slightly wonky


To boldly go where you’re not wanted…
November 16, 2012, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Fleeting thoughts... | Tags: , , ,

Yes, I did that.  I sent a “press package” of my artwork to the ICA Boston.  Don’t laugh…I know.  WHAT WAS I THINKING???  This wasn’t my idea though.  The woman who is the gallery director at Wheelock College suggested that I do this.  BUT, I’m to blame for actually doing it.

To the ICA’s credit, they did mail me back my stuff with a nice rejection letter:

I thought that was quite kind of them!  Right now, I have my artwork up in two locations.  As a result, I have sent many harassing emails and press packets out to people.  I have received a response, both negative, from only two individuals/institutions: 1. The ICA, 2. Cate McQuaid of the Boston Globe.  On the plus side: even though they both had to say “no”, I do appreciate that they responded to me.  On the negative side: now, the ICA may have some kind of restraining order on me…or have put me on the “watch” list of crazy local artists.  No matter!  I was just happy to have a response, albeit a total form letter.  The ICA must know that crazy artists like attention.

I did go to the ICA this week, just to see what was going on there.  LUCKILY, they had JUST put up a new show and I got to see it because it was MEMBER PREVIEW DAY.  Brilliant!  (you can see, though, the slippery slope that is created with such things…those that can afford a membership get treated differently and some may mistakenly think that this makes them more “special” or “important” than non-members…)  I’m going to stop myself now from going on a political rant.  Here’s the ICA, for those of you who haven’t been:

It’s a lovely building by Diller +Scofidio (now, Diller Scofido+Renfro).  I realized that I wasn’t in the ‘burbs anymore when I saw this sign nearby:

Really?  This practically warrants an entire blog post, but I’ll spare you THAT nonsense.

The big show that the ICA has now is called: This Will Have Been: Art & Politics in the 1980sSebastian Smee, of the Boston Globe, has written a really insightful review of the show here.  Please read it.  Now, in an artfully planned juxtaposition, if you are interested in a NON-INSIGHTFUL review, read on!

I’ll show some images first:

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983

I love Basquiat.  I love his work because I am interested in both how it looks and what I think that it’s telling me.  I could stare at this all day (but the previously mentioned possible ICA restraining order may prevent that…)  I love how this work seems to me to capture Basquiat’s ruminations…with doodles, overlapping marks, lofty and banal thoughts…LOVE.IT.  Why can’t my doodles look this good?  I’ll bet he could make my angst laden grocery list look awesome.  Grocery lists aren’t edgy though, FYI.  Maybe Basquiat’s lists were?  I’ll bet that he didn’t go to Stop & Shop, though.

There is a lot of work on exhibit by many of the “heavy hitters” at that time: Richter, Koons, Mapplethorpe, etc.  Overall, this is a pretty cerebral show.  It seems to be capturing the spirit of that time, without trying to present the “highlights” of art during that period.  It’s a culturally centered show, rather than art centered.  (is that insulting?  I hope not.)  I enjoyed the show intellectually (if that’s possible for me to do considering my mild case of mommybrain,) but my general delight in the art itself wasn’t quite there. Probably my lack of cerebral-ness/cerebralosity was the cause.  (see? case in point.)  Here’s one that made me go, “hmm…”:

Haim Steinbach, Untitled (Cabbage, Pumpkin, Pitchers) #1, 1986

No, that is not one of my shelves at home.  Any shelf of mine would have more stuff on it.  Hmmm.  Who is this making fun of?  The art world?  The audience?  The bourgeoisie? (eh?)  Our capitalist culture?  Maybe it’s not making fun of anyone???  I kind of want that pumpkin.  I wonder where he got it from?  I actually like this piece better in retrospect.  I guess he’s tying these disparate consumer goods together through form and palette and elevating it to “Art”?  Hmm.  I’d like it even more if I could take that pumpkin home with me.  My take away from that piece of art is that I want that pumpkin.

From a drawing standpoint, I liked this:

Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Amerika VIII, 1986-87

I like the materials, the mix of flatness and depth, the weirdness…  This somehow feels less “80s” to me, but that’s because I remember the 80s as an excess of neon, boxy clothing and acid washed jeans.

Kinda like that.  What can you expect, though?  I was a kid in the 80s.  If I wasn’t cerebral then, I haven’t gotten any better on that account.  I still love neon, though.

Another show that they had that I REALLY liked was the work of Os Gemeos.

Os Gemeos, Back in the Days, 2008

I love the feel of these paintings.  I also love the space that is created inside that subway car.  Next:

Os Gemeos, Untitled, 2008

Do you know who owns that one?  Lance Armstrong!!!  I kid you not.  This could be the famous Lance Armstrong, or I suppose it could be some CPA in Hoboken.  I’m voting for it being the doping bike guy.

They also have sculptural works:

closer:

Os Gemeos, Os Musicos, 2008

I love that too! Apparently this piece can make sounds, but they only do that on occasion.  My membership did not also grant me a turn playing chopsticks on the keyboard.

I sometimes felt that the art looked like illustration to me, except that the content was usually a bit dark.  Can someone please explain the difference between art and illustration?  Perhaps that’s the difference?  Intent?  I like that the boundary between art and illustration isn’t clear to me in these works.  Yet again, the ICA brings the unexpected to view, and I’m reminded again of how there are no rules, and how the ones that do exist keep changing. (how’s that for nonsense?)

WHEW!  That’s enough thinking for one day!  Now, I have to go to Stop & Shop and search for a vegan dinner that somehow makes itself…(if you answered PBJ sandwich, you’ve just qualified yourself to be a domestic slacker too!  You are now a MEMBER of THIS most prestigious and venerable group of grocery store haters!  Welcome!  The receipt from your most recent pizza delivery constitutes your membership card, which, of course, has no expiration date.WOO HOO!!!!!!!!)



Don’t expect greatness this week…

I have no new drawings to show.  But, what I am missing in my own work…I plan to make up by my entertaining photos.  Guess what I bought this week????  Only the coolest thing on the planet:

Do you know what that is?  (besides the obvious…)  IT’S A PURSE!  I kid you not.  Can you see the two zippers?  Whoever came up with this idea…truly spoke to my soul.  Here it is OPEN:

Come on.  You love it, right?  It doesn’t NEED to open…but it does.  BRILLIANT!  Where did I get this fabulous item, you may ask?  From Dick Blick.  Seriously!  My kind brother and sister-in-law got me a gift certificate.  I’m sure that this is not what they imagined I would buy…but, in addition to some art supplies, I felt that this item was calling my name.  No, I’m not really hearing voices, but hasn’t a hamburger ever spoke to you?  Did I mention that I’m trying to be vegan?  Hmm.  Actually, it is kind of making me hungry looking at it…

Yesterday, I met with Erica Licea-Kane.  Besides being an accomplished artist, she is ALSO the director of the Towne Art Gallery at Wheelock College in Boston.  Do you know WHY I met with her?  BECAUSE I am going to be in a TWO person show this fall AT this gallery!  I kid you not.  I’m very excited.  Here is what the space looks like:

Pretty cool, right???  I’ll get the wall on the left.  I need thirteen drawings for this show.  Although I currently have twenty…the Concord Art Association is going to have ten of them at the time of the Towne Gallery Show.  SO…I need three more…PANIC.  I literally could not sleep last night stressing about this.  Why am I writing this post instead of drawing? Who knows.  Screwed up priorities, I guess. 

Speaking of drawings…this is the creation I made this week with my son:

He is obsessed with building demolition.  Every drawing that he makes is a building being demolished.  How did he get this idea, you ask?  Because, like the brilliant mom that I am…I show him videos of building demolition on You Tube.  This is one of his favorites.  Did you watch it?  I have seen that probably forty million times.  Anyway, it kind of leaves an impression, right?  So, those images are burned in my son’s mind.  Hence, this is what he draws:

Let me describe to you some of the objects that are falling off the side of the building: a square table, a round table, four table legs, plates, a pizza cutter, a mattress.  My son doesn’t know that people usually EMPTY a building before taking it down.  He imagines all of the contents falling out.  One drawback to this subject matter is that he tends to scribble all over the drawing to show the “dust” from the crumbling building.  I feel that too much “dust” on a drawing covers up all of the other brilliant things, so sometimes I have to try to distract him so that he won’t scribble all over the drawing before I can get my hands on it.

Here’s something that I keep thinking about.  I look at this drawing, and realize that his drawing ability (compared to other 4.5 yr olds) is not conventially “good.”  BUT…he loves drawing, and I think that his drawings are GREAT in their non-conventional way.  I fear that he will someday have an “art teacher” at school who will crush his enthusiasm by pointing out how is drawings aren’t “good” (i.e. realistic).  There are SOOOO many people who have had that experience.  I will have to have a heated parent/teacher conference if that happens to my son.  Heaven forbid.  Let’s hope that antiquated way of thinking has gone the way of the tsquare.  (btw…they still sell those at Dick Blick, just not in the same aisle as the hamburger purses…)

Just so you know…for the next two weeks, I’ll be in Seattle.  I can’t guarantee a blog post…but MAYBE if you’re LUCKY…i’ll post some Seattle pics.  That is IF I remember my camera…and IF my son does not smear saliva all over the lens again.  (btw…did I mention that it’s my birthday today?  Hence, I treated myself to that hamburger purse.  You know you want one.) Happy 4th!




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