Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Onward through the Fog

She dreams of barnacles and branches
I've got an interesting horoscope from Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology for this first week of a new year:

"During the coming months, you may sometimes feel as if every last law and formula and corollary is mutating. In some cases, the new rules coming into play will be so different from the old rules you've been used to, they may at first be hard to figure out. But now here's the happy ending: It may take a while, but you will eventually see that these new rules have an unexpected logic and beauty that will serve your future well"

This comes as I plan a move out of my home studio into the Running with Scissors space over at 250 Anderson in the Bayside neighborhood.  I will still have a presence at  Constellation (will be sharing a wall with another artist there) and will continue to be a member of the Maine Artists Collective.  RWS will be a new type of working space for me as I've never been in a coop type situation with other artists around.  However, it does open more doors for working cooperatively with other people.  They will have a few group shows a year.  So this will be a "new rule" coming into play with me.

The other thing I'm looking forward to is another trip to Cuba with Elizabeth Opalenik and the Santa Fe Photography Workshop folks.  I'm jazzed that three of the folks on our trip last year (Penny, Anthony and Florence) are going the same week.  I will be working on my street photography skills, but the focus is on dance in Havana.  Hopefully we'll get to work with Afro-Cuban, Modern and Ballet dancers in a variety of locations.  I'll be there end of Jan and beginning of Feb.  So don't count on many blog posts from there, as internet situation has not improved I'm told.

Then about a week after I get back, I'll finally have that foot surgery to fix my bunion foot.  Of course this means it will take some time to get back into the studio... sounds like it's a 12 week healing process before I can even start PT.  However, that gives me time to work on a new performance piece I'm writing based on my adaptation of  Cherry Orchard called The Vineyard.  And I will finally watch all the videos I've collected over the years waiting for the right time to watch them!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Solstice

My digital woodcut Christmas Tree in Boat

Last night was supposed to be the longest night of the year, now we can look forward to more daylight as the new year dawns until the height of the summer solstice, when again we go round the sun.  Many new things are developing for the new year for me personally and professionally, but before we let go of 2013, how about a little Christmas music that you probably won't find on the radio or as muzak.

Bruce Cockburn's Christmas album is one of my favorites.  The following three tunes are from that album.  Rui Rui Chiu is a Spanish carol, Jesus Ahatonnia, is the first Canadian Christmas carol according to Cockburn:

"Otherwise known as 'The Huron Carol', ... It was written early in the 1600s by the Jesuit Fr. Jean de Brebeuf, who acquired fame and martyrdom soon after when he was ceremonially barbecued by members of the Iroquois confederacy, who went on to virtually obliterate the Hurons and their culture. 

They were encouraged in this by British colonial interests who were after control of French claimed territory, much of which was traditionally Huron. Those of this latter tribe who survived the wars were mostly absorbed into Iroquois communities. A few, however, stayed with the French colonies. Their descendants inhabit a couple of villages in modern Quebec, but their language has largely been lost. Special thanks are due to John Steckley for his help as translator and pronunciation coach."

I Saw Three Ships  is a British carol that I also like because you don't hear it very much.  In this post I'm experimenting with adding audio as I don't have enough time (nor Cockburn's permission to use his music) to make a video.  Since I'm crediting him for the music, I'm assuming I'm OK for that.  Will let you know if his barrister looks me up.

I'm posting links to the songs that were uploaded to Box using the word carol.  So click away and enjoy some different music of the season.  Wishing you and yours a holiday season of love and joy.   

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunday in Miami

Sunday was closing day of the show at Spectrum in Miami and wasn't as busy as one would have expected.   I decided to take more laps around our venue since I had focused on two other art fair venues.  Outside while I was on my way to get some lunch at this really interesting tapas and sushi joint.... odd combo I know but if you like small plates it works.  I had a Spanish style tomato & bread salad and a shrimp and tuna roll that was perfect, along with the last mojito of the trip.  On the way there, a good 3 blocks, I encountered this

Yes, a mobile gallery on the back of a motorcycle.  I was wishing I had a motorcycle or a scooter or something during the week, as traffic was miserable and the Miami trolly system was NOT reliable.  There were several times we waited for a half hour and then ended up walking back to the hotel for a cab.  If I ever go back, I am making sure I rent a scooter and helmet.

Another piece of Street Art or ?
Back at Spectrum, I wandered through the venue again and caught photos of these unusual things,  but I can't ID them b/c I forgot to take a photo of the ID cards.  If you know of any of these artists and their works, please let me know so I can credit them.

This painting impressed Bruce White, one of the artists I was showing with, with the well done really flat crushed components and the unusual perspective and the tight color palette. Me, I was not so wowed by it, but I did understand what he meant.

I thought this "cine-mobile" was an interesting combo of video and sculpture and I actaully did shoot the ID card

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Fat Lady Sang...

I can't lie and tell you I don't miss the Miami weather when the high here in Portland Maine will be 25 today.  But before I do a wrap-up on my experience at Spectrum with the wonderful artists at Bilhenry Gallery in Milwaukee, let's have a look at the only other fair I got a chance to see - Miami Project.  This big top is only in it's 2nd year and includes mostly galleries from California and New York with a sprinkling of Detroit, Boston, Albuquerque, Denver and D.C.  The event is managed by artMRKT Productions which also produces art fairs in San Francisco, the Hamptons and Texas.

But like Pulse, the art seemed a little edgier at Miami Project than at Spectrum.

Synesthesia, glass, collage and  acrylic by Dustin Yellin

In 1994 my father lost his vision due to a genetic disorder. His descriptions of eidetic hallucinations from his visual memory were disturbing and intriguing, and became an impetus in my artwork. The rapid deterioration of my own eyesight instigated my concentration on exploring ideas about the perceptions of what I see versus what others may see, and what is real and what is illusion.

Kelly O'Connor's Digital Prints which have cut out areas placed over a collaged area

Another O'Connor print, which were selling like hotcakes!  Most red dots for one particular artist I had seen all day.

But I think my favorite piece in this show, other than Cunningham-Little's light installation, were these little video players inserted into bell jars by David Zimmer.

It almost looked line he had little tablets in there with no backs on them...anyone want to hazard a guess as to how he did this?

There was also this artist who was just showing his work on the street.  I never did get a chance to talk to him to find out if he sold anything.

Of course, everyone has their own opinions on what's hot and what's not, including Paddy Johnson and the folks at Art Fag City which filed this report.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pulse Miami

Before I had to report for duty at the Spectrum Miami Art Fair where I was showing with Bilhenry Gallery, I got a chance to get over to the Pulse Miami Contemporary Art Fair.  Before I even walked in the door, there was art.
Yup, evidence of Shepard Fairey, whose stickers I've incorporated into an encaustic mixed media piece called "Obey Yourself"

Near the Fairey graffti was this other huge piece, but I couldn't find any evidence of the artist's name.

The fair was located at the Ice Palace Film studio which was cavernous and a perfect place for hundreds of galleries to show their work.  But before you walk into the place, there is this

Sputnik Returned by Brandon Vickerd
(Courtesy of Art Mûr,Montreal) Described as a metaphor for the failed promises of a future predicated on scientific advancement.  (Yeah, where's my Jetson's flying car? or my individual jet pack?)  In a way that work is indicative of much of the art at this fair - more conceptual than any other genre.  Or should I say I was drawn more to the conceptual work there.

Guns made of candy

"Dinner for Getting Lost" by MK Guth - Elizabeth Leach Gallery
This reminded me of one of my art heros, Joseph Beuys.

The two portraits above are by Oleg Dou from his Mushroom Kingdom Series from Senda gallery.  There's something creepy but intriguing about them.  They're C-Prints face mounted with acrylic.  Wonder how they're wired in back.

I think this is the artist's name for the following photos of a small installation.  Brilliant idea dealing with travel and trade, but it would have been nice to know which gallery it was from.  Unfortunately the Pulse program just names the galleries and not the artists.

This acrylic painting, Plastic Bags is by Frank Webber and one of the most lyrical takes on how people are trashing the planet.

I had to stop this young woman and ask to take a photo of her and her living hat, yes that's moss and live plants on her head.  She didn't have a card with her name on it and of course I've forgotten it, but she works for a local company called Plant the Future.  I really want one of those hats.

Opening Night

It was crazy, mad, fun and I got to meet the Daddy-O of Digital Art - Laurence Gartel - and got an invite to his "Dinner Show" on Saturday night!  You can see most of the photos I shot over at the Bilhenry Gallery blog, but here are a few more.

 I actually shot this the day before and didn't realize that my colorful great toe was included, but I like it.

 Our view at lunch yesterday at a great little restaurant called Casablanca, tucked away at the Double Tree hotel.

Dig those RED boots and Bilhenry Walker's great sculpture to the right.  Walking toward me is another one of our artists, sculptor Bruce White with John Kreutzberger in the distance to the left.

Next up is going over to the VIP brunch at Pulse Miami, located in a film studio called the Ice Palace Studios.  Bringing my big camera this time.  Until tomorrow, may the art be with you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It's Show Time....

I'll have more photos tomorrow from tonight's opening party at Spectrum Art Fair as well as the VIP brunch over at Pulse Miami, but for tonite I have this.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Middle Eastern Women Photographers & John Singer Sargent

  Believe it or not, there is a connection between Middle Eastern women photographers of the 21st century and 19th century painter John Singer Sargent, at least in my mind.  I had never had an appreciation for Sargent's work until I saw a show in Glasgow, Scotland, back in 1995 when my theatre company (Beyond the Proscenium Productions) took a new work compiled by Terrilyn Moore (Dancing with Desire: a Poetic Fandango with the Erotic & the Bawdy) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  On one of our rare days off from performing, JK and I took the train over to Glasgow and in a small museum I saw a show of Sargent's portraits including the daring one of Madame X.

I had never known what a renegade he was as an artist of his era.... as are the women photographers of the Middle East.  These thoughts courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where I recently saw both shows.  First let's have a look at the Sargent who painted his en plein air watercolors of women wearing voluminous clothing that was the style of the day, much like the clothing proscribed for women by certain religious governments in the Middle East.

He certainly had a mastery of his medium.  I like the way the background gets abstract in Woman with Shawl.
and then my favorite of the show
Now let's jump a couple hundred years into the present with this small but powerful exhibit of work by women photographers

Here are my favorite images from the show beginning with a beguiling still life.

Now, your intrepid traveler is in Miami for the madness known as Art Week.  I'm part of the show at Bilhenry Gallery at Spectrum Art Fair in the midtown area, where the cool graffiti park is located.  Tomorrow I go to install my work there.  In the bar of the hotel I'm at, a guy was telling me of his project at the Miami Yachet Club where he has made an alligator barge that will have tiles floating behind it.  Thanks for the glass of wine Lloyd, least I could do is post a link to your project!