day, I have put together a little collection of my favorite partners in crime. Fictional or real life, these couples were true blue to one another. Now, go hug someone!
Lorelei Lee + Dorothy Shaw from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Charles + Ray Eames
Elizabeth Taylor + Richard Burton
Frida Kahlo + Diego Rivera
Edith + Edie Bouvier Beale from Grey Gardens
Gena Rowlands + John Cassavetes
Paul + Linda McCartney
Sophie Taeuber + Jean Arp
Wyatt + Billy from Easy Rider
Oblio + Arrow from The Point
Edna + Wilbur Turnblad from Hairspray
Thrilled to announce that I'm the newest artist on Uprise Art! I first heard about Tze Chun's entrepreneurial vision flipping through Marie Claire last November while waiting for my nails to dry and I thought to myself, Wow! This lady has a vision! Oh, and that her outfit was sassy and looked exactly like someone I'd want as a friend.Tze Chun from The Every Girl
Flash forward only a few weeks after that and I received the loveliest email from Christina Lawrence—a curatorial coordinator at Uprise—asking about my work and if I'd consider joining their team. Uprise Art is an online gallery with the aim to demystify the act of collecting and make acquiring original artwork accessible to anyone with the desire to own something that they truly love. What I have enjoyed most about working with them so far is their genuinely positive attitude and helpfulness. I immediately felt confident that Tze and her team wanted me to be a part of the process and actually loved my work and wanted to share it with more people. Fingers crossed that everything goes well, but I can already tell that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Check out this superb interview with Tze in The Everygirl and please take a peek at the other truly talented artists on their roster, they all are fantastic and I am truly delighted to be in such great company!
For my birthday, I made a special mix guaranteed to put a pep in your step. You have my full permission to dance around while eating giant pieces of cake. Getting older has been fun and I hope I get to keep doing it!
Heroes (Tony Carrasco Mix) - Big Ben Tribe0:00