I have had a great honor by being featured in a ad campaign to promote the National Museum of Women in the Arts turning 25. I even had the rare pleasure of having this ad featured in the Delta Air in flight mag. N.M.W.A. allowed me to select a work. I chose a Victoria Sambunaris piece. In art speak I explained basically how inspiring her works are to me. Check her works out. Thanks Jenny for taking the pics.
"Immortal Decay" the upcoming show from Olivia Rodriguez at Curator's Office. The intimate size of Curator's Office should lend itself to her work because of the detailed nature of these hand-made sculptures. Olivia has a skill set that I have rarely seen in a DC, but she isn't totally a DC artist. She has lived in Boston and NYC for years before moving here. Her hyper real sensibilities and approach allows for us to see slime on the backs of slugs and the ashy, powdery dust of a drying mushroom. Nature's soft violence is showcased beautifully as she presses pause on Mother Nature. I noticed how the victims in her work are often willing and passive to their aggressors. We never see the attack. We arrived too late, but we witness the casual feast of the wasps sucking the sugar from chewed gum or the decay of a half eaten mushroom that a moth left behind. Her once healthy trees are broken at the base showing its jagged wooden core leaving us to wonder whats unknown force that snapped this rigid monster in half. The fragility and the weight in the legs of her little insects are excellent. The legs of the insects touch the surface in a such a minute way that it looks as if it might sprint for the seam in the wall.
Curator's Office is a perfect place for richly detailed show like this to take place. This is a show worth seeing just for the details and expert hand work.
Immortal Decay opens July 14th
By Stephen Mack
Being selected to join a group show is always exciting but being selected by an artist/curator whose work you follow is hugely inspiring. So when Stephen Mallon wrote to tell me he was curating a show at the Bristol Biennial in England and wanted to include me, I hit the ceiling. I saw Stephen Mallon’s work about one year ago at Fountain art fair in Miami. An isolated mangled Airbus suspended above frozen waters of a river. The jet, illumined by the harsh, warm glow of mercury lights, left me inspired. It’s a haunting image. It turned out to be Sully Sullenberger's Airbus 320 that crashed into the Hudson, but all that didn’t matter to me. This was simply a bad ass photo.
"Music and its lyrics can always stimulate our emotions and it can have us contemplating a visional narrative. Lyrics have been known to be the fodder of some of the greatest works in the world. This exhibition will illustrate the artists personal transcription from a songs lyric to canvas"
March 19, 2011
@ 323 East Gallery - Detroit
Painting is a matchless medium. The painter doesn't have an undo button or an option to save alternate versions. A work never has a true end point and each painting is the only copy. This builds charter in an artist. Often you are scarifying strong elements in the hopes of making stronger ones. You tamper with your best moments so they might be outdone. But adding a few more touches can dilute the power of the work, just as too few can appear unfinished.
Sometimes the best move is to walk away with intent to return. I have started a work and left it in my studio for more than a year, came back and resolved it. But all work can't reside in the studio, end points are arranged. Recently I saw a work I sold years ago and wished I had a palette loaded with paint. It needed a few touches.
Whenever I feel that I recall a story about Pierre Bonnard. He had his first major U.S. show at the Phillips Collection and the Phillips knew Bonnard was a notorious reworker. The Phillips' house was part of the museum, and the family hid Marjorie Phillips' painting supplies. The Phillips decided which paintings they planned to acquire and didn’t want Bonnard to alter them. While installing his show, Bonnard insisted on paint and brushes and was told there were none on the premises. Bonnard left for France after the show ended, and the Phillips sent him large photos of the acquired works for his records. Bonnard painted on the photos, explaining these are the changes I would have made, and mailed them back. He explained that the works would have greatly improved if you would have given me paints.
I reflect on the story often. I know these paintings well, they are some of my favorite works in the collection. But Bonnard's frustration is something I understand. I can see why he might think they are unfinished. They are some of the least muddy, freshest works and have major vitality. Perhaps his finest works at the time. And still, I wonder what changes Bonnard would have made to the paintings. I can’t imagine the works would have been much better than they are. But that is the artist's milieu, to heighten what another's eye would deem complete.
Thanks Emily Lyons for the edit
CIRCLE OF PAINTERS
Saturday, Oct. 9, 20104pm @ Civilian Art Projects,
1019 7th Street NW, Second Floor
I love Non-places. I haven't wanted to paint much more that since I began
painting. Recently I was invited into a show curated by Jeffry Cudlin. The
painting for the show included a figure. It gave me the chance to paint flesh.
It made me wonder if I should paint flesh more often. The warm fleshy hues and
soft modulations got me thinking I was missing a pleasurable aspect to
painting. So this past week I had a
model sit for me. It gave me a chance to paint flesh. Oh gosh it was a challenge
but I loved it.
Since High School one list has always been on my studio wall. I knew Richard Diebenkorn’s works had lessons in them but his “Noted to Myself on Beginning a Painting” helps explain his working process but more than that it is a ground floor for any painter who wants to move his works forward. I try to apply one percent of his lesson to every painting.
Noted To Myself On Beginning A Painting
by Richard Diebenkorn
1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.
2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued- except as a stimulus for further moves.
3. Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.
4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider then absolutely expendable
5. Don't 'discover' a subject- of any kind.
6. Somehow, don't be bored- but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential
7. Mistakes can't be erased but they move you from your present position
8. Keep thinking of Pollyanna
9. Tolerate chaos
10. Be careful only in a perverse way.