Obvs - Jamie XX0:00
It Felt Like Love, 2013 Dir. Eliza Hittman
BTW I am so in love with discovering new films via MUBI's curated collections devoted to women filmmakers. Swoon.
It Felt Like Love, 2013 Dir. Eliza Hittman
BTW I am so in love with discovering new films via MUBI's curated collections devoted to women filmmakers. Swoon.
They don't walk,
they just glide in and out of life
They never die,
they just go to sleep one day
-Sons of the Silent Age from David Bowie's 1977 Heroes
Yesterday's news of David Bowie's death came to me from the radio in the living room as I wiped sleep out of my eyes to greet another Monday. As the day unfolded with jam-packed social media feeds and radio news and television announcers sharing songs, images and thoughts about what David Bowie meant to the world, I took retreat to my studio.
It feels selfish to be sad about a man's passing, a stranger who you never met, a person you only knew via media and music, but yesterday and today and probably for many days to come, I find myself dim with the concept that the world lost such a true original with the passing of Bowie.
I stumbled across this 1979 BBC Star Special recording that Bowie did via a DJ friend Tommy Blackburn and it's a wonderful listen. Bowie sharing music that he loves, it's simple and easy and like his own music and song writing poetry is a wonderful treat for a grey day like this one. ♥ RIP David Robert Jones (1947-2016)
The Wolfpack, 2015 Dir. Crystal Moselle
Really feeling this video on SFMOMA's website where Ellsworth Kelly recalls his first encounter with abstraction and reflects on how his decades-long fascination with line, form, and color has manifested in both his paintings and his creative process. I have always thought of my own meditation on shape and color summed up in the same words in which Kelly describes his fascination with the mysteriousness of color and shape. Take a watch!
Oh! And if you are in Texas, how excited are you for this!
Meant for any autumnal gathering that might find you stressed out or if your find yourself in need of soothing sounds to get lost in while hanging round a crackling fire.
Matt Jacobs is an artist based out of Kansas City, Missouri and his playful collage paintings are just the cheerful and gushy work that remind the viewer how an artist can manipulate materials as simple as an onion bag into a weighted work of art. Apart from his viscous approach to the medium of paint, his use of color make his chewing gum textured work that much more desirable to touch.
Jacob's work ranges from quieter paintings on paper to larger than life installations utilizing scraps of wood, wire, inflatable pool toys, tape, and of course paint and his recent exhibit at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts had a playful mix that showcased his compositional breadth. We also have a really sweet bubblegum pasta painting at MASS Gallery in our little MA$$ Shop that I swear one of these days will come home with me!
As of late, Jacobs has been toning down his palette and making these beautiful, ghostly acrylic sculptures that are intriguing, and with just a few spots of color smashed between layers of plexi, you can tell he is thinking about collage in a whole new way. I am really drawn to the reveal of materials and will plan to follow along on his site to see where his style will evolve.
images above via
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ENNIO MORRICONE!! This Roman born composer over his long career has scored several hundred films over the past several decades and in almost every imaginable musical style (and for almost every imaginable kind of movie), but he is most identified with the “spaghetti Western” style of soundtracks. I love the tracks he did for the dark, 1969 murder mystery film Vergogna schifosi (Dirty Angels) alongside director and often collaborator Mauro Severino. A true original and a lovely soundtrack for the blustery fall days we have been having!
Even though I have been back in Austin for almost a month now, the days have been filled with enough bustle that I haven't had much time to reflect on my recent and most magical stay in Mexico City. Today, little pangs of homesickness for my DF departamentito filled me up and I had to share some pictures with you all to help me remember that this place does exist and YES! I can always go back and visit it. Big shout out to Brad, who maintains this jewel of a penthouse and shares it with the world via AirBnb.
Here, let me give you a tour!
This juicy aqua colored apartment building sits pretty on a busy street in Roma Norte in the heart of Mexico City. Built mid-century and in the style of Art Deco, its creator the architect Francisco J. Serrano is probably best known for the stylish Edificio Basurto in Condesa, but a quick walkabout in Roma and its neighboring colonia Condesa, you'll notice that many of the best Art Deco buildings are his. An early work, the statuesque Edificio Jardines at the corner of Sonora and Amsterdam features multiple balconies, terraces and mini-lighthouses on top. The streamline house at the corner of Michoacán and Avenida Mexico looks like a set for a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie. Several of his houses have been altered or covered over with commercial signage or are hidden behind giant trees, but the curious traveler is certainly rewarded when they stumble across one.
Born in Mexico City in 1900, Serrano studied civil engineering and architecture at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). He later taught there as a professor of civil engineering and architecture. The Serrano family has made further contributions to the built environment through his son, Francisco Serrano Cacho whose work includes the second terminal at the city's Benito Juarez airport.
But back to my little home away this summer. Written out in wrought iron above the apartment building's central entrance reads Edificio Anahuac—the ancient Aztec term meaning "Land Between the Waters".
Rambling up a side staircase, you'll find a penthouse with the most spectacular view and the most miniature e accommodations s I've ever come to love. Perched isolated from the rest of the apartments in Anahuac, my AirBnb host has renovated the apartment in Mid-Century Mexican decor. I basically wanted everything and had to hide my absolute glee when Brad gave me the tour. It being mini, it lasted about 10 minutes before he popped out and I started jumping for joy!
I came to Mexico to create for myself a mini studio away from my regular day-to-day vices. I wanted to create a space where my focus was uninterrupted and where I was hoping little shifts of consciousness could occur in my practice. After a few days of panic due to the utter quiet isolation, I carved out a working space and set up a routine. Mornings sipping coffee and eating fresh melon, dancing myself awake and then settling in for several hours at my work table, allowing myself a time of day to call it quits so I could venture out the apartment to enjoy a meal and a walk in the nearby plaze. Remembering it now seems like it was a dream, but it was real and I have 20 brand new works to recall the record of my time there.
Until next time, goodbye to my little penthouse puppy friends, goodbye to sleepy mornings bathed in that golden glow of DF and hasta la vista, Edificio Anahuac!
More traveling means more music for weird road trips and airport waiting rooms. Heading up to NYC to visit friends and to work on a great big project with Uprise Art!
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.
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!
Texas heat only getting hotter and sometimes my brain feels like it is frying like this collection of songs.
An Honest Liar, 2014 Dir. Justin Weinstein
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!
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/CHAKRA, a 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!
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!
A mix to take along, ENJOY! Oh, and please place your trays in their upright position :)
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!
HAPPY EARTH DAY!! Even though this song is about the moon let's love all our astral entities today, hmm?
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
La flor de mi secreto / The Flower of My Secret, 1995 Dir. Pedro Almodóvar
Tunes to take us onto the next adventure carrying peace and love in our hearts ♥
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!