Friday, March 31, 2006

Drawing Restraint 9

Uberdork Stephen Hunter has a video review of Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9 (the trailer is lush, check it out). In the first seven seconds you can check out some of the panned CG sequence, which looks like a rushed cut and paste from Final Fantasy X. Kriston has his own cremaster issues to resolve before moving on to DR9.

The movie's out now at New York's IFC Theatre. Barney's The Occidental Guest opens at Barbara Gladstone Gallery April 7th.Link

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

next they better play the OC

videohippos, a MICA based band and art something, will be performing at the Kathryn Cornelius curated Experimental Media Series at the Corcoran. They sounded racous at Jason Balicki's Barn Barnacle, arriving in a homemade tank, and I can't fathom what's gonna happen at the Hammer Auditorium. Eyes and Ears bleed at 7pm sharp.

Also appearing: Rob Parrish, Champ Taylor of Decatur Blue, Jose Ruiz, Jason Zimmerman, and notorius grave chizzler Noah Angel among others.

NEWS wise, Matt Sargent, Chris Kallmyer, and myself will be putting on a one day show at James Alefantis owned Strand on Volta gallery this summer. We don't have a date yet, but the huge metal sheets cut to make one note alone? We've got those.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

roses moses toses

José R. Ballesteros, SMCM proffesor and Ecuadorian poet will be part of the Arlington Art Center's In Two Tongues/ En dos lenguas, a bilingual poetry event. He is joined by poets Kim Roberts and Luis Alberto Ambroggio (above) and emerging voices Rafael Galinanes, Jelena Kopanja, and Ines P. Rivera for the kicking off of the AAC's new series.

The readings are preceded by a master class (open to the public from 6-7 pm) during which the poems will be critiqued by Ms. Roberts and Mr. Ambroggio.

It all goes down Tuesday April 4th from 7 - 9.

AND gigantic style news tomorrow one way or the other.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Why do you have to go to Baltimore for a badass MFA show?

By the time I'd circumvented Laura Amussen's gigantic (like Anne Hamilton gigantic) piece of sod (above), I didn't care. There were tresures abound for those willing to stomach a zip car up north:

- a dum dum-fungus-laden tree.
- multiple perspective photographs that melt ceilings into walls into floors.
- Corey Wagner's white-out drips on paper to destroy and create, you know, the universe. Plus a nice reprise of Medium's Big White Lie (at right).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

itsy bitsy rollicks

My review of itys bitsy bollacks is up on the 'ist.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Might explain the french house coming from your kids My First Sony

You remember Kid Pix? The early MacPaint for kids bitmap editor created by Craig Hickman in 1989 sealed and delivered grade schooler's ADD right in the classroom. A new program, with the same useless features as Kid Pix, is free on Hickman's site. Beautiful Dorena allows you to paint with an attached webcam and create cellular automata. And just to drive home the crazy, each brush has it's own four to the floor dance track. For OS X.

This guy's fake right? His bio seems meticulously "fun" for a Korean War veteran and recluse painter.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Paul Roth

Associate Curator of Photography at the Corcoran Paul Roth (Joeseph Mills retrospective, Noelle Tann at DCAC, a WP article on Brakhage to name too few), recently wrote here about galleries he frequents and why. It's rare to get a personal audit of a curators taste and being burried in the comments, here it is:

"...I've been to several galleries locally but I don't get to any as often as I'd like. Some of the DC ones I have visited in the last year or so are, in approx. order of frequency: the late Fusebox, Hemphill, G Fine Art, Irvine, Conner Contemp., Numark, Ewing Gallery, Touchstone; my favorite non-profits and small spaces are Transformer, DCAC, National Academy of Sciences (wish I had been to Curator's Office which seems great, but I haven't I'm embarrassed to admit). I wish I could go more, as I imagine any curator would.

But for the most part these visits are on my own time on the weekends and for various reasons I spend more time in the local museums and at the cinema because that's what feeds my intellect and my work for the most part. I don't want to single out what I like and don't like about galleries, there are many reasons for why I go or don't go. The shows on tap, the weather, what else I have to do in my life, what I'm doing at work, what interests I have at the time, what chance I have of doing anything with what's on the walls, etc.

There's a common misconception that all curators should visit all shows. This is of course impossible. I would like to know more about what's happening in town -- there have been some developments locally (artist collectives etc.) I have only been peripherally involved with/aware of, to my regret. Nevertheless I have worked on many solo shows of local artists, both here at the Corcoran and elsewhere, as a writer and curator. Included many local artists in group shows. Have acquired many works by local photographers for our collection (not that we have money for acquisitions). Have spoken to artists groups, and juried local shows, and interacted in any number of other ways both formally and informally with artists at all stages of their careers. A list of these actions would be easy to assemble. But the truth is that as far as local artists and dealers are concerned, curators can never do enough for the local scene. I don't blame anyone for having the perception we should do more, that's just the way it is.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Breach pt. 2 or, listening to "nobody"

Points from various Anonymous Folk in response to Friday's deathmatch, secret gmails from secret gmen;

-In one show alone, a young but PROMINENT Geogetown gallery was visited by olga viso, ned rifkin, kristin heilman, olga hirshhorn, the renwick curators, paul roth, blake gopnik, binstock, paul roth, david levy, o'sullivan, j.dawson, and tyler greene.
-The Corcoran just displayed local artist Sam Gilliam and is in the process of acquiring works by at least one other DC artist.
-Hirshhorn recently hosted the Directions show of a DC artist, bought at least two pieces from at least two local artists in the last 12 months, and have had on view works by Andrea Way, Dan Steinhilber, Maggie Michael.
-The NGA is not primarily a contemporary-art collecting institution, let alone a local institution, so it's unfair to include that organization.

One DC artist described the relationship between curators and artists as symbiotic. In her own give and take, she had given (a lot) of money to the Corcoran to help hang a Joseph Mills show and contributed food, booze, and money on many occaisions. She also noted that you used to have to be dead for two generations to get in to museums and that has changed.

For the Better.

You guys out there want to attack this, go ahead.

Friday, March 17, 2006


I've been talking with a DC gallerist about the apparent divide between DC museums and DC galleries. This affects artists directly. Less interaction means there exists a disconnect that stops the DC arts scene from growth and recognition. I remember reading an excellent review of Mary Early's show at Hemphill. The title made me squirm though: When is a Gallery Visit of Value? Mike O'Sullivan's words speak to the general attitude of DC's established curators and news writers.

Take this list of non-DC curators vs DC curators who visited this sources gallery:

MOMA (several times)
MFA Boston (several times)
UVA (several times)
Mint Museum
LA County
Museum of the City of New York
Dallas Museum of Art
Old Dominion University
Brooklyn Museum
MFA Houston
also many times from Sotheby's and Christie's

In that same timeframe, as far as I know:

- Several visits from Jonathan Binstock (Corcoran) - 3 or so
- One visit from Stacey Schmidt (just left Corcoran -
- One visit from Philip Brookman
- Several from Eric Denker
- Zero visits from J.Serwer (just left Corcoran)
- Zero visits from Binstock's predecessor (Terry Sultan)
- None that I know of from Paul Roth

- One visit from photography curator at National Portrait Gallery a few years ago to see a big NY-based artist
- Zero

- One visit from Stephen Bennett Phillips

- Two visits from Olga Viso
- One visit from Kristen Hileman
- One visit from Phyllis Rosenzweig
- Zero visits from Kerry Brougher
- Zero visits from Anne Ellegood
- None from any of the other Hirshhorn curators

This is in a 150 show time period. My jaw doth drop.

But with the interaction between arts blog and art print resolving (however slowly), the next breach to target is the museum/gallery divide, one that if even partially attacked could result in big gains for artists in a city with incredible, mostly-free museums. Looking at the way museum curators have yet to bat an eye at Warren's massive Postsecret, how big a success does an artist or gallery exhibit have to be to get a nod from museums?

TO THE ARTISTS READING: Prove me wrong. Mention any studio visits by museum curators here. Gallerists, do the same.

Red Letter Day

Before there was postsecret there was the small and simple Red Letters; 20 Words. Paul Clark, Kaia Sand, and lots of other dreamy folks. Set the Wayback Machine to March 2004.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Any space?

Myself and sound artists Matt Sargent and Chris Kallmyer are looking for a one-day venue for the upcoming Landscape Circles. We are looking for a Saturday anytime in late April or mid May, in a black box or gallery space in the DC area with at least 200 sq. feet available. The piece will also be performed at St. Mary's.

Email me or Matt with ideas.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

in the past week

doing stuff (2.5 mb)

what's growing in the gallery, ripley

Follwing Hokusi's modest Fuji (now at the Sackler) there is a new mountain coming in April served, in oppositional grandeousity, by Diana Al-Hadid. First introduced to me as last fall's sculptor in residence at SMCM, Al-Hadid's installations threaten to overtake the galleries that contain them--like the eggs and goo of Aliens reworked in plaster. She is also stunningly ambigous in intent, making the her works even more menacing:

"My installations are propositions for an imaginary world. They are places that have a sense of believability without recognition and rely on their own internal logic. I want to create a sense of nonsensical logic. If I can't have an inherent contradiction, I'll take an apparent one."

Upcoming at the AAC will be seven solos of worthy artists like Tim Tate and Al-Hadid:

Diana Al-Hadid, Immodest Mountain, installation.
Al-Hadid, who exhibited in AAC’s MFA 2005 Exhibition, returns with a room-sized mixed media installation in the Truland Experimental Gallery. According to the artist, “This mountain is immodest by virtue of its seductive unzip, and it may just look flat out too show-offy and proud, as most mountains do.”

The Gamut:

Contact: Carol Lukitsch, Curator 703 248 6800, ext 12

Exhibition: SPRING SOLOS 2006
April 4 – June 3, 2006

Reception: Friday, April 7, 2006, 6-9 PM

Location: Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA
(AAC is located one block from the Virginia Square
Metro Station on the Orange Line)

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm

Solo Artists: Pattie Porter Firestone, Diana Al-Hadid, Kevin Labadie,
Nancy Libson, Cristin Millett, Brooke Rogers, Tim Tate

Arlington Arts Center’s Spring Solos 2006 presents a whirlwind journey through time and space. The viewer travels inside a metaphorical Renaissance medical anatomy theatre, to a glass cathedral, to life on a boat and back again to examine present-day sociological issues. While each artist makes a unique statement in a separate gallery, Spring Solos 2006 merges fantasy, humor and beauty with intellectual, psychological and spiritual content.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

itsy bitsy bollocks, with a real english person


Itsy Bitsy Bollocks
March 18 - April 22, 2006

With artists:
Mr. Eggs, Mark Jenkins, Travis Millard, and Kelly Towles

Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 18, 2006, 7-9 pm

Artists' Talk:
Sunday, March 19, 2006, 3 pm

Itsy Bitsy Bollocks is a site-responsive, collaborative exhibition
featuring drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media installation
by Mr. Eggs (Manchester, England), Mark Jenkins (Washington, DC),
Travis Millard (Los Angeles, CA) and Kelly Towles (Washington, DC).
Influenced by skate and punk culture, graffiti, comic book art, and
pop art, each artist's work has a distinct visual style that comments
on urban life, current political and pop culture news and issues, as
well as personal anecdotes that convey the laughable and mockable in
humanity and society.

The artists in Itsy Bitsy Bollocks choose to present their work in a
multitude of urban settings to allow for immediate and unrestricted
viewer response. Presenting similar bodies of work within the
context of Transformer's store-front project space, Itsy Bitsy
Bollocks encourages dialogue around what constitutes fine art – the
work itself or the context in which it is presented?

Evolving from the one night Bollocks event organized by Kelly Towles
in 2005 at Adamson Gallery (the commercial gallery who represents
Towles) – an artistic intervention and convention of sorts that
featured the raffling of free works by over 100 `street' artists -
Itsy Bitsy Bollocks furthers the relationship of four emerging
artists and their work through a curated exploration of their playful
yet defiant street art aesthetics. With their art work presented
both outside and inside the gallery space, the artists in Itsy Bitsy
Bollocks bridge their rebellious street art-making processes and
keenly tuned contemporary and graphic art sensibilities creating a
unique exhibition at Transformer that highlights the irreverent humor
each of these artists brings to their work.

Mr. Eggs "tries to stay anonymous and stay away from the glitz and
glam that some of today's street artists have come accustomed to.
Very little is known of this artist apart from what is told around
the streets and local bars. Mr. Eggs work consists of humorous and
odd statements that sometimes leave the viewer bewildered and
confused to the point where they just start to smile and giggle ever
so slightly to themselves, this sometimes leads the general public
into a frenzy of `I must try and take this piece of art home with me;
I love it,' and then try to peel, unscrew or even pick up the artwork
that has been left for the whole of the general public to enjoy.

Most of the artist's nights are filled with climbing walls with his
ninja chicken like skills and scaling crazy insane heights to place
his work for the world to see. One such case was that of the recent
Banksy "Cruder Oils" show in London, UK where Mr. Eggs single
handedly infiltrated Banksy's gallery, evading the security and the
masses of Banksy fans outside waiting to enter the venue, to stick-up
his own painting which then stayed up for the entire duration of the
show. The `Eggie Magritte' that it has now been labeled, has pride
and place in the POW headquarters in London waiting for pick up. The
very illusive Eggs has also managed to adjust and recreate some of
Banksy's work into his own, thus making a new kind of evolution in
the street art scene. In a quote by the artist over heard in the
Black Cat bar, `I just want to paint the town yellow and make folk
smile and if I have to break a few eggs along the way, well I guess
that's what's got to happen. It beats doing a 9 to 5 job and gets my
work more appreciated by the people'."

Mark Jenkins figurative tape sculptures and tape casts of urban
objects have been seen on street corners, in parks, and other public
settings. Using clear packing tape as his primary material, Mark
creates playful figures and scenarios in unexpected locations pushing
ironic sensibilities. About his chosen materials Mark states, "with
packing tape I can walk up to a parking meter, fire hydrant or
mailbox and rip a cast of it in a matter of minutes. I can't think of
another casting medium that would allow me to do this. I also like
clear tape sculpture for street installations because it's highly
reflective and translucent. It stands out in cityscapes in a way
that's otherworldly." In creating an artist statement about his
work, Mark writes: "when the Good Humor truck comes, the kids laugh
and scream; they don't even know why. I guess it's because they're
going to eat ice cream and too, the truck plays its tune loud
escalating the mood like a Pavlov effect. I'd like my art to be this
captivating to kids, and make adults the same. You can't eat tape but
you can eat art. 2006 is Year of the Stork."

Travis Millard is an accomplished artist whose work has been
presented along with artists Shepard Fairy and Jeremey Fish among
many others. Travis is also the proprietor of Fudge Factory Comics,
headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. "Fudge Factory Comics specializes
in common archaic scribbles, doodle awing, zine making, funny
stories, product design, animation, installation, and local sunflower
seed distance spitting champion. Travis Fudge makes no acts of
aggression against his neighbors and makes no attempts to harness
nuclear power for anything other than peaceful means."

Kelly Towles graduated from the University of Maryland with a fine
arts degree. About his work Kelly states, "social isolation and
emotional captivity are two of the major things that I comment on
with my work; people dealing with the society we live in, and the
emotional arsenal that each person is equipped with. Dark humor and
twisted features cast most of the characters that I create."

Monday, March 06, 2006


please download this song.

The Fiery Furnaces have made an album just about every six months and tour as often. Stupid brother-sister act trick aside, their music is crazy genuine and original (their last effort, Rehearsing My Choir featured their 80-year old grandmother as lead vocalist/ protagonist-- h8ters beware!). At its serene points, it recalls the Who; at its most inane, Zappa.

That said, this a fuffy pop-song with a backwards chorus.

The Fiery Furnaces - Nevers

Fancy? Tickled? Go to double dutch, Elizabeth van Fleet and I's music thang.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Consider Yourself, _______, Served.

Just back from the Hiraki Sawa talk tonight. It grandly expanded on his works in the Hirshhorn's new Black Box gallery. The kid seems to go against every artistic "how to" and still create some of the best video and sculptural work that's going on.
  • no sketch book
  • "(the videos) are real and if I make it too real than I make it fake." Woot on summing up conceptualism's fell of representation. In what, a sentence?!
  • "The washing machine... it has some kind of drama inside its...cycle; washing hard, spinning dry, tumbling, it's really."
  • Quoting Kobo Abe, "If you want to truly travel you should just stare at your wall and wait."
Transformer Board head Brigitte Reyes was there and she's at least a year older than one or two of you. Shame on ya'll cause even Tyler was there. Sure you can download the podcast tomorrow, but you'll cringe during the multiple 8 minute pauses where he shows the 1/3 capacity audience work not in the Black Box, one never seen before, and one preview from his upcoming James Cohan Gallery show.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

DCist posts

Last Friday's studio visit with Chawky Frenn is up on DCist.

Might turn in to a once in a while thing on the site. Go to DC artist's studios, make them delicious food and demand answers.

Resistance is futile, babe.

UPDATE: Wallsnatchers review is up as well. Promise to be a real blogger later today.