Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Speaking of Guest of Cindy Sherman

AFC just posted an excellent review of Guest of Cindy Sherman. At this point I've read so many things detailing Paul H-O's annoying character flaws and superficial film premise that I fear the deck is stacked against H-O's film before I've ever seen it. Or perhaps, at this point I'm expecting him to be so grating that in the end the opposite effect will take hold and I will empathize with him. Unlikely, but you never know.

From the review:

"If you’ve heard anything about Guest of Cindy Sherman, a new documentary tracing the career of quasi art celeb and one-time Sherman partner Paul H-O, you probably won’t be surprised to learn it shakes out as expected: Informative interviews and archival footage make up the first half of the movie, and grating pseudo emo-male explorations of gender dynamics compose the second. In the 1990s, H-O produced Gallery Beat, a New York-based cable access show covering art openings and events. Later, he dates actual art celeb Cindy Sherman, but their relationship suffers because H-O doesn’t like operating in the shadow of his girlfriend." - AFC

All this still begs the question of what Sherman saw in H-O in the first place...

Don't forget now.

Catastrophe, Crisis, and Other Family Traditions, Jessamyn Lovell

This week is getting away from me fast! Before I forget I want to make sure to remind everyone about the Jessamyn Lovell lecture this Thursday at 6pm at the Verge. Jessamyn is incredibly smart, funny, and personable so I imagine this lecture will be a real delight not to mention that the work is super interesting too.

Just so we have the facts straight:

Jessamyn Lovell
The Verge Gallery and Studio Project
1900 V Street
Thursday April 2, 6pm


Come on by!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Last Sunday's article in the Bee about Thiebaud, Kondos, and Dalkey was a lovely thing to start my day with this morning. The piece isn't particularly ground breaking and I'm not sure that it necessarily offers any new insights into the three men, however, chronicling their friendship in conjunction with Sac City's art collection was an interesting read. Also, of interest was listening to the three men chat about their early careers in the context of Sacramento's artistic growth.

Tracing the influence these three men have had is not difficult especially on most any 2nd Sat stroll. Thiebaud/Kondo-esque landscapes depicting the central valley and delta are plentiful. So much so that viewing these knock-offs can sometimes lead to an under appreciation of the originals. As much as the copy cats can sometimes frustrate, picking up a copy of the New Yorker with a Thiebaud on the cover can often fill me with a sense of pride for our region.

When I was at Davis I took two classes from Thiebaud, one drawing and the other art appreciation. I have often credited Thiebaud with teaching me to draw although truth be told I think part of it was that I was so star struck and delighted to be in his class that I put more effort and patience into drawing than I ever had before. Thiebaud's art appreciation class was absolutely charming. Though I disagreed with many of his positions on art and found Gombrich's, "Art and Illusion" a bit conventional, the real delight of the class was the Thiebaud factor. Listening to him talk about his early career, read poetry, play jazz, and discuss Krazy Kat were usually the highlights of my week. I also appreciated his request that we write a food review for his class. This was an easy accomplishment for me seeing as how I think about food 24hr a day so writing about it was a simple joy. What I realized about the assignment after having done it was that in assigning us a food review, Thiebaud was encouraging us to think critically about everything in our lives no matter how unrelated to art they may seem. In the end I wrote a review of Lil' Joe's.

Finally, the last thing that resonated with me from those two classes which I have since referenced in lectures about my own work is that art is simply something that either compels you or it isn't and if it compels you then it will most likely be all you're interested in doing. This topic came up in a discussion about Thiebaud painting on Christmas day, and when someone scoffed at the idea he said, well, I want to, I'm not forcing myself. It's really true. There are days that I literally crave my studio, and leaving it after a long day makes me feel like I just had a solid meal or a good nap. Sometimes I think studio time is presented like this grueling time that you have to put in to be legit when really many of the really talented artists I know wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Anyhoo, enough chattering. Just read the piece.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

hair pieces, hardware, and flowers that are too big?

So technically, this blog was originally intended to function as a studio log + what ever I found inspiring in my daily life with studio coming first. In recent months the studio posts have been nearly non-existent a condition which has occurred for a variety of reasons. First there is the Verge which though it does take a lot of time it certainly has enough peaks and valleys that I should be able to tackle studio time between shows, although in fairness the frequent events and trips have made a complete unpacking difficult. Then there was a little insect problem which though not prohibitive was less then thrilling. Match this with the fact that the better part of December, January, and February were butt ass freakin' cold and you get my drift.

Throughout the coldest months I spent a lot of time working in the living room to catch up on work for shows and such and devoted studio time to getting my real studio set up and painted for the grand opening last January. Steve's show was a whirlwind and now that, that's all said and done and Personal Lives is bumping along smoothly I have finally been able to completely and totally unpack. Home, sweet, home and boy is it glorious.

I gotta say despite the inconvenience of switching studios 4 times in four years the excuse to go through each and every little bit of your stuff is a real gift. Not only do you find things you can get rid of, but you also find things you forgot you had. Like these glorious hairpieces:

I actually found a good lot of stuff to work with today meaning that I shouldn't have to go in search of materials anytime soon although in truth I probably will anyway.

Now that I'm cranking I've decided that it's time I made these wig works right the first go around as opposed to making them and then having to retool their construction when an institution is interested in them or I sell one. That said I spent part of the afternoon experimenting with hanging brackets. This one is okay, we'll see. It's the best solution I have so far. Unfortunately, there is no prescribed way to hang a wig covered in various what-have-you. Also, affixing hanging hardware on the back of a work before you even get started is a real buzz kill. Although, I suppose it's better than trying to recreate an original after it fell apart as a result of an attempt to reinforce it and fit it with a bracket.

Finally, I decided to call it quits for the day when I couldn't decided whether these flowers were too big or not. Best to make such a determination before you glue them in place.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sign of the times

or reinforcing my admiration for Chris Burden

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dimensional Bodies this Friday at the Verge

Okay, so I know I've been the non-stop Verge channel lately on this here blog but I can't help it... we've had some super good programming and I aim to keep folks in the loop.

This Friday, at The Verge Johunna Grayson and Greta Snider will be presenting Dimensional Bodies, a collection of 3D slide shows. For a much better description of the work than I can give here's Greta's own words:

Dimensional Bodies, a collaborative project of landscape gardener and photographer Johunna Grayson and filmmaker Greta Snider, is a collection of intimate and erotically charged stereoscopic slideshow portraits. Using spoken narrative and environmental soundscape to illuminate an array of subjects (including a farmer, a social worker, a veteran, an athlete and a robot-maker), the portraits focus on issues of aging, addiction, vitality, sexual identity and other concerns of the physical body. The stereoscopic aspect of the projection puts additional emphasis on the physical experience of viewing, accentuating the physiology of image processing and creating a sense of physical self-consciousness in the viewer and thus the perfect environment for experiencing the portraits. (Greta Snider)

Now here's some praise for the work to help get you even more motivated to attend:

"Not to be missed!" - Johnny Ray Houston, SF Bay Guardian

"By turning the reels into an interactive art experience, Snider and Grayson are transforming a mass-produced commercial product into a hand made object, and capturing the personal histories of regular people, not often reflected or celebrated in popular culture. Not only are the reels portraits of individuals, but they also reveal the hidden treasures and underground spaces scattered throughout San Francisco. Look for Ivy McClelland's tour of a clandestine cement garden near Candlestick Park; Bill Basquin working the dirt on a plot in his community garden; and Craig Baldwin emerging from the basement of Artists Television Access. With this latest project, Snider once again takes a potentially commercial medium and creates an intimate homemade record of peoples' personal lives." -Natalija Vekic, KQED online

Did I mention it's free? That's right.

Dimensional Bodies
Friday, March 20 7pm
Verge Gallery
1900 V Street, Sacramento

Do it!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad paintings of Barack Obama

OMG! I was just getting my weekly dose of AFC and stumbled across a link to my new favoritest website ever.

Too sweet!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Party at the Javalounge

I'm hunkering down in my studio today and focusing on my own work for a while so posts will be slim to nothing for the next two days. But before I check out I wanted to encourage everyone to go hit up the Javalounge! They had a fund raiser this past weekend to keep the ship afloat which went super well and I am super happy. OMF and I have been frequenting the Javalounge for a few years now and I would be really damn sad if it wasn't around. Next time your cruising for a coffee think twice before venturing to Starbucks and support a local family owned business that needs the support! Supporting them shouldn't be too hard really as their baked goods and coffee are tasty and they have a great beer selection accompanied by a comfortable place to drink said beer.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sacramento's Loss

This past Friday Sacramento lost an art luminary, though many of those who frequent 2nd Saturday may have no idea as to who I am referring. Chuck Miller, former director of the Michael Himovitz Gallery the namesake of Miller's late partner, was instrumental along with Himovitz, in establishing 2nd Saturday as the institutionalized monthly event we know now. I became fully aware of Himovitz and Miller's impact on our local community last summer while researching a piece on 2nd Sat for Midmo.

Last summer's interviews were a reaquaintance of sorts as I had actually interned for Chuck at the gallery's 10th Street location in 1995. Oddly enough I got the gig working there while waiting for the Amtrak at the Ferry Building in SF. It was super early in the morning and this young woman whose face I can no longer picture was also waiting for the train to Sac. We got to talking and she said she was about to finish up an internship at a gallery downtown and that when she left they would need a replacement. After getting back to Sac I paid the gallery a visit the following week and from there I proceeded to intern for the Himovitz through the summer and early fall of that year.

Chatting with Chuck about the past close to 30 years of Sacramento art history was educational. In total I spoke with him for over 4 hours and am thankful I recorded our interviews. Amongst my favorite memories Chuck conjured was the one about him and a colleague bringing Warhol to Sacramento in the 80s and taking him to a disco in West Sac that had a car on the dance floor. I've been meaning to investigate this club and find out where it was and I keep forgetting.

On our last visit Chuck gave me a copy of "About Looking" which has been sitting on my night stand ever since. Perhaps now's the time to crack into it...

Chuck's gentle, thoughtful, intelligent presence will be deeply missed. There will be a memorial for him this Wed at 5:30pm. If you would like more details drop me a line.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat

The other day I was relating to a friend that almost anywhere I end up the first thing I have to ground myself with is something delicious to eat and then work the rest out from there. Overall, this has proven successful in most of my endeavors. Sometimes, once I find that delicious place I might just eat there twice in one trip as was the case with Cafe Presse in Seattle. Yum!

I've caught myself daydreaming about this sardine sandwich multiple times in the past couple weeks, most often times at stoplights... strange.

This beet salad was also bomb as were the oeufs plats with ham and gruyere. Both times I ate there I wished that I had ordered a crisp red wine to accompany what I was eating but both times it seemed way too early in the day for booze, even for me. Jeez Louise I want to go back there tomorrow!

The prioshkys at Piroshky, Piroshky near Pike's Place were also bomb. As I bit into my potato and cheese piroshky I thought, if I only had one word to descirbe this thing it would be supple and mean that in the best possible way.

The plastic representations of PP's delectables were pretty rad too. Doesn't it look delicious?

JJ took me and the Ol' Man to Kimchi Bistro, on Capitol Hill which is tucked in so cozy you could almost miss it and if you did you would be sad because the yam cake and the dohl soht are the other two things I've been daydreaming about lately.

Beware the infrared rays!

When the gang was all in LA for the Real Boss Hoss I convinced T and M that no trip to California could be complete without dining at a taco truck. This one was pretty dang good even if we got pupusas instead of tacos. The hypnotic powers of that dog were something else too.

Finally, back home, The Missing Link in Old Sac is one of my new favorite things! A sausage stand that doubles as an evolution pun. You can read my review of it in the new issue of Midmo. Seriously, eat there! Not only are the sausages divine but the owner is really sweet and cute.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I smell a screening

Herb and Dorothy was screening at Basel last year and I didn't manage to see all of it because, well I didn't manage to see all of most things at Basel. There's just too much to see there. While, I was checking out Boing Boing tonight though they had a video posted from the Indiana Museum of Art's coming show of the Vogel's collection which reminded me of how much I want to see the film. The IMA show makes me want to fly to Indiana too:)

We've been talking about doing some free screenings at the Verge and this might be a good one to start with. That is if it isn't already about to play somewhere else in Sac and then I will totally go. Either way the Vogels are two very inspiring people and I can't wait to see the whole film!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Brews and News or Kudos to Cosmo!

This week's issue of the SNR has a great piece in it by Cosmo about ways that our city government could be improved upon. Amongst the ideas put forth by Cosmo, two of my favorites include term limits for city council people and establishing an ethics committee to oversee city operations. In the meantime a special commission has already been put in place to examine the city charter and make suggestions should a strong mayor initiative rear its ugly head once more. I am hopeful that some real progress comes from this. Granted Sacramento has made some dumb moves in the past so I'm not holding my breath, but for the first time in a while I feel like something in our local government might just be going right.

On another city related topic... the recent discussion within the city to possibly combine the planning and preservation departments in order to ease the way for area developers really f*&^n' grinds me. Another thing that grinds me is this stupid mermaid pizza dough B.S. that's proposed for K Street. Having recently spent a bunch of time in Portland and Seattle over the past few months I'm reminded of how far behind we are from the two cities that are constantly held up as models for what we want to aspire to. Both cities have active after hours scenes which are allowed to flourish by local government, fliering is legal, there is a real sense of diversity in regards to coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants, shit is walkable, green spaces are preserved and well maintained and overall I can't say that any one development project or franchise seems to anchor any of the places that make these two places so enjoyable to be in. Furthermore whenever I visit most any city, Portland, Seattle whatever, I don't normally return home raving about the franchises that exist in those places which I could have just as easily enjoyed if I had stayed home. Nor am I primarily knocked out by the new development projects that look like they could have been stamped from the same mold as any one would see in most west coast cities. No. It's the local institutions, history, art, food, and architecture that goes home with me. As we move forward in Sacramento especially in this crap-ass economy I hope our city leaders are mindful of this and keep a big picture plan in mind when making any of the important decisions which are before us right now.

Which brings me to this stupid mermaids and dough plan that's been dreamt up for K Street. Many have already voiced their opinions on this goofy scheme so I have little new to add except this... Not to be the feminist wet blanket that I can sometimes be but mermaids?!?!?!?!? Really??!?!?!?!? If this was say 1950 and folks were following the kitschy restaurant craze then fine. In fact I would probably still frequent the place should it exist today in a corny local institution sorta way. This proposed project, however, was not conceived of in a time when folks were still backward enough to think that floating some female eye candy in a pool would be a good way to bring folks to your business. Instead, it's dreamt up in a time when a woman recently made a semi successful bid for president and the importance of women in society is better appreciated and acknowledged than ever before. Besides unless that pizza is really damn good I suspect the charm would wear off on something like that pretty quick.

Finally, the other day while driving past the Bee headquarters I was thinking of their worries which make me sad because I want us to continue to have a daily and I remembered that Sac Bee HQ used to be the Buffalo Brewery. I then thought brews rhymes with news. Voila! I've solved the Bee's problems. They could just start up beer production again in part of the building which could then subsidize the daily operations of the paper. Done and done! People should really consult me first when looking to solve most problems...


Sheesh! It feels like forever since I've made a real post. Fortunately, as opposed to the usual too much work, blah, blah, bah, reason, this time it was due to traveling and seeing buddies. The good stuff!

Mr. Mike...

and Jaime.


Bride and groom.

"The Kinks"

Spinnin' records.

Groom gone wild!

The Fremont Troll!

OMF gone wild!

Sexy Lenin... taken mere moments before I came down with a surprise hangover. Zing!

Post hangover, pre-missed flight sadness.

Tina and Marco meet Sacramento!

The vest makes its triumphant return to LA.

Rock n roll adventure Marco.

Troublemaker mayhem!!!!