Friday, February 25, 2011

Great Photograph

Amazing photograph my Aunt found of my Popi (grandfather) in his 1960's kitchen with dog Yum-Yum.

Bay Area Love

This is an amazing book:
With a lot of color illustrations of amazing paintings like this:

Still Life with Butter Dish, 20 x 16.25, Oil on Canvas, 1957
Which reminds me to tell you about this guy:
Mitchell Johnson, a contemporary artist working in Palo Alto, California.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

NYC Gallery Shows

Melancholy Breakfast from Stones, Larry Rivers and Frank O'Hara

This was my favorite piece in the Tibor de Nagy show Painters and Poets. There were quite a few nice drawings and paintings as well.

I also saw the Lois Dodd show at Alexandre Gallery which was great because I have never seen her work in person and she is a visiting artist at PAFA in March!

Blair Pond Frozen, 2010
Oil on Masonite

NYC Conference Summary

I spent the last three days in New York for the CAA Conference. It was hard to know what to expect so I figured I'd share if you are curious. The one thing I suspected was that it'd be tough to make any progress on the job front, and that was true. There were only a few recruiters and they were all looking simultaneously really busy and really bored.

We went to some lectures and meetings and things ranging from really good to really bad. The really bad involved artists and gallerists explaining how definite failure would be unless we (emerging artists) take charge, create our own scene, make connections in a natural way etc. and at that point I was wondering why I paid to hear how I shouldn't go to established events like this one to learn about things I already know....

But anyways on to the good because that is what I like to dwell on here. The highlight of the conference was a panel of artists including Petah Coyne, Vija Celmins, Philip Taaffe, Robert Gober and Janine Antoni. I felt sort of star struck. The topic was the artist's mind when they are not in the studio or something like that. It seemed like the instructions to the artists on what to talk about were kept really broad which I loved. The stories they told and ways they presented themselves really mimicked their work and personalities.

Vija Celmins spent her 15 minutes talking about her garden in Sag Harbor and Swedish detective novels which was wonderfully intimate and mundane at the same time (so true to her painstaking and beautiful work, pictured below: charcoal on paper)

Philip Taafe spoke more philosophically: he praised idleness and what happens when you know how to look at the world in a slow and deliberate way.

Robert Gober told personal stories of times he was not making art including a very important cross country trip which included visiting Matthew Shepard's fence. He said everything he learned in life he had to figure out for himself (which I liked in light of the conference).

Janine Antoni performed a dance which she said allowed her to feel the spaces between one form (herself) and another (us). She was engaging and self confident like the work she produces.

Finally, Petah Coyne. She spoke first but I saved her for last because she was my favorite. She showed her work and with each piece told the 'wandering memory' it was based on and the book she liked to think of it connecting to. For example she told a story of housing war vets in her home as a child and how they "moved as if in honey jars through the house." Everything she said was poetic and incredibly beautiful. The work too, physically, seemed to conjure up this poetic memory space that I am so interested in.

Finally, something I observed was that all the artist's seemed in awe of one another. A little intimidated of how creative and talented each was but proud to be peers. I was in awe of that fact and am constantly in awe of my artist friends and peers and hope to continue on this way using the panel's advice to always allow life to enter in and use it when I make work.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good Things

1. Because I am graduating soon, attending the CAA conference and generally needing to be more professional I have made some updates. New business cards and uploads to my website!

2. Second good thing is the song Long Way by Antje Duvekot. So nice.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Richard Baker Interview

Here is an excerpt from an interview of Richard Baker (shows at Tibor de Nagy) with John Yau. It was published in the Brooklyn Rail (great publication!) last February. Pretty much sums up my feelings exactly and I'm guessing could mean a lot to other painters right now. See the complete interview here...

Baker: Well, I never set out to be a still-life painter. It’s not something I chose to be. Matter of fact, I found myself early on feeling shocked and nearly embarrassed that, wait a second, I’m a still-life painter—how’d that happen? So if I was going to embrace that genre, which I did, I effectively had to elbow out the edges of it. Take the things that are banished from it and try and have them re-enter the picture.

Yau: And there is the formal element because within your paintings is the constant examination of the relationship of things to the picture plane. You are painting flat things—books, photographs, and reproductions, for example—that are “placed” on a severely tilted plane. The surface of this plane—a table—is tilted in a very precarious way….you feel like the world is slipping away just as you’re trying to grasp it. Seeing is not fixed, but fluid. In your paintings I feel that the world is at once fulsome and material and it’s sliding off the picture plane.

Baker: We are bodies that apprehend these things through our senses, through touch, smell, sight, even through hearing, and as a painter, I mean I could be a photographer, and I’d eliminate that sort of experience. The porcelain—I mean somebody made this thing in the world. And then, as a painter, I apply colored mud and make another representation. I have to be concerned with the sheen of light, the matte surface, the density of the object. I have to try to represent all of it with this oily colored mud and that’s part of being a living, breathing, feeling being.

Yau: So in your painting of broken glasses, you seem to be acknowledging that chaos is always there, that things do fall apart, and that nothing is perfect. And I think that that becomes another element of meaning in the work.

Baker: Are you saying that it’s acknowledging that this too shall pass, that it doesn’t last forever?

Yau: Yeah.

Baker: It’s like a memory.

Yau: Norman Bryson said that one of the things that makes still-life different from all other paintings is that it banished narrative, but what you’re saying is that that’s not true, that a lot of still-life does embody the narrative in that you can connect the dots.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Annabel Gault

Elisabeth Cummings

Elisabeth Cummings
Idris Murphy
Idris Murphy
Here are three contemporary painters whose work I like a lot and see a lot of similarities between. Their interests in gesture, landscape, color and form are all inventive and felt. Gault shows at Red Fern in London and Cummings and Murphy show at King Street in Australia. All info on the paintings can be found at these websites.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PAFA Open Studios

PAFA is having open studios on Friday February 11th. Come by, I'm studio 813!