Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I bought $81 in 1960s sex novelties in Fresno

This image pretty well sums up my weekend. As I try to remember what I cared about before leaving town last week I am reminded that I gotta take more vacations!

P.S. Noriega's = bliss.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Susan, I love you the way a Mexican woman should be

For the past 24 hours I have been kicking myself for not stopping the fellow we passed yesterday morning in the tenderloin wearing a t-shirt proclaiming the above to ask for a photo. It was the second best t-shirt I've ever seen.

Breakfast in the tenderloin was excellent. We ate at the Lafayette Coffee Shop which was a completely satisfying experience from beginning to end right down to the dumpster located in the bathroom, the graffiti over the toilet that said "dog dick," the pimpy looking dude eating lunch with his dog at the booth behind us, and the great vintage tableware we dined from. Best hashbrowns ever, super solid breakfast.

I looked up the yelp on the place just now and this review is hilarious:

"The patrons included a mother and 30 something year old daughter who was really excited about this new business deal she had breeding her pet rat. I think she had it with her in a cage. "

Yep, sounds about right.

The art fairs were great. I'm super encourage by the solid showing. Ever since I started attending art fairs regularly a few years ago I've been hoping San Francisco would step up its game and put together something that looked better, and took more chances. The last two fairs I went to in SF made me want to stop attending fairs in San Francisco all together for their focus on conservative, decorative, commercial works.

By contrast ArtMrkt was outstanding! Well presented, with a good mix of decorative and challenging art.

I didn't take a ton of photos because I always get squirrelly about that at fairs. In some instances it's okay and in others a stern warning will be delivered before the threat of ejection. I'm pretty sure it was fine but never-the-less.....

The few sneaky shots I attempted included these works by Anthony Burgess which are made of matchbook covers.

Linder's Perchant was one of my favorite spaces along with Charlie James who was showing Elizabeth Higgins O'Connor along side Orly Cogan which was a nice coupling.

And of course OMF needed his photo taken in front of the Fiat with two front ends. Note the world's A-1 best t-shirt?!?!?!? It's a little hard to make out in this shot but the Old Man showed up wearing a t-shirt for La Bries Sleep Center's "Night Comfort Theatre." My dome was blown!

With the exception of Jack Hanley Gallery I was pretty underwhelmed by ArtPad, although I feel like it has the potential to be fabulous. I'm curious what others thought of it....

I scored this John Baldessari print at Jack Hanley's space which was part of "17 Reasons," a multi-disciplinary, site-specific work that took place in various locations throughout the mission in 2003, curated by Hanley and Kate Fowle. I am beyond stoked to own this little number and shall be wisking it off to the framer this week.

Axe Messy Look paste spotted at ArtPad. For those who don't know, anything Axe related is innately funny... Just ask Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeil Hamburger!!!
Aside from the above the succulent wall surrounding the pool at ArtPad was wonderful.

The weekend contained a fair amount of hot succulent action. There's so much that will thrive in the bay area that just can't hang in Sac. Too hot + too frozen....

The view from Coit Tower!

In conclusion the final night of the SS Records extravaganza was excellent!!!! Action packed.... What? What's the matter? What?!?!?!?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stay warm, eat garlic, and drink red wine

There are a few people in my life I consider magical and Doug Biggert is definitely one. I feel lucky to have him as a friend and the projects we have worked on in recent years have been fun beyond words. Biggert's generous, funny, spontaneous, and observant to a point which is almost dangerous. To a fellow beer enthusiast, and lover of dogs I salute you Sharif. Stay warm, eat garlic, sip red wine, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It's important for some people to be crazy

This past semester I had the opportunity to teach art appreciation at SCC, an opportunity I wasn't sure I would ever have for a variety of reasons one of them being an uncertainty about whether I was truly interested in sharing my mental energy with others, who in some cases may just be going through the motions. As a grad student TA I learned that teaching is A LOT of work, work that takes you out of your studio or in my case out of my studio and away from other personal projects. Given that I spend about 80% of my life down a rabbit hole coming up for that much air seemed like a scary prospect....

I realized last year that if I was going to teach anything I'd want to teach art appreciation because beyond folks like myself or my peers and colleagues, with our respective rabbit holes, what the arts truly need are more lay people with a general understanding and appreciation for art. Let's face it, there's more of them than there are us.

The other thing I was really interested in was the application of art appreciation in terms of critical thinking skills. Evaluating visual culture is a great primer on thinking critically and is potentially more fun and more immersive than reading the one page essay and then breaking it down.

Over the past 14 weeks we've covered most methods, mediums, and styles of art making from cave paintings to the present day. I've been referring to it as a high-speed rail trip through art history. My students are neat and the experience has been really fun.

Aside from the objectives I had lined out for myself above, the other thing I was hoping to get out all of this was some knowledge and information from them. I wanted to know as much about what they think about art as what I planned on teaching. I scored majorly in that regard as well.

Sadly, through oppressive budget cuts I probably won't be teaching again for quite awhile. In the meantime I have some pretty awesome tidbits and reflections to take with me:

  • The student body at SCC is really, really diverse, economically, ethnically, and racially. It's been refreshing. So much so in fact that it caused me to reflect on what my academic experience has been on the university level leading up this. There was definitely diversity at UCD and CSUS but not anywhere near this degree.
  • The other reason this diversity was so apparent to me was because my students drew my attention to how white the art scene I travel in is as a result of the Faces of Art show at the Kondos back in January/February. I ask them to go and write down their reflections and I was not only surprised by the results but also surprised and a little disappointed in myself for not noticing this sooner.
  • Students are really, really receptive and have memories like elephants.
  • In contrast this memory can be oddly selective.
  • If information is important you should probably repeat it several times and once you think you've repeated yourself to the point of inanity perhaps repeating that info one more time would be wise.
  • Covering 32,000 years of art history in 4 weeks is ludicrous even though a lot of art history books do it. Every week for everything we discussed I could think of dozens of things we were leaving out.
  • I really need to brush up on my Middle Eastern and Asian art history.
  • Students will ask you totally left field questions about things and are often concerned with technicalities as opposed to ideas which is something else I found refreshing. In some cases the how really is as interesting as the why.
  • Finally, about two weeks ago the thing I would imagine most instructors dream about happened. I was sitting with my students in small groups discussing various assignments and one of them said, 'you know that quote you read on the first day of class about society needing doctors and lawyers but also needing artists to remind us of the joy of being human?' I said yes, and then this student said, 'well I was discussing this concept with my friends over the weekend and we were in agreement that, that is totally true.' I swear to god it was the most moved by anything I've been in quite awhile. I imagine it's the sort of thing most of us hope for. In the best case scenario you want your students to keep thinking about the ideas you're discussing beyond the classroom and in the mega best of scenarios they'll share these concepts with their friends and this chain of learning will just go on and on.

The really funny part is that the quote is from that Vice documentary about garage music which is pretty goofy but the quote is solid gold....

"It’s important for some people to be crazy. Every village needs doctors and rational thinkers and mathematicians and all that but they also need people that just sort of worship the art of being human and I think that’s what the artist is." - Christopher Owens, Girls