slightly wonky

We survived Sandy…and my black & white cookies…
November 12, 2012, 12:50 am
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: ,

Yes, we survived Sandy.  Unfortunately, NYC and NJ can’t quite say the same.  It’s hard to believe what a disaster it is down there!!!  The worst that we had up here some raging wind and rain…my parents were without power from Monday to Friday, and a tree fell on a friend’s car.  So, we fared better than our hipper neighbors to the South.  As if THAT wasn’t enough…we also had a Nor’easter a few days later:

No joke.  That white stuff is the first snow of the season.  That was last Thursday…it was 35 degrees with snow and sleet, and it was miserable.  I was supposed to go to NYC that day for a friend’s gallery reception, but that seemed like a bad idea on account of both the weather and Sandy’s general chaos down there.  BOO HOO!

Today, in contrast, it was almost 60 degrees with bright sunshine.  Now, is that fair?  Hardly.  Well, that does mean that I can hold off on my incessant whining about the cold for at least a little bit longer!  (Aren’t YOU lucky!)  Speaking of cold…I was trapped in the house during Sandy with my sick 4 yr old son, and, naturally, my husband and I BOTH got his cold.  Ech.

In a vain attempt to cope with cabin fever and an excess of phlegm, I made a batch of misshapen black & white cookies:

Umm…okay, I know that they look really sad, but they were delicious and I practically ate the batch myself.  Aren’t I a good mommy? (I DID share SOME of them…)  My stir crazy son drew this on that day:

THAT…I’ll have you know…is a scene with a tyrannosaurs rex, a mastodon, a fortress, and a helicopter with large grappling claw attempting to pick up said mastodon.  BRILLIANT!  Okay, my favorite part is how he drew the jaw of the T.Rex…sort of with a piranha-like underbite.  I’m not sure if he drew this pre-cookie, or post-cookie.  Maybe pre-cookie, as he was likely to be tearing the house apart from the sugar rush post-cookie.  Joy!  I was probably hiding under the sofa at that point with my tray of cookies…

SO, my excuses for this blog post being late (and potentially boring) are:

1. Sandy

2. My son’s gross cold

3. My subsequent gross cold

4. The election

5. The nor’easter

6.  My black & white cookie induced coma.

I may be able to finally focus on something other than those six setbacks this week.  (Unless, I bake another batch of those cookies, of course!!!!!!)

I did get a chance to go over to the Decordova today.  This is a museum/sculpture park in Lincoln, MA.  I usually head into the main building to see what the latest show is.  Here’s what I saw:

Julianne Swartz, Loop, 2010

This sound/physical sculpture is part of Julianne Swartz’s current show, How Deep Is Your.  This sculpture is a a mesh of mostly colorful wires and tiny speakers emitting some quiet sounds that encourage you to step closer to hear better.  I am unfamiliar with her work, but I liked this.  It’s intriguing how the inorganic became organic…I also liked having to get closer to hear the sounds…almost like putting a shell next to your ear…kind of intimate…  Next:

Julianne Swartz, Obstacle, 2007

Okay, this…I loved too.  What you can’t see is that the fine, steel wire that is coming from the top of the concrete block is actually rotating slowly.  So, the small, paper form dangling from the wire slowly moves around the central blocks.  At first glance, you may think, “wha?..”  TRUST ME.  It’s mesmerizing.  I LOOOVE the contrast between the rough, heavy concrete blocks and the metal filament/fishing line/paper object.  Watching the delicate paper form slowly meander around, drag itself over the rock obstruction, and continue on was really amazing.  In many of her pieces, she has this tremendous ability to play with the feeling/pull of gravity…from the weighty concrete…to the delicate, dangling paper form…to the tenuous movement of this form slowly orbiting the blocks.  I was not expecting to be so enthralled by this.  Next:

Julianne Swarz, Stability Study (table), 2012

This was soooo beautiful too.  Is it not the most elegant thing you’ve ever seen???  Notice the fine wire that appears to be barely held up against the wood by the rough surface of the stone.  You can feel it’s tension as it bows either under the pull of gravity, or because it is being held in the bent curve by the rough stone’s surface.  Either way, I LOVE IT.  I love how powerful it makes these intangibles tangible.  All of the pieces on this floor of the museum benefited by having lots of SPACE around them.  The first example of her work that I show above I think would have benefited from this.  It felt too confined in the small room where it was located.

Anyway, I recommend seeing her work.  I think that you need space (and quiet) around you as well to appreciate what she’s doing.  Try to go on a day when it’s QUIET.  The day I went, there were tons of kids visiting the museum and I think that the staff were either going to flip out, have an aneurism, or pull out their tazers.  I assume that the artist wasn’t there, or else she would have been on the brink of insanity with the number of near misses/”DON’T TOUCH THAT!”s/and “JUST LOOK!!!”s.  It wasn’t very “zen” today.

This is NOT a kid friendly show.  Nor is it a cat friendly show, but hopefully that wasn’t an issue.  (Just sayin’.)

Upstairs, there were some other interesting works:

Jean Shin and Brian Ripel, Measuring the Depth of his own Nature, 2012

This was really beautiful.  This is an interpretation of Henry David Thoreau’s 1846 survey of Walden Pond.  The “pond” is drawn in graphite across these reclaimed wood planks.  I know.  I’m a sucker for graphite…but who isn’t?  (you MUST agree).  I love the depth created in this as well.  It appears that they have located the pond in perspective from a certain point…perhaps Thoreau’s house?  Not sure.  Look at the graphite!!!!!

Jean Shin and Brian Ripel, Measuring the Depth of his own Nature (detail), 2012

DREAMY!  Maybe this love of the monochromatic is somehow related to my black & white cookie obsession?  Probably.  Anyway, I loved this and thought that it was really beautiful and compelling.  This = the artwork, not the cookies.  Well, those cookies ARE pretty compelling…trust me.

There was also a photography exhibit, which was interesting.  I’m going to show a few that I especially liked:

Arthur Ou

The title of the work is either: Untitled (Double Light Leaks 2), 2010, or Untitled (Double Light Leaks 1), 2010.  This is a PHOTO!  I have to confess…I am not usually too interested in photography.  I know.  That’s sooo ignorant.  I love doing photography, but I am not usually drawn to seeing photography.  Very strange.  I think because I am so drawn to “mark making” and “texture”, which photography often lacks.  ANYWAY, I think this photo is gorgeous.  Take a look at his website above, as all of his work is amazing.  Next!

Lucas Blalock, Scenario for Barter, 2011

I loved this as well.  I love how it seems to be a painting or a collage.  I love how it’s a mix of flatness and depth…of abstraction and realism.  I love the palette too.  Coincidentally, another one of his works also appealed to me:

Lucas Blalock, Brid/Grid, 2011

This is so simple, yet so amazing.  It’s basically a photo of some gingham fabric with a clear, plastic sink protector on top of it.  BUT IT IS GORGEOUS!  He’s brilliant.  I love how you can barely see the plastic grid on top…almost like a jellyfish washed ashore.  These are mundane objects that have been so skillfully transformed.

Speaking of mundane objects skillfully transformed…GO AND SEE MY ART SHOWS THIS WEEK!  Yes, this is the FINAL week that they are open.  NO JOKE.  RUN…don’t WALK over to:

Towne Gallery at Wheelock College / 180 The Riverway, Boston

Concord Art Association / 37 Lexington Road, Concord

Sorry for the shameless self promotion.  The cookies made me do it…

Pencil drawing by the ever-brilliant/slightly unstable E. Kostojohn


4 Comments so far
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You are funnier (generally)  than Erma Bombeck (your mother will tell you who she was). Where is your studio, or do you work at the kitchen table? iris chandler    


Comment by Iris Chandler

Thanks, Iris! I know Erma Bombeck!

I work from home. I have an area in the basement with a desk & shelves. I’m not using a big etching press, so I can manage to do my work without needing an outside studio. I hope that you’re finding places to do your work!

Comment by slightlywonky

Not know Irma Bombeck…how reclusive does Iris think you are? Sheesh! Your cookies look like art to me, why haven’t I ever met them? I think you should have an open house featuring massacred fruit and fabulous cookies…it could be a monochromatic show. I think I would also find Obstacle mesmerizing, I must make a point to go see it. Sorry you missed the show in NYC but happy you survived the NE weather unscathed.

Comment by growingmuses

I’d be happy to introduce you to those cookies… 🙂
You’ve given me an idea: maybe if I provide cookies at my next shows, I’ll get a record turnout! Hmmm…

Comment by slightlywonky

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