Monday, October 29, 2007

For Smitty...

Have you seen this?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Farewell liebchen

My favorite uncle passed away yesterday afternoon. I'm struggling to make sense of it and as I am chewing on the sadness that comes from losing someone I have also been thinking about the things that made him so great.

When I was a kid my uncle seemed so exotic. He was traveled, well read, and witty with a knack for dark humor. Having spent a good amount of time living in Germany he referred to those closest to him as liebchen and I have been fortunate to count myself among those lucky few these past 31 years.

Uncle, spent considerable time working in faraway places, every where from Alaska to Moscow and many places in between. I can vividly remember him cooking meals for us when he stayed with our family that consisted of spartan ingredients, composed in a single pot which were almost always outstanding. He introduced me to cowboy coffee - yum - and head cheese - not so yum - and that really great German mustard that comes in the little glass beer mug with the white plastic lid. First and foremost he was concerned with eating and living as well as one's means would provide, whether it be a spaghetti dinner served with a jug of Carlo Rossi in some god forsaken hell hole or a glass of good red with olives and assorted cheeses enjoyed at an establishment that to use his words "was a tad more civilized." Growing up I always knew when he called because I could hear my mother describing to him what we had for dinner that night.

Getting to know him as a child lit a spark in me that continues to this day. Uncle seemed so independent and above all interesting that whether I was conscious of it or not I aspired to that level of adventure one day myself. While I haven't ever enjoyed the benefit of an armed escort in the middle east, nor have I spent considerable years in a land where prolonged daylight is experienced a scant few months of the year, I've had some times, although very few comparably. After OMF and I got engaged I took him up north to meet uncle and remember him telling OMF this great story about never, ever, rejecting hospitality bestowed upon you by a foreign host, especially in a poor region. Even if you are convinced that what they serve you might make you crap like a goose for 3 weeks straight, if they offer you tea, you take the tea and thank them for it. I have thought of that story often since, especially when we travel.

Uncle's dying wish was for those he cared about to enjoy themselves as much as possible in the coming days. That said I'm getting ready to go to NY in two days and I'm gonna try my darnedest!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Friendly reminder

Hey Folks,

I want to remind anyone who doesn't already know about tonight's lecture that Emily Prince is speaking at 6pm in Kadema Hall at Sac State. Prince recently represented the US in the Venice Biennale with her work American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis nor the Afghanis). This should be an interesting talk!

While I'm at it I started reading the article in the recent New Yorker about Barzun last night. So inspiring!!! While I don't agree with him on his opinions concerning art - in fact I feel that the opposite of what he believes to be true - the idea that someone who is 100 years old still spends his days reading and writing and enjoying a Manhattan before dinner rules! I also can't imagine living through WWI, WWII, and Vietnam as well as being familiar with the work of everyone from Gleizes and Duchamp to Hirst and Barney. His wealth of knowledge and experience is humbling to put it mildly.

Here's an excerpt:

Next month, Barzun will turn one hundred. Among his areas of expertise are French and German literature, music, education, ghost stories, detective fiction, language, and etymology. Barzun chooses to think of himself as an “amateur,” someone who takes genuine pleasure in what he learns about. More than any other historian of the past four generations, Barzun has stood for the seemingly contradictory ideas of scholarly rigor and unaffected enthusiasm. Mentions Barzun’s famous quote about baseball and his fear that he will be remembered only for those fourteen words. Tells about Barzun’s childhood in France. His parents regularly hosted gatherings of avant-garde artists such as Cocteau, Brancusi, Kandinsky, and Duchamp. These salons came to an end with the start of the First World War.

Sadly, the full version isn't available online. I think it's still on stands though...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scenes from the Struggle

About three weeks ago I found this awesome recliner in the alley behind Smitty and Skipo's house and tossed it into the back of my pickup. Turns out it used to belong to H Conway Esq and MRM. It has the most amazing wear of any chair I've ever seen. The chip board is showing through on the footrest for god sake! After finding out that it used to belong to HCE and MRM I've now decided that I need a chair from the Lady Banana MD to complete my Bananas suite of chair work.

After some initial experiments I decided that hair would be the perfect material to compliment this object. I fiddled with an array of different colored hair extensions before choosing this copper penny, strawberry blond color. I now have about 45 hours into it.

The day after I began the project I went to a lecture where this stuffy broad pitched a stink about what was and was not art and that Jenny Holzer isn't an artist because she uses text. I shot a retort at her and then thought to myself "and now I must retire to my studio and get back to sewing hair extensions into a stratolounger." I wonder what she would have thought of that.

Now that it's just me and the janitor left in the building and my back is so sore from crouching over the chair for the last 9 hours that I can barely sit up straight and because I have to pee and the janitor hasn't yet attacked the pile of poopy toilet paper on the floor in the ladies - which is now being worked on by an ant swarm - I think I'm gonna call it. I'm so super nervous that I won't get everything done b4 NY but I don't know that I need to work all night tonight. Maybe tomorrow...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Light my fire?

OMF and I along with a secret special guest were treated to a "glimpse of what the New Crocker will be when it opens in 2010."

We headed outside for some free champagne and I encountered this lovely ice sculpture. While waiting in line for the bar I overheard two older women standing behind me vowing that their breasts would never sag that low. When I pointed the sculpture out to OMF he began referring to it as Angelina Jolie.

Before leaving that night we made a trip to the contemporary wing to take a gander at my favorite piece of art in Sac. Portrait of My Father by Stephen Kaltenbach is one of the very few pieces I have come in contact with in Sac which absolutely stopped me in my tracks. When I first encountered it in the Museum I thought that the image was being projected onto a large canvas. It wasn't until I looked around for the projector and got close enough to the canvas that I noticed that luminosity was coming from within the work. Kaltenbach spent 7 years working on this painting in a barn in Winters and whenever I spend any amount of time looking at I wonder what it means to make a work like this and when, if ever, you decide that it's done and you can walk away. If you haven't seen this piece before it's worth the price of admission by itself.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The Astorga/Tolentino show up at the Sac State Witt Gallery right now is THE BOMB! 4 reals!!!

Sadly, because no student show lasts more than a week on the campus tomorrow will be your last day to catch it. It closes at 4:30pm. Despite it being a workday and the fact that you will have to pay to park you must, must, must check it out. This work is well thought out and executed, and terribly ambitious. They constructed a dummy wall in the gallery for god sakes!

Here are some images from tonight's reception to spur you into action...

This was a wire fence that was erected in the space and viewers were invited to install whatever objects they found in the gallery on it. My contributions included a deflated Marine World Africa USA balloon, a fortune cookie, and a pair of used eye glasses.

On the back wall of the show Astorga and Tolentino dismembered an upright piano and installed it into a dummy wall that they had created. Surrounding the piano were a variety of tools one could use in order to achieve various sounds from the exposed piano strings. Those who chose to "play" the piano were recorded and the sounds were then replayed while other viewers stepped up to make their sound contributions. The atmosphere created in the gallery was absolutely enveloping, strange, and giddy.

Painter of light Omar Thor Arason along with who I believe may have been Tolentino's brother play the piano with the aid of a wheelchair wheel and a tireless bicycle rim.

More piano footage. Fun for all!

Upon exiting the show the mothers of the two artists - yikes I was gonna make a bad Zappa joke there and refrained - provided showgoers with a plate of homemade delights including chicken adobo and lumpia deep-fried on location.

Whoever reads this take note! These dudes need a show in midtown and it needs to be up for more than a measly week.

Congrats guys!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pickle surprise!

Okay, for starters if you've never seen Tom Rubnitz' Pickle Surprise or Strawberry Shortcut do it now. Maybe more than once. Speaking of surprises... while googling Tom this afternoon I came across this:

After watching the initial video and then going to the official website I'm stumped. I'm not sure if this is a sex thing or just a weird hobby or maybe a nonsexual fetish. Has anyone else heard of this? What the hell?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunrise, sunset

There were many a highlight on our trip to Socal this weekend. For starters I got to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at the Flying J while hearing the news that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Take that Dubya, ya moron!

Lunch was yummy. I thoroughly recommend the Flying J truck stop just south of Stockton on 5. Of course my eating habits have been so poor lately that usually by the time I sit down to eat I feel like a starved animal so a lot of things probably taste good to me these days.

While leaving the J OMF cracked me up when he told me that the Who's Tommy is the worst album ever made. I asked him what the best was and he said that there is no such thing. When I asked how there can be a worst if there's not best he said, "because there's Tommy."

Malibu was beautiful - a touch artificial in the way that parts of socal can be - but beautiful none the less. When th' ol' man and I were wandering around before the wedding on Saturday I laughed out loud when we stumbled upon an empty bottle of Veuve Clicquot in the gutter. That's how they roll in the 'bu. I'm also fairly certain that I saw Jason Lee in the passenger seat of a merc station wagon whose spotting led to a funny conversation about who Jason Lee is and that he appeared with Stan Lee in the movie Mallrats.

The wedding was unbelievable. There were actually dolphins jumping in the ocean behind AH and AA as they recited their vows. After the wedding I had a wonderful time trying to dance along in a hora although I never did the kicks right. During dinner we watched the sunset on the water. I have since decided that all weddings should take place on the ocean.

Not long after we arrived in Malibu an enormous car crash stopped the grapevine in both directions. It's my understanding that it is still closed. As a result we drove up highway 33 through a number of teeny tiny towns and rugged hills. It was our initial hope that we would stay in Bakersfield, however, the accident booked hotel rooms from the Grapevine to Tulare plump full. We drove on looking for a room and finally came to the Budget Inn Motel on the outskirts of Tulare. We got a spanky clean room for the low, low price of $55 with the surprise bonus of a non stop porn channel! I don't know if I've ever stayed in a room that provided free continuous porn to its guests and I've been in many a motel. As I snuggled into bed I decided not to think too much about what their regular clientele must be like.

On the way home we passed a sign for the Fresno Underground Gardens. I just googled them and they look so cool! We also drove by the sign for Pollardville and I had to choke back a tear noticing that the chicken has been removed from the top of the sign.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Doin' the 'bu

I gotta admit, my posts this week have been dullsville. Fortunately, I have the piece of my dreams to blame. I found the best object ever the other day along with my new favorite material - synthetic hair where have you been all my life? - and have been in studio heaven. I'm so blissed out that I've been inviting anyone and everyone into my studio to show them what I'm working on. OMF and I are going to Malibu - the mythical place where Barbie and pregnant Midge live - for a wedding tomorrow and I'm actually feeling sad to be leaving my work for 2 whole days. Although, I suppose I should be happy to be anxious about taking a break from good work as opposed to needing a break from the monotony of false starts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So good!

This is really boring of me but Boing Boing's on fire today - although Boing Boing is on fire most days - from the faux drive-in post to The Jan Bekman Gallery's $20 a week print series. So much to read!!!

While I'm at it... To everyone who has ever had to write a press release about themselves or put together a press package, Art Fag City made this outstanding and super helpful post yesterday on the subject.

back to work, ho hum...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

C ya wouldn't wanna Nietzsche!

"It is difficult to bungle a good idea" - Sol Lewitt

I've decided that my inspiration from here on out will only come from the lolcats translation of the holy bible and the teachings of Sol Lewitt. Between the two I think I have my bases covered. Perhaps I'll start my own site in the same vein as the teaches of Kiedis only it will be devoted to the teaches of Sol Lewitt. I think I'll have a difficult time finding as many sexy pics of my subject as there are of Kiedis on his site tho'. I'm not so sure it will speak to the kids in the same way either. What can ya do?

Speaking of good ideas... last Sat my new buddy lil' B and her delightful beau J helped me shoot the current piece I'm working on. It was great! I got to use a bunch of crazy equipment and learn more about lighting and the technical aspects of digital photography then I ever have before. Now comes the editing process.

Nietzsche as a young man before he got that crazy push broom goin'.

On Sunday I officially wore myself down to a nub so I spent most of the day in bed catching up on homework and falling in love with Nietzsche. There's really nothing not love. My nerdiness knew no bounds when last night OMF and I got in an argument about whether I was more Apollonian or Dionysian. I was fighting for Dionysian and OMF thought I was Apollonian and in the end he sort of won.

We finally got rid of the worlds ugliest light on Sunday too. See ya later jerk!

Monday, October 8, 2007

lol Genesis

"And Ceiling Cat sayz, i can has light? and teh light wuz."

My fascination with lolcats knows no bounds. After spending considerable time looking at lolcats and postsecret lolcats, I have now moved on to the lolcat translation of the bible. Old and New Testaments of course. After checking out Genesis I can safely say that someone has a lot more time on their hands than I do, that's for sure.

"And Ceiling Cat sawed it wus the goodz, so wai."

Friday, October 5, 2007

Surface to air

My Q&A with Geoff Tuttle is up on the MM site now so check it out and more importantly... go see Geoff's show this month at the Brickhouse Gallery. The reception is on the 13th of this month.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I'll give a shiny nickel to whoever can tell me what the hell this is.


Jovana Stokic spoke at CSUS this evening and it was such a blast. She graciously provided studio visits to a number of the grads in the program and gave me some of the most valuable insights I've received in awhile. So good!!!! You can read her writing and about the show she curated at Sac State here, and here. That's right I included the SNR review in there. It was damn well written!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I don't know.... in the world I missed this! My jury is kinda out. On one hand I get the whole wanting to instruct kids on how babies happen but then on the other hand the whole grooming girls to want to have babies thing bugs. I'm still in awe that this was ever made, then pulled from store shelves and I had no idea it ever existed in the first place.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


This is currently my favorite way to waste time.