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Archive for the 'art work' Category

My Handsome Family

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

This is from a negative that my grandfather sent a few months ago. Aren’t they dashing?

Uncle Warren, Grandpa, Uncle Alpert, Grandma, and Dad - guessing it's 1958

a recent trip to the Southwest…

Monday, May 10th, 2010

Visiting my dad, step-mom and grandpa gave me an occasion to leave the cool PNW, and enter the undulating warmth of the South West. Here’s some pics from the pool.

Are they Boot Makers? Chauney Peck and Hirata/Hashemi

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Working on the third draft of my thesis for an MFA in visual art, I continue to explore what it means to be an artist. To enter into a visual, philosophical and emotional relationship with it. A couple weekends ago I visited two art shows in Seattle, one for an artist’s talk, the other for a chance conversation.

The first was Chauney Peck‘s talk on her show Bang, Universe, Everything, at SOIL Gallery. This month she’s exhibiting new work that shares bold color, intuitive and chance constructions, dynamic possibilities with shape, line, and movement, and a deep undercurrent of meaning in relation to people, the environment, spirituality, and consumption. I viewed the show before the talk and was impressed with her use of materials and instantly drawn to certain collages and assemblages. For me, I felt compelled to look, to wonder, what were these about? The talk helped illuminate more about her process. She created Chance Cards to help with some of the decisions during composition but she also depended on intuition and her skilled eye to complete the pieces. She shared at length about the spiritual implications of giving away, of Gifting. Having read the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde, she described the intention of making, of the labor, care, and specialness she wanted to imbibe in the works, and then to give them away as an offering. Perhaps as a means to create more abundance in the universe, challenging herself to be free of expectations and wanting. The informal talk ended with questions and discussion about technology, materials use, using chance as a loose guide in making art, chaos vs. control, the fetishizing of commodities and what stories do we find that are meaningful.

Chauney Peck @ SOIL Gallery

I then walked around the block to check out the Sol Hashemi/Jason Hirata show titled Hidden Snacks, at Punch Gallery. I was fortunate that Jason was sitting at the gallery that day. He too had been at Chauney’s talk and it was nice to have shared that experience. I asked him if he and Sol would do a talk, and he said they weren’t planning to. I have been watching Jason’s work ever since an open studios at the 1426 Building on Jackson a few years ago. He’s a recent grad from the University of Washington with a BFA in photography, as his art partner Sol. Both men are working hard in the art scene of Seattle. I asked Jason how the show was going, he said, “good, some folks walk in and then walk out fast, others linger and look.” It left me wondering, what are these guys up to? People had told me about the show, “they hid snacks around and took pictures of them.” I asked Jason about it, his response was something along the lines of, “we basically hid snacks and then photographed them.” “Are these foods you eat?” “These are what we could get cheap at the grocery outlet,” he replied. We talked for a bit about the lettering on the window sign. Sol had been watching the man put the lettering up and he saw something in it and told him to stop and leave it that way. I think this was my favorite piece. In a way it states, these two men are creating and showing us the archive of a moment, a decision, a chance happening between environment and objects. Is it art? Does that translate in the images? Does it work or make sense? Can people access it and if not is it legitimate? The window sign is the most visually interesting, as was a photograph of a tomato soup can tucked in a paint rack, a sweet nod to Warhol, that I will go back and purchase (photos are for sale for $10). I also found one photograph taped to one of Jason’s hairs and then taped to the wall to be very intriguing. But overall the show left me thinking, and that is maybe better than liking a few pieces individually.

Sol Hashemi and Jason Hirata @ Punch Gallery

I am really glad that I could talk to Jason while we were in the space. Interestingly he was reading a book about the white cube gallery called Studio and Cube by Brian O’Doherty. It makes me think that perhaps what they are doing isn’t designed for the White Cube? Or even better, by putting it in there, are they creating a new challenge for the viewer? Do we have to respond visually to everything? I really appreciate the way these two communicate with each other and then share it with us, many may not understand, but I am realizing that that is not point. If there’s possibility for contemplation and conversation, I find that meaningful.

Lastly, someone recommended to a friend an art history book. Mainly, an easy to read first book, that shares about the basics in Western Art. Turns out I have the fourth edition of it in my classroom (it was used as a Middle/High School textbook at one point). It’s called The Story of Art by German writer, E. H. Gombrich. I haven’t read the whole book, but I can tell it’s references are based in the white, male, Eurocentric art realm. But it was first published in 1950, and it’s been a slow process to examine people beyond the white dudes. Philosophically he states some clear concepts in the introduction and conclusion though.

There is really no such thing as Art. There are only artists. (page 5)

The general public has settled down to the notion that an artist is a fellow who should produce Art much in the way a bootmaker produces boots. By this they mean that he should produce the kind of painting or sculptures they have seen labelled as Art before. One can understand this vague demand, but, alas, it is the one job the artist cannot do. What has been done before presents no problem for them any more. There is no task in it that could put the artist on his mettle. (page 445)

from The Story of Art published in 1950

Thankfully Both Peck and Hashemi/Hirata are not just making boots. Not to say that bootmaking isn’t a noble craft. To work beyond the shoemaker’s last, I feel gives me a stronger reason to create, discover and connect.

2 group shows open tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Meet Greet Rinse Repeat: Collaboration with Troy Gua

Read all about it HERE


You’re So Cool at OHGE Ltd. a group show including myself in collaboration with Julie Alpert

Openiing April 1st 6-10pm

Sweet and Lovely

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Here’s another fabulous couple. Anna and Susanna @ Sears and below in their comfy home. Heart beats, lung breathes…

So sweet and precious!

Heart and Lungs

Couples: an exploration

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

I am asking couples to participate in two different sets of images. One is commercial, illness formal, sickness dress-up, the other is informal, personal, and more intimate. Below areĀ Troy and Catherine Gua from the Couples @ Sears shoot and then just this past Saturday we went out and took a few rolls of color film in a park near their home in Seattle.

Twins @ Sears : "Oh Really..."

Gua Go Round

Catherine Gua

Troy Gua

Sears and The Boating Party

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Saturday March 20th, 2010…4 couples + my friend Todd(not pictured in this image) and I entered the Sears Portrait Studio with a new challenge in mind. First we took several couples images, then the group shots. More pics to follow soon, either here or on my website. There were a few themes, dress as twins, and dress for a boating party, it could be for Renoir’s Boating Party, or any boating party, or you can be twins at a boating party. The process of working with groups always provides a certain degree of challenge for me. Who will cancel? Will there be enough people? Will it work? In the end, people cancelled, they always do, that’s just the nature of life, but there were plenty of people, everyone was stunning in there outfits, and we had a beautiful crew. Sears is a pleasure to work with, some of their poses can be so funny and I believe that all were entertained and engaged. In the end, it was a wonderful experience to create and participate in.

Renoir's Boating Party

Renoir's Boating Party at Sears

A Party with a Boat (Land, Ho!)

Bones on the Outside of my Body

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

The Dentist…ahhh.

Strangely meant like a pleasant sigh, because I love the dentist. On friday March 12th, I went in for my regular cleaning. Theresa, the dental hygienist, did a wonderful job with the sonic plaque remover, the scraper, floss and brushing. My pockets aren’t increasing and fortunately all seemed stable. Here’s a few pics from the morning.

Newest Wonderfuls Beauties…

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

From Feb.28th, stuff Julie Alpert, Andy Arkley and Chair.


Julie - I Love Your Hair

Julie, Andy, Wall and Stripes

Julie, Andy, Wall and Stripes

Yellow Chair, House and Hose

“Pay Attention, Pay Attention, Pay Attention,” said Kiki Smith

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Artist Lecture: Kiki Smith at Kane Hall, University of Washington, March 4th, 2010

Trying to find parking before a lecture can be torturous. My ticket was in will-call, so my friends dropped me off. Fortune would have it, that since my name falls in N-Z, I could head past several people, have my name checked, get a hand stamp and enter with all the ticket holders, 5th row, near the podium, not bad. My friends showed up and I ran to the bathroom. And who is peeing in the stall next to me, none other than Kiki Smith. I recognized her voice from videos. Her voice is very much her voice. So while washing hands, I asked, “Do you get nervous before these things?” She answered personably, “Oh these talks are fine, it’s just that they can go shitty or really great.”

It was a full auditorium, Liz Brown, Chief Curator of the Henry Art Gallery at the UW made a few thank-yous and gave the briefest introduction to the artist, who then took the podium. It were as though she was talking with us in the kitchen. She talked of being a print maker and how it can get a bad rap in the art world, about the hierarchy of mediums, and the accessibility today of the image, and its reproducibility. She talked about growing up with her father, the sculptor Tony Smith, and made statements like, “life wasn’t worth living if you didn’t make art.” and that inevitably, “it can be inherently dissatisfying, that’s why we keep going back to it.” She recommended that we pay attention, that artists can revitalize their surroundings, and see things in new ways. She said, “Creativity is given to you freely,” and later she joked, “but not all day, every day.” She suggested that we can have quiet spaces in our lives where we open up and listen.

She discussed examining meaning, turning things on all their sides, like in Cubism, ideas can exist simultaneously, they can be wholistic and conflicted. It was liberating to listen, and reassuring to trust one’s own process and just make. Probably what had the deepest impact was her sharing about being a maker, using her hands, drawing, tearing, twisting, cutting paper, making marks. That that is something we need to do. I was reminded of that tonight.

In the end her prediction at the sink was the latter of the two for me. Someone asked her, “do you always know the meaning of what you are working on while working?” She responded, “No, in the unknown we get to blossom, so blossom away.”