Monday, November 30, 2009

Art Lies

by Drew Martin
Art lies...Art lies when it does not stand upright with self-assurance or sit in contemplation. To lie down is an ambivalent position in art. What is vertical is generally full of life; and, seated figures usually express mental activity. But when something is lying down or laid down the symbolism may represent sleep as much as death; or, procreation (at least the pleasures of the act). Imagine what the first standing sculptures meant for the naive observers, drawn by intrigue and repelled by fear because they understood that a standing person or tree required a life force. The early Greek statues placed in temples were manifestations of gods and must have been awe-some to encounter. We now view art with reason and purpose. Perhaps it can be said that objective art is always dependent on its conceptual orientation. A monument toppled is the very opposite of honor. A car turned over is dead. When my flat screen television was defeated by my toddler, it literally's electronic nervous system shut down and now it sits as a coffee table. It is still. It is a sarcophagus for all the faces that flashed upon its screen. It recalls a time when media was furniture, like the old wooden turntable unit I used to sit on and watch the world go by outside our picture window.

Pictured here, top to bottom: A reclining Buddha in Sri Lanka, one of Magdalena Abakanowicz's Sarcophagi In Glass Houses at the Storm King Art Center and my deceased LCD television.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

by Drew Martin
A former fellow online student at The New School once wrote to me about the color palettes we inherit. He was from Uruguay and he confessed that he was jealous of his graphic artist friends from Mexico because they had been raised in a much more colorful environment and were therefore braver and more experimental with color. I had never considered this but of course it makes a lot of sense...even on a much more local level, i.e. New Yorkers gravitate to a darker and more serious palette than residents of Miami and yet ask any New Yorker what color a taxi is and he or she will say "yellow." I was content with this way of thinking until my current immersion in David Sweetman's biography of Paul Gauguin. What I read does not contradict the national palette idea, in fact it reinforces the concept and makes it multi-faceted.

If you thumb through any art history book and read a paragraph on Gauguin and take note that he was French, born in Paris and died in French Polynesia you would be missing a lot. Even the classic The History of Art by H. W. Janson starts off with "He began as a prosperous stockbroker in Paris and an amateur painter and collector of modern pictures." The entry on Gauguin in Wikipedia explains:

"His bold experimentation with colouring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential exponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms."

In the same Wiki entry, Peru is mentioned twice, briefly, but is not given any credit. In Paul Gauguin: A Life, Sweetman constantly reminds the reader that Gauguin's early childhood was spent in Peru (his mother was half Peruvian) and his senses were not only formed there and absorbed the colors and objects of the country but that he had a lifelong obsession with the native South Americans and always kept Incan crafts close to him. Gauguin even referred to himself as "the Savage from Peru." Unlike Picasso, who only borrowed "primitive" imagery and was influenced by this "rascal" artist, Gauguin was merely expressing a palette and shapes that were already part of him and he felt the need to change the European art world that did not satisfy this side of him.

What we should take away from this is to rethink our own upbringings and review everything that has influenced us. I am American of (pre-Pilgrim) English and German descent, born in California and raised in New Jersey and there are obvious reflexes to these influences. My father is a nuclear physicist and my mother is a Spanish professor, which not only add to my visual vocabulary but also means many related objects were simply part of my "natural" childhood environment.

Yesterday I walked around my parents' house and took note of the family heirlooms and Virgina knickknacks, Aztec calendar, Toldeo sword: Colonial Williamsburg + Mexico + Spain...Our influences are infinite and we can easily trace them for each of us and choose to express different ideas at different times, i.e. being Irish on St. Patrick's Day. While we are looking deeper into our own make-up we should also be as detailed when viewing others who we might judge too quickly and cater to stereotypes. Gauguin expresses this collective contemplation in his work and especially in the title of one of his most famous paintings:

venons-nous? Qui sommes-nous? allons-nous?

Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Laundry Art: A Thanksgiving Dedication

On Thanksgiving Day, 2009, the Museum of Peripheral Art (MoPA) inducted its first MoPA site, setting the cornerstone for an international presence of MoPA projects. This MoPA site is the laundry room at my parents' house in northern New Jersey.

Since we moved into the our home on August 15, 1978, my mother, Sandra Martin, designated her laundry room as a gallery for Laundry Art, which is any kind of artwork pertaining to the the washing, cleaning, mending, hanging, ironing and folding of clothes.

I fondly recall how one of the earlier pieces was acquired. We were shopping in the 1970's and my mother picked up an ironing board cover in the supermarket and broke out with laughter. The product design featured a picture of a beautiful young woman at an ironing board and a handsome man embracing her in the woods. Needless to say my mother had this image framed and hung it in the laundry room. (pictured above, right in center)

The artwork in my mother's laundry room includes cartoons, acrylic paintings, watercolors, photographs and one large three-dimensional painting/sculpture I did in high school of me caught in the vortex of a washing machine. The very first piece was a large painting on paper of someone ironing, which she purchased at the Ramsey High School Student Art Show in 1974. Surrounding the cartoon figure and the ironing set up are little people engaged in all sorts of activities, soiling their clothes. They are both the cause for the need of the laundry work being done but also a constant reminder that this is endless work. Perhaps this is what is so fascinating about Laundry Art: it is so closely tied to life itself, while other themes in art are too abstract and distancing to relate to the every day life. Laundry Art can never be too lofty or elitist because it embodies the 'ancient Chinese proverb,' After enlightenment, there is still laundry.

The induction included the dedication of a new piece, the picture shown here of one of my dress shirts drying in my basement. My mother also received a framed certificate from MoPA, which establishes her laundry room as an official MoPA site and mentions the contributions this space had for the foundation of MoPA. This small, brief ceremony followed a Thanksgiving dinner and included the reading of a poem I wrote this morning:

The Barbers of Chinatown
by Drew Martin

The old barbers of Chinatown
spend their days underground
in tiled cellars with walls of mirrors
and fluorescent ceilings

These below-grade shops are symbolic
of their age and profession
in this enclave

Their sons and grandsons
work in glass towers not too far
from their crowded, crooked streets
Which, in some ways are more distant
than the most remote villages in China

The barbers greet me warmly
Their business is not clean
but I feel safe and at home there

I point to the electric razor
then to the side of my head
and say "short"

Then I point to my forehead
move my thumb and index finger two inches apart
and say "long"

We both smile and I relax

They used to watch Chinese operas
on silver, portable CD players at each station
Different ones, simultaneously
Yesterday, these were gone

I think they missed the simple sounds
of dull scissors and the cut hair
falling on old Japanese salon bibs

When my barber finishes
I point to the straight edge razor
on the counter in front of me
and point to the back of my neck

He jacks it open and smooths it on the strop
I close my eyes because this is my favorite part

When I ascend to the wet autumn streets
I pass other salons, shops and restaurants
In one window I notice a
Happy Thanksgiving sign
It seems so familiar i
n such a foreign place
A sign of home, abroad

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We celebrate enlightened thoughts...the historic Ah-Ha's that break through the humdrum of the day-to-day. Inspirations improve our lot with advancements or simply make us see the world differently. This is where science and art weave in and out of each other, which we witness from Leonardo da Vinci to Georges Seurat. Just as profound as the something as big as Albert Einstein's theories are the little leaps that come from less suspecting places. If you have had the experience of being a parent or a teacher, you understand that these little revelations sprinkle a child's development.

My nine year old son, Calder, loves to build things and last night he did something that blew me away. He had a pile of building blocks (which are often branded as Jenga). He made a very simple squarish tower and then, with the palms of his hands, pressed on two edges and transformed the structure into something much more complex. Not only was it rhomboidal but the edges of the blocks created a pattern that Norman Foster would be proud of. His two year old brother immediately took action and razed the building like a little blond Godzilla. Calder then set to work and spent an hour building quite interesting structures and I went the bed happily assured that he had a future as an architect, engineer or builder.

When I awoke another transformation had taken place. My wife had spent the day prior repainting spaces and rooms in our house. Her father is a house and commercial painter in Poland so she grew up with this influence but never ventured beyond simple, clean walls. When I went to bed there was a splotch of a silvery color on a wall, which she was unsure of. When I awoke the color had grown into a landscape around the perimeter of the room, like exotic volcanic formations. (pictured here: a cartoonish acrylic painting I did years ago with tar, broken bottles, beer bottle caps, nails, cigarette butts and synthetic "sleeping bag" with zipper above the new wall painting landscape)

I am currently reading Paul Gauguin: A Life by David Sweetman, (Simon & Schuster, New York 1995). Gauguin came of age in a fascinating time for artists, which spanned the Barbizon school of painters, Impressionists and then the likes of Seurat who introduced divisionism/pointillism. Gauguin deeply contemplated every move...part of it was for profit so he could fix his broken marriage but there was also a genuine side that wanted to advance the arts.

From Paul Gauguin: A Life:

...the 'Notes' (Notes synthetiques by Gauguin) are a first attempt to define an art of the imagination, one which works by awakening sensations rather than simply representing the tangible world. It was an art which would begin not with some object or scene in nature but with the feelings and emotions of the artist. It would no longer be realistic or scientific but subjective and symbolic. In Gauguin's words: "You may describe a tempest to me with talent - you will never succeed in conveying to me the sensation."

This was, of course, precisely what the Barbizon painters, and their successors the Impressionists, had tried to do. Courbet had said: 'Painting is an essentially physical language made up of what is visible. That which is abstract and invisible does not belong to the domain of painting.' Gauguin was now saying exactly the opposite.

He was not the first. Even as the early Impressionists were embarking on their revolution in art, other ideas were also beginning to emerge from artists such as Gustave Moreau and Odilon Redon, who had been producing strange mysterious images with magical and religious undertones since the end of the 1870s. True, such works looked odd and individual when set beside the great movement released across Europe by the Impressionists, yet just as Gauguin began writing his 'Notes,' others, mainly writers, were beginning to assemble ideas which were not dissimilar in spirit to these mysterious paintings. Already, in Paris, young poets were tentatively suggesting that Zola's earthy novels about the political and social ills of supposedly 'real' people were not the summit of literature that a previous generation had believed. The poet Stephane Malarme and the critic Joris-Karl Huysmans, who had written so forcefully about Gauguin were emerging as leaders of the new thinking and they took as their starting point Baudelaire's belief that 'the whole of the visible universe is only a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination assigns a place and a relative value, it is a kind of nourishment that the imagination must digest and transform.' Which in his own way was what Gauguin was saying, quite independently, in his Danish attic, far away from the mainstream of intellectual life in France.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Marc Jacobs vs Mike Tyson...and the Artist is...!

by Drew Martin

I have three pensive morning run, a steamy shower and ironing. The run is reflective and the shower is contemplative. The weekly ironing is when I am open to any mental journey so this is when I watch films, sometimes two in a row. This past weekend I ironed to Loic Prigent's documentary Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton followed by James Toback's documentary Tyson. One would think that the two men have nothing in common, though Malcolm Gladwell would ask you to look more closely at the details and factors of their NY/NJ influences and their birth dates. Marc Jacobs was born April 9, 1963 and Mike Tyson was born June 30, 1966.

Both films are fascinating and revealing. As a personal double-feature it is hard not to make comparisons. Tyson is, more often than not, very likeable while Jacobs comes across as needy and, at times, desperate. By popular vote, the obvious artist of the two would, of course, be Jacobs but after two hours with each man you see it quite differently. Both of them share an intense drive and incredible work ethic but while Tyson is able to step back more and survive the consequences, Jacobs seems to know that his 99% perspiration is his success and that he can never stop. There is no doubt that he has a good eye and day-to-day vision of the fashion world but he comes across as a typical overworked New Yorker and sometimes just as a frenetic manager (of thousands of people) in the absence of having a parenting role and a life outside of his career. Tyson, on the other hand, is a one-man-show and instead of managing down to the support of an army of people he is managing himself away from what he calls "leeches."

Tyson is the more interesting character of the two men because of his extremes. He talks about his pigeons like a little boy and then you see the outrageous pit bull in him biting Evander Holyfield's ear. While Jacobs is calculating others, like a reincarnation of Andy Warhol, Tyson is operating from a much deeper emotional place. He is life, death, fear, hate and love. Jacobs paddles past schools of mermaids in a sea of opinions and advice. Tyson wrestles sharks and swims in the dark pressures of the ocean's lonely depth.

In one scene we see Tyson loading a Super 8 projector and watching famous fights from the 1920's. He watched every famous fight and studied every move, over and over again. He read about all the great fighters and packed the entire history of boxing into his mind and muscles and unleashed it on each opponent at the right time. In Tyson we learn that he is a student of technique and skill, defeating men, who were much bigger and stronger than him, with his speed and moves.

With Jacobs we see not only visual appropriations of artists for his clothing, shoe and bag designs but also a continued confession that he is less than an artist. He expresses the difference between being accepted by Madonna (pop and more like him) and Edward Ruscha, who he is thrilled by (he also squeals when he sees Jeff Koons...and both Ruscha and Koons are more designers' artists, than artists' artists). Tyson has been to the zenith of his art and is the only one of the two men who discusses character: about having character like Muhammad Ali, finding cracks in his opponents' characters and then not being true to his own. Jacobs treats character like last year's designs and is a wannabee artist immersed in a visual world, collecting paintings and sculptures in compensation.

Of course, art is not a competition, but neither is boxing in the end: there are no clear winners or losers only internal struggles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

UNDER THE HOOD: A Garden Party

Here are some pictures from the UNDER THE HOOD: Portraits of My Neighbors photo show. There was a nice turnout and it was a lovely event. The participants liked that they could take their photos home. We even had two, special over-fifteen-foot-long guests appear, one pictured near the bottom:

Participant or Spectator: Reflections on “Air Guitar” by Dave Hickey

by Sandra H. Martin

I recently heard an actor say how much he loved to hear that one guy in the audience who was still laughing after everyone else had stopped. That one guy was a participant who really got involved in the play and not just a spectator who was there because the Times said it was a must see and was sure to win a Tony. The spectator may have laughed because everyone else was laughing. The spectator may not have even understood what was funny, but that one guy really got it. And the fact that this one guy had this deep laugh that didn’t stop when everyone else’s did showed the actor that his art was really getting through on a human level to someone out there in the dark.

Americans are big believers in talent and big believers in smarts. Schoolchildren will believe that a classmate got that great grade simply because they are smart or that they made the school orchestra just because they are talented. And as Waylon Jennings observes they will hate that person. In America everyone is suppose to be equal, so it is not fair if someone has more “talent” than you do or is “smarter” than you are. They don’t see the time and hard work that goes into making the good grade or making the orchestra. And if they do see all the extra time and hard work they will still hate that person for making them look bad by comparison or for being a show-off. It’s un-American ‘cause we are all equal. They will be critical and wait for that person to fail. Americans will say, I’m not good at math or languages” and dismiss their own lack of effort or will to stick with something difficult.

Last week a student informed me that he had to have a C in order to transfer back to the out of state college he attended last year. I pointed out that though he made an effort to participate his participation showed no evidence of having studied the material as did his failing grades on tests. His reply was, “But I’m not good at languages!” I did not remind him that in September he had bragged that he got through high school without ever having to study because he was so smart.

When I was in college it never occurred to me to take any art course because no one had ever said that I had “talent.” My roommate was a descendant of Albrecht Durer and an art major. Every time I got the chance I was in the National Gallery in D.C. Other than my picture of a piñata party that my 6th grade teacher hung up above the blackboard I don’t ever remember painting or drawing in school. My parents did give me a course at the Houston Fine Arts Museum when I was about nine, which I loved, but I don’t remember being encouraged to continue with art. How many students in school today feel the same way?

A study of spectators in an art museum showed that much more time was devoted to reading the plaque on the wall describing the painting than actually looking at the work itself. Spectators go through the exhibition and read about and see every painting without really getting engaged with a single work. Participants are often mesmerized and completely blown away by one work in the whole show. I made seven trips to Spain and Mexico with students, but the experience I remember most was not being able to get one boy out of a beautiful room in the Alhambra Palace in Granada because he was so awed by the Arabic calligraphy carved into the alabaster walls everywhere he looked. The bus was leaving, everyone was there but him, yet he could not leave that room. He was part of that room, and I was the spectator.

Hickey says that “while spectators must be lured, participants just appear.” My son has a “wall” in front of his house in Ridgewood, N. J. that is interactive in that he puts out objects he has found interesting, and others who pass by can also add objects to the wall. Today he is having a “show “in his backyard of 150 photographs he has taken of his neighbors. They are all invited to the show. I will see who are the spectators and who are the participants by seeing who shows up and what their body language and conversations are like. It should be fun. Is this what Hickey means by “art as a social practice?”

What is the goal of young artists today? For whom are they making the art- Participants or Spectators? My guess is that the ones who really make interesting art are doing so because they cannot do otherwise.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

UNDER THE HOOD: Show Preview

This is a selection of the photographs that will be in the UNDER THE HOOD: Portraits of My Neighbors show this weekend. These pictures are already available in a book online at Blurb (click here)

Friday, November 6, 2009

UNDER THE HOOD: Portraits of (My) Neighbors

click on the image to see a larger invitation

This is going to be interesting: 150 pictures of 40 of my neighbors from four diverse streets. The pictures will hang on clothes lines and will be tacked to trees. The best pictures will be in frames around the back deck. The neighbors are all invited to come, have some wine & cheese, etc. and are all supposed to take their pictures home with them at the end of the show or, if they choose, destroy them on the spot.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Freak Show: An Interview with Curator, Tony Ozuna

Works by Marie Hladikova and Lenka Vitkova in Freak Show
First, I must congratulate you for the successful opening on August 21, 2009 of your Freak Show at the Califia Gallery in Horazdovice, Czech Republic. Before the opening you seemed a bit overwhelmed, perhaps frustrated, and then a week later you had a kind of post partum depression and expressed wanting to do this kind of work full time. What is it about curating a show that is so taxing and emotional? I always thought of it as a very controlled experiment.

When you saw me at the beginning of the week—it is true that I was overwhelmed and frustrated. (Just as I am now because I am typing this in again a second time since the last version got lost in ether-space). I had certain expectations regarding a number of factors involving the show that were not met. On the other hand, perhaps my expectations were unrealistic. It was my first experience as a curator and the next time around, I know now what not to expect and also what to do differently in order to meet certain expectations.

In 2007 you were the Chief Editor for an issue of Umelec (a contemporary arts magazine based in Prague), which was devoted to Hispanic artists as well as foreign artists working in Latin countries. Though curating seems much more logistically challenging, isn't the role of Editor and Curator similar: identifying contributors, getting pieces, filling space?

That issue turned out to be the Mexican Issue, though there were key articles, contributions from and about non-Mexican artists, including Luis Camnitzer of Uruguay/NYC. This was also a very taxing project especially, especially since Umelec publishes identical issues in German/Czech/English/Spanish. I controlled the English edition more than the others. My Spanish is not fluent, though Umelec/Divus thought that it was when I accepted responsibility for that issue. And so, also for the record, Marisol Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed immensely to the actualization of that project. I only got the applause for it in Prague. The Embassy of Mexico in Prague, by the way, provided funds for a good opening and party afterwards for that issue.

Especially since so many factors have to come together from a wide range of people/personalities/expertise it is more like producing a film and co-directing it as well (though I've never made a film). I will emphasize co-directing because I have realized that the artists (or at least some artists) can play a much bigger role in curating than is generally viewed. In my case, Marie Hladikova and Lenka Vitkova made some curatorial adjustments at the last minute and I was quite shocked to even consider it, at first, but finally I am glad I succumbed to their advice. A greater ego would have resisted simply out of principle.

I would assume curating, in the end, is more satisfying...simply because it is more tangible, communal and you really see how what you have pulled together is immediately received by viewers. In addition to the curating and editing, you have also written many art reviews and articles about art for Umelec and The Prague Post. Does this curating experience change how you want people to experience art: firsthand versus through (your) writing?

Yes, you are right regarding your first point. The greatest compliment or feedback I get from my reviews is that I have convinced someone to go and see a show that they would not have otherwise. Whether they agree with my take on the exhibit or not is beside the point. I prefer to write about shows that I have liked—that have given me something—though that is not always the case. I had the same attitude with this show, since I really wanted to get non-regulars into the gallery space at Horazdovice. Whether they liked it or not was secondary.

You lived half of your life in California and half of your life in the Prague. You speak English, Spanish and Czech. What insight do you have on the visual arts from this perspective? Are they universal and unifying or are there so many cultural and lingusitic references that the arts have almost as great a challenge as a language, or even a currency for that matter: getting lost in translation or losing value in conversion? I felt that your Freak Show, for example, was really accessible.

An important point of the Freak Show was to make it more accessible to the towns folk, than a regular contemporary art exhibit. That is why we plastered the town with flyers/posters as if it were a rock concert or a circus-sideshow the night before the opening. Still the opening did not attract as many non-regular locals as I was hoping. Through the week that we were installing the show, we had put posters in front of the gallery, and a lot of people wanted to come in to see the show, but we had to tell them to just come back. I hope they did, but it's likely that most didn't because they were probably just visiting the city that day. THEN only at the end or rather at the opening, did I fully realize that Freak Show as I understood the meaning in English had no comparison in Czech. In Czech we used the term “Oblidarium” which is the term for circus-sideshow or “freak show”, which was my main intention. But there is another layer of usage for the word “freak” (in English) which was lost in translation. Comics in the 1960s has something to do with this. For instance, Gilbert Shelton created a strip called the Fabulous Freak Brothers who were drug fiends (stoners), and so hippies claimed the term in an affectionate way. On the other side, it was used (then and now) in a pejorative way, as you can imagine the hatred that a “god-damned long-haired hippie freak” can meet in many places, especially in the USA.... the redneck or a policeman mumbling this to himself before he pulls the trigger of his gun. So on one hand the term was a badge of honor or it could also cost you your life. The Plastic People of the Universe were Freaks, in the definition above, and that was their only crime really. Then in the mid 1970s, there was a disco song called Le Freak by Chic, and it is great song to this day. A dance was created for it. This reclaimed the term for a different world, in a different era. And on in subculture lingo in the 80s, 90s, 00s, freaks change form, they have different styles—it is always changing and yet there is something constant about the term itself. And so this was a layer of meaning in the title Freak Show that I was not able to communicate to the Czechs as well as I thought.

At the opening you were quite articulate in introducing and explaining Freak Show to the guests and journalists and I remember when you first told me about the idea for the show about a year ago. Can you express the importance of having a real theme to a show and sticking to that vision as a curator.

I think I ended up answering this in the last question, but to follow up just a little bit... I did not think this theme would work in Prague—I thought of it specifically for a small town and Horazdovice in South Bohemia in particular. However, now I think the concept could be transferred to a city like Prague. It would still be imperative to get local-community promotion on the streets to get excitement about the show, but I can imagine certain neighborhoods in Prague with appropriate galleries, where I think this could be even more successful than in Horazdovice.

You have quite a range of talent in Freak Show artists showing for the first time sharing the space with pretty big names. How do you balance those levels?

Two bigger names, Veronika Bromova (from Prague) and Doro Krol (from Holland) are friends of mine for many years, and so they agreed immediately. They fit the bill perfectly from their previous works. Then Josef Bolf is one of the busiest (most sought after) Czech artists these days, finally getting the international attention that he deserves. I'm very glad he agreed to do it, as he easily could have said that he didn't have the time. The other artists were chosen based on the theme, their prior works, their locale (accessibility), or charisma! Clint Takeda is also a long-time friend and I thought it was necessary for him to finally show his work in Europe, since he only shows in the Philadelphia area.

I hear there might be a possibility to bring this show to Prague within the next year. How will you change things for a different venue and a different audience? And what would you change in the current installment is you had your druthers?

I'm trying to settle this now....There is one gallery which has agreed to do the show again in Prague in August, which is when I'd prefer to do it. But the space is very small, less than half of what we had in Horazdovice. I think in this case, I would have to cut the number of artists to 4, maybe 5 if we use the outside garden and one is a video projection. Some works would change, maybe one new artist. I am also considering a much larger space than Horazdovice in a gallery I won't name, but there it would not be possible to have the exhibit until 2011, which on one hand gives us enough time to apply for grants to build up the number of artists participating (especially from the US), for instance. But the idea/concept could also lose its momentum in this lapse, of two years. Then the question is should I do a smaller version meaning a “Lil Freak” show in 2010 in a small space then a grander version in 2010 and would there even be interest in so many variations of this show? Should I just do something else instead? These are questions under consideration!! If I finally do the Lil Freaks show next summer, this gallery we would have it in is run by artists who also book indie rock and experimental bands from US, Canada, etc. so with their collaboration the Freak Show could eventually take the form of a Prague version of All Tomorrow's Parties, but with an art focus. Different locations every year, some of the same artists, always some new ones and with a music component in the whole event. This could really take off, if there is a public interested.... I would do it!

To read more related posts, click on the following:
Anticipating the Freak Show

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Storming Art

" The Storm King Art Center is a museum that celebrates the relationship between art and nature. Over 500 acres of landscaped fields, rollings hills, meadows and woodlands provide a dramatic setting for more than 100 post-World War II sculptures by internationally renowned artists."

Today, I went with my son, Calder, and his 4th grade class to walk the grounds and look at sculptures. Storm King is a must-see for anyone in the New York area and is even worth a pilgrimage to see it.

Pictured below: docent and class by a Sol LeWitt's Five Modular, class climbing up to Mark di Suvero's Frog Legs, Calder drawing Frog Legs, the class moving towards Alexander Calder's The Arch, two pix by Isamu Noguchi's Momo Taro.