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    1. Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley Cover) - Annette Peacock

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    Welcome to Me, 2014   Dir. Shira Piven

    Cooking up some posts about my recent month in Mexico City, but until then movies and music are ushering in the fall as we say goodbye to another summer.

  • vamonos

    Singing out loud to these songs has helped train and tame my tongue over the last month, so hopefully when I land in Mexico City tomorrow afternoon the Spanish palabras will just flow! Okay, there are a few songs in English and Portueguese, but you'll get the vibe. If you are interested in what I'll be up to in D.F., follow along with my Instagram!

     

  • solar drums

    Texas heat only getting hotter and sometimes my brain feels like it is frying like this collection of songs.

  • SHOPCLASS LA

    JUST RETURNED from a quick trip to LA where I got the exciting challenge of creating a special one of a kind wall installation at this ultra cool, ultra Highland Park shop! If you in the LA area, please pop over to Shopclass during the month of June to peek at work fresh out of the studio!

    And while you are perusing the Highland Park neighborhood, don't forget to stop for a delicous vegan treat at Donut Friend, visit a Sunday Either Way Sale at Chin's Push which is this neat pop-up shop run by artist Julia M. Leonard, or have a classy drink and burger at Sonny's Hideaway! I was also super lucky to have a pair of wheels and FINALLY got to head out over to Compton to visit the glorious weirdness that is Sam Rodia's Watts Towers. Summertime vibes abound, enjoy!

  • Bolder Boulder

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, the San Antonio-based curator Patty Ortiz invited me to participate in a ten person group show at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art this May and I happily accepted! For this exhibit Ortiz requested two "really big" wall installations and asked that I dream big and create wall works that spanned upwards of six to seven feet in width. A little daunting to move a good three feet beyond my comfort zone and well beyond any size work that I have created before, but I took on the challenge. With seven full days in Colorado I set out to make the best and BIGGEST works to date and had a blast doing it!

    Founded in 1972 by a group of local artists, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) is one of Colorado’s premier venues for the exploration of contemporary art. BMoCA provides enriching experiences for nearly 30,000 regional, national, and international visitors annually through innovative exhibitions and engaging programs for all audiences. In 1976 the organization moved to its current location in downtown Boulder, a 1906 historic landmark building that once served as a warehouse. From the minute I walked into the space, I could feel nothing but good energy and was so excited to get to jump on the walls nestled in the same gallery as the incredibly talented Penelope Umbrico and Matthew Chambers.

    What I expected when planning for this installation was long days of quick decisions and sore legs from climbing up and down ladders, but what I didn't expect was how much fun I was going to have with the curator Patty (seen below), her assistant Yvonne Montoya and the other visiting artists flown in to install.

    Man Bartlett (above) was one of those artists and during his short stint of installation in the gallery before jetting back to NYC, he and I had numerous thoughtful and considerate conversations about the art world over delicious Boxcar Coffee Roaster pour overs. Man is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York. His diverse practice includes drawing, collage, video, performance and digital projects that use online platforms as outlets for playful yet subversive social critique. My favorite work of his in our show together is called RAGA/CHAKRAa continuous 24-hour cycle over six phases to incorporate psychoacoustic binaural audio, The Schumann Resonance, crowd-sourced messages of people describing their surroundings, recordings of clandestine numbers stations, traditional Mongolian throat singing, analog and digital synthesizers, and more.

    We also bonded over our stay in one of the most bizarre artist accommodations I have ever been hosted in named SWOON. While there we got to meet the artist Berndnaut Smilde, most famous for his cloud making, who was just finishing up a short residency in Boulder where he was invited to make a rainbow of all things.

    Back in the galleries, days were spent listening to super loud Kate Bush and dancing on top of ladders as the two works finally began taking shape. Informed by the rainy cool mountain air, the emphasis on the new age and mystical "hippie" culture of Boulder and the dawning of summer, the completed works hold snippets of mushrooms from horticulture diaries, glossy images of crystals and bright and bold swaths of deep greens and lilacs.

    At the opening, I was introduced to so many wonderful people and had the pleasure of talking about my work in the context of the show's title Flatlander and its exploration of how our compulsive relationship with the flat screen and the Internet has changed our view of the world. Ironically, many of the people I met during the reception came up to me because they follow me here or along my Instagram adventures, their interests sparked by images of my work they found while google searching or what have you. It was certainly wonderful to share the work in person and get to show of the not-so flat aspects of the work that they surely miss when glancing at it on the digital screen.

    My week in Boulder was filled with Farmer's Markets, more than one meal at Oak and The Kitchen Next Door. Multiple coffees and croissants at Boxcar, the best sandwich on gluten-free bread I have ever had at Cure, several bottles of Rose Bud kombucha from the Boulder company Upstart, and so many wonderful meals with art patrons of both Denver and Boulder. A HUGE HUGE shout out to Patty Ortiz and her company Patty Ortiz Unincorporated for curating such a fantastic show, the amazing staff at BMoCA and to San Antonio's Liberty Bar for their sponsorship of the exhibit! To close out my whirlwind tour of Boulder and Denver, I hit up the brand new Clyfford Still Museum and just stood in awe of the gorgeous colors and paint strokes within the museum's perforated concrete ceiling that diffuse natural light just perfectly creating the most terrific environment for art viewing. It was the best way ever to end an art experience and I jumped on a plane back to Austin so rejuvenated.

    If Colorado is calling you this summer, please check out the show at BMoCA up now through September 13!

  • DRESS YOUR TECH on designlovefest

    In my work I aim to keep the viewer’s eye moving through my compositions by rewarding curiosity with unexpected juxtapositions and discoveries amongst the gestural brush strokes and collaged elements. When asked to create images for designlovefest's Dress Your Tech series, I immediately wanted to zoom in and share some of my favorite intersecting moments.

    Most of these images are taken from works that are fresh out of the studio, many of which will be on view in a little show I have in LA in just a few weeks as part of the June 13th edition of NELA (north east LA) Art Walk at Shopclass. Thank you designlovefest for inviting me to create super special outfits for your series, I hope you find one you love!

  • FLATLANDER @ The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

    You might remember a group show that I was in last summer called FLATLAND at The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Well, I am happy to announce a version of the exhibit entitled Flatlander is on the move and headed to the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art! I am excited that I was asked to join the group of artists heading up there from Texas and will be making my way to Boulder to create two GREAT big installations. When I say big, I mean it! The curator Patty Ortiz has asked for two 6 foot by 6 foot wall works, making these the largest I've created to date. Stay tuned to see how everything comes out, and if Colorado is where you call home, come see the show May 21 through September 13, 2015. I'll be at the opening on the 21st, too, so come say hey!

  • skive + feliz

    CHECK OUT this sweet mix I helped make for a party at MASS Gallery to celebrate the collaborative Canoe and J Hannah Co scent SKIVE winning the 2015 Art & Olfaction Award and the launch of the FELIZ spring weekend sale that brings together a careful selection of independent designers, makers, and artists for a one-day sale in Austin, TX. Perfect for studio times with long groovy songs. 

    ENJOY!

    FELIZ // felizaustin.com 
    SKIVE // canoegoods.com/scent

  • HAPPY EARTH DAY!! Even though this song is about the moon let's love all our astral entities today, hmm?

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    1. Wicked Game (Adriatique & Thyladomid Edit) - Chris Isaak

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    Hardware, 1990   Dir. Richard Stanley

    What happens when the majority of your days are jam packed with projects and deadlines? Well folks, that's when really horrible/great B movies enter your life telling you stories about the rampage of a self-repairing robot in a post-apocalyptic slum. And you know what, you like it.

  • Abraham Cruzvillegas

    Just got back into town from a birthday trip to Mexico City, where I was super fortunate to hang out with Leslie Moody Castro, an old friend and co-founder of AtravesARTE a company that provides their clients with an unparalleled, personalized tour experience while showcasing and promoting the cultural value of contemporary art in Mexico. Tagging along with them, we got to check out new artists and new art spaces that we would have not otherwise had access to, even me a person that has travelled to DF many times over the last decade. Along our journey from one taco to another, from one art space to the next, we visited the amazingly stunning Museo Jumex where we saw Abraham Cruzvillegas's exhibit Autoconstrucción. Cruzvillegas was born in Mexico City in 1968 and his work is inspired by the harsh landscape and living conditions of Colonia Ajusco, his childhood neighborhood in Mexico City where houses were built on inhospitable land in ad hoc improvisations. Over the past 10 years, Cruzvillegas has assembled sculptures and installations from found objects and disparate materials and developed a riveting body of work that investigates what he calls autoconstrucción, or “self-construction.”

    Much of the work is human scale and the viewer is really encouraged to peek around each nook and cranny of the sculptures, unveiling the material mysteries that Cruzvillegas has hidden for us. I tried to snap as many pics as I could, but really being immersed in it was the best way to take it all in.

    For more on Cruzvillegas, check out the most recent Art21 episode on Legacy, here's a snippet!

     

  • some kind of way

    Created in conjunction with an essay I wrote for Dirty Laundry magazine. These selections are favorites culled from my collection, and in my humble opinion, are essentials. Basically, they never fail to have me feeling some kind of way.

    Take a listen, what do you feel?

    DIRTY LAUNDRY MAGAZINE // dirtylaundrymag.com

  • Dirty Laundry Magazine

    Check out this funny little essay I wrote for the lovely folks at Dirty Laundry Magazine all about that time in 5th grade I sang "Feelings" at the top of my lungs. I also made a special mixtape just for the occasion of its release that I will share shortly. The task of writing a personal essay was no small feat for me, but I loved Dirty Laundry's mission so much I gave it a whirl. Through original essays and Q&A sessions, the magazine functions as a curated platform for creative voices to be heard. Dirty Laundry is a collaborative effort between three self-proclaimed individuals – an illustrator, a designer and a writer – typically hard at work in a small DC apartment. It was a little like writing for this blog, but a bit scarier because I knew at least a few people would be reading it :) Hope you like it!

  • MASS @ The Front NOLA

    2015 is all about adventures abroad! I just got back from New Orleans where the MASS Gallery team and I created a group show and, I kid you not, a great big giant sandwich installation. As an homage to all the great sandwiches that New Orleans has bestowed upon us over the years, the handful of us that braved the chilly bayou weather set out to craft one big ol' cardboard sammy as a token of our gratitude!

    What started out as a little sketchbook idea and a joke about "wouldn't it be funny if..." we seriously set out to turn one whole room of The Front into one giant club. It was, as you could say, MASS's clubhouse where we all got to pitch in on the painting and cardboard construction. Collaborative works like this are rare for us, since our collaborative piece really is in the walls and organizational structure of our project space here in Austin.

    For five whole days we poured our energy into this beast and it was quite the team building exercise. Of course, it didn't hurt that we had rented a sweet little AirBNB in the heart of the Marigny-Bywater neighborhood and when we weren't working (which was sadly not too many hours) we got to sample all the delicious food and charisma that NOLA had to offer. We even snuck in a quick and sleepy walk through the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas where we met a very friendly all white alligator.

    Club Sandwich ended up spectacular, as you can see, and for the rest of The Front's gallery space the makers in the group staged a pretty great looking group show, too. Thursday of install was particularly exhausting because not only was I on sandwich duty, but I also did a 5 x 6 foot wall installation, which I think happens to look excellent with my fellow MASS member Scott Proctor's ceramic works.

    Highlights of the trip were early morning trips to Frady's for a huge diner style breakfast for only $5, fancy drinks and small plates at Booty's, hunting for bargains in the area thrift stores, late night grocery shopping at Mardi Gras Zone, NUMEROUS snacks at The Sneaky Pickle, lots and lots of sandwich puns and super super late night games of dice with my MASS folks. Certainly the best way to welcome good times for this New Year! If you are in the NOLA area for Carnival or Mardi Gras pop over to The Front, our show is up till February 8.

  • Alex Chitty

    Despite what some may think, there are always new and interesting art happenings occuring in this fair city of Austin, TX. Perhaps it's due to the influx of bright and chirpy young folks that come to central Texas to study at any number of the higher education palaces that dot the area. Perhaps it's something else entirely, but I certainly love when I get to witness new energy and ambition go into operating a space dedicated to exploring contemporary art and artists and the conversation that surrounds that process. A new little house gallery just opened up called Permanent.Collection and I am so happy that they did because at their inaugural show I was introduced to the work of Chicago-based artist, Alex Chitty.

    Walking into Permanent.Collection I was immediately drawn to a collection of intimate, hand manipulated collaged photographs that were pinned to the back wall of the tiny living room gallery space. I spent a lot of time observing Chitty's manipulation of the photographic surface and soon found myself dreaming of owning my very own so I would never have to say goodbye. As stated in a recent article about her on Make.Space.net, "over the last couple years her work has gone from collages and prints to flat cut paper and paper sculpturally attached to the wall to vitrine-like sculptures. The work seems to confound the definition of what is flat and what is dimensional – a piece of paper can be a sculpture and a sculpture can collapse into a layered plane as the viewer looks through it."

    I am pretty smitten and enjoy the playful and unprecious approach that remains underlying in each work that I've seen, no matter the medium. I find great affinity to her unabashed need to collect images and objects, even if the direct purpose for having them is unknown for months or years or maybe never. I can equally relate to the neatly stacked islands of chaos that can be found in her studio as a result of her collecting. I invite you to take a peek at her body of work and get all wrapped up into it like I have!

  • #UATakeover

    This past Friday I had the distinct pleasure of taking over the @UpriseArtNYC Instagram, inundating their fine followers with pictures from a day in the life of me! It was super great to get to share my process through pictures and just in case you don't follow @UpriseArtNYC (and you should!), I am posting them up here for you to take a peek at. This winter will have be hunkered down close to my studio's space heater while I prepare for a show this coming January and adding new inventory to both Uprise and LEIF. Enjoy these pics and stay warm wherever you are! 

    I am over-the-moon excited to share my little corner of the world with you and to give you a peek into my studio practice here in the heart of Texas. This is where the magic happens! I’ve been in this little garage space for the past 9 years and its secluded location along a tree-lined street in East Austin suits my process perfectly. 

    Taking a quick spin around the place, you’ll notice my surplus of old books and magazines stacked and stored in every nook. These forgotten anthologies are usually scooped up at thrift stores and estate sales, but one or two are gifts from my sweet friends who can easily bet that I will use the heck out of them, giving their out of date pages new life through my collaged paintings.

    As I snip photographic surfaces and over-saturated illustrations found inside their pages, I can’t help but clip out the silly little images that make me laugh along the way. This one was taken out of a 1967 Time Life book titled TIME and describes a very serious study on snails and magnetism.

    Focusing on painting during my time as a student, I’ve always been drawn to the viscosity and material nature of paint. Pushing the pigment around and watching it react to the pressure of my hand or the texture of a certain kind of paper, never ceases to amaze me. It’s a ritual I gladly perform and include in each of my artworks. 

    Sandwiched between swaths of paint and found images, you’ll find pieces of brightly colored paper sourced from different corners of the world. Over the last 10 years, I’ve voraciously collected sheets and samples of all kinds, attracted mostly to those in unusual colors, ones with rough and irregular surfaces and have recently begun to start my own collection of hand-dyed papers from traditions I learned during my Arquetopia residency last year in Oaxaca.Looking over maps of memory is a current favorite of mine that I created especially for Uprise’s inventory at the most recent Affordable Art Fair NYC. For me, the repeated act of layering is a meditation on shape and form. What spurs me to keep repeating these assemblages of material are that each construction is a puzzle where color, form and texture are constantly in rotation with different results. I am particularly satisfied with how the sharp cuts of pink and nude paper transition to the more gestural application of acid green paint. 

    Inspiration for color and shape come from having wide-open eyes as I move throughout my daily routine. I’m can honestly say I am equally fascinated by the organic contour lines of my own hand, as I am by the bright and gleaming colors of this painted mural I pass everyday on the way to work. You never know where the vision for the next composition is going to come from! Speaking of work, most of the time the creative balance between studio time and office feels very natural and rhythmic. Making artwork, creating programming at the University of Texas’s Visual Arts Center or collaborating with my peers in our collectively run art space MASS Gallery are very similar practices. I absolutely love being a leader in the visual arts and my experience as an arts administrator gives me access to the back end of making creative projects happen through imaginative problem solving. Plus, with these guys at MASS it’s hard to not have a good time!

    Being exposed to so many artists regularly, I find it impossible to not want to support them in other ways and have a burgeoning collection of paintings and objects from makers that grows each year. Here is a sweet painting by my friend Sam Sanford, a little stone and wood totem by Chantal Wnuk, a bright neon Chiaozza sculpture I picked up on my recent trip to NYC, and a lovely clay figurine by Irma García Blanco from my travels to Sta. Maria Atzompa. Collecting art is not only a joy for me, but knowing that I help sustain an artist’s practice makes it so much more awesome.

    Well, there you have it! A little window into my life in Austin, TX! Thank you for all your enthusiasm and kind words, I am so happy to be a part of the Uprise Art family and look forward to all the ways I will grow with their support and encouragement. If you are ever in the Lone Star State, please come say hi! Huge THANK YOU to the incredibly talented Courtney Chavanell for her photo assist on some of these, a real gem that girl!

  • golden city

    The sun moves so differently through the sky these days and suddenly, as August moves into November, everything is golden and glowing. Long live fall, where open car windows bellow melancholy songs like these.

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  • Malin Gabriella Nordin

    If one called painting by its name, Malin Gabriella Nordin would probably have it
    respond with the voice of rocks: of stones that fluently speak their own language
    of shapes and ciphers and glow with multiple colours in the dark. Nordin gives
    abstract forms a unique presence that is subtly spooky, animated by the silent
    laughter of beings from other dimensions. – Jan Verwoert, 2013

    As fall sets in and our summer sun gazing comes to an end, I have found myself looking towards the ground, hunting for pebbles, fallen leaves and seed and nuts that have tumbled to the ground marking the change in season. Perhaps it's because of this transition that I am drawn to the work of Swedish artist Malin Gabriella Nordin and all its organic regalia. An artist after my own heart, Nordin utilizes found images to inspire her collages, many of which are centered around color, form and surface. 

    I am particulary drawn to how she jumps in scale to create these friendly-looking wooden sculptures that isolate her two-dimensional biomorphic shapes and brings to life in human scale. It is this physical encounter that she explores in her artist book Private Language, where the above excerpt was plucked from by critic and curator Jan Verwoert. I'm hooked on Nordin's work and I was so excited to see that she has a limited edition of prints available from Little Paper Planes, too!

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Pedro Almodóvar!

    Pedro himself looking dashing here in his 1984 film, "¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer ésto?" // "What have I done to deserve this?". Happy 65th birthday, you look AMAZING!

  • as promised...

    Check out these gorgeous pics of my upriseXnorwood installation by photographer Sam Teich, courtesy of Uprise Art. Wish this place was closer than NYC so I could hang out and look at all the beautiful artwork on a regular basis! Speaking of NYC, this week is the Affordable Art Fair and my work will be up there at Uprise's booth B-1! If you're in the area, pop over and say hello to the Uprise team for me.

  • upriseXnorwood

    Dan Graham on the rooftop of The Met

    This past week I whisked myself off to New York City for a quick and busy trip to create a site-specific installation for Uprise Art at the Norwood Club in Chelsea. So much fun to get to stretch out in the beautiful architecture of the early Victorian architecture of Norwood. My first installation work in another state and certainly my first install in a house listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

    At The Norwood

    While in the city we stayed with my good friend Jamie Isenstein, whose work we had at the Visual Arts Center back in 2012 and who was kind enough to host us, even though she is working hot & heavy on her upcoming solo show at Andrew Kreps gallery coming this Spring.

    Jamie Isenstien blending in at The New Museum

    We didn't have much time to explore the city, but we certianly ate our fill of deliciousness at Despaña, Ippudo (barely any line because of the NY "heatwave while we were there!) and had time to wander around aimlessly at The Met. We even made it to Rockaway, my very first East Coast beach experience, and don't even get me started on what we ate there! My favorite shopping this time around was at the MOCIUN store, where I splurged and bought a little sculpture created by the artist duo CHIAOZZA who I have a crazy crush on.

    All in all, despite the sweltering heat and having to carry a really heavy box of art supplies to the FedEx store, I had an amazing time with an AMAZING host (both Uprise & Jamie!) and I can't wait to come back and visit The Norwood to sip on a cocktail while I admire my work and all the other talented artists on view. If you are in the area, the show will be up for a whole year so pop on over!

  • echoes of summer

    I have been absolutely slammed this summer and while I usually get to make awesome bouncy summery mixtapes of my own, I have been relying on the kindness (and good taste!) of strangers! Though can a blog that you frequent weekly, if not daily, really be a stranger?!

    I don't have to tell you how INCREDIBLE the folks at the LA-based blog Aquarium Drunkard are, but their playlists sourced from guest DJs from all over the world never cease to impress me. In fact, I owe 1/2 my music collection to tunes they've turned me on to!

    So instead of sharing my own compilation, I thought I'd turn you on to this incredible two hour journey that AQ contributor Chad DePasquale has created so eloquently entitled BLUE AUGUST MOON. Some of my favorite cuts are Irma Thomas's Ruler of my Heart, Eunice Collins's At the Hotel and the well timed Stockhausen spoken qoute, “We are Changed”.

    So what are you waiting for here is the download link and please please PLEASE do yourself a favor and take a leap over to AQ's website for more clever mixtapes!

    Blue August Moon.mp3

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