Tuesday, November 29, 2011

something's growing in my studio

Final critiques are in less than a week and I'm working hard to finish this piece. It's still very much a work in progress, but I'm excited about where it's headed. I like the looks of it standing up, but I think I actually prefer it laying down... that way you can see the interior as well! hmmmmm

Monday, November 28, 2011

william kentridge: anything is possible

"I am an artist. My job is to make drawings, not to make sense." WK

I just watched the PBS documentary on South African artist, William Kentridge, called Anything is Possible. I know I've seen it before, but I can't remember for the life of me when/where. If ever I teach a drawing class of my own, I will definitely show this film to my students. He pushes "drawing" like no artist I've seen. William Kentridge's work is quite amazing, involving so many factors yet flowing so smoothly. I particularly enjoy watching footage from the opera he staged and directed called The Nose

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ashkan honarvar

These beautiful collages by Ashkan Honarvar remind me a lot of Wangechi Mutu's, but I think I may like these even better. His website is organized very nicely into distinct bodies of work that are definitely worth checking out. Some are a bit, ahem, "sexier" than others (yes, I can be a bit of a prude) but they're all quite striking and lovely. I particularly enjoy how he uses layering techniques to manipulate the human flesh and create new images that are gorgeously grotesque.

 "The saying goes that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. It occurs in places you least expect. Revealing its art in the human body, but also cruelly absent in the presence of deformations and scars, Ashkan Honarvar depicts an undeniable, unavoidable beauty by accepting the darker sides of human ‘nature’. The body, torn by acts of war, exploited by the sex industry or used as a tool for seeking identity, is the focal point of his work. This constitutes a search for a universal representation of the evil latent in every human, providing an opportunity for reflection. His aesthetic dissection has an intriguing macabre nature, which opens the images to interpretation." (from his website)     

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

wangechi mutu


Kenyan artist, Wangechi Mutu's gorgeously complex collages caught my eye last weekend at the Corcoran's 30 American's exhibition (definitely worth checking out if you're in DC).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


An intelligent and quietly hilarious film, (Untitled), delivers a fresh take on the contemporary art world and cleverly satirizes its various stereotypical players. There's Madeleine, the NY gallerist, who is committed to showing work that is odd and unsellable, such as Adrian's serious experimental music/sound art, but is forced to sell Adrian's brother's uninteresting commercial paintings to keep the doors open. 

It's hard to put into words how poignant this film really is... so much so that outsiders of the contemporary art world might not pick up on the blatant stereotypes that make it so entertaining. Does that make sense? Check out the trailer below for a better idea...

Friday, November 11, 2011

more on wim delvoye

I've always had a soft spot for some good (classy) potty humor... which naturally makes me a huge fan of Belgian artist, Wim Delvoye. The more I learn of his work, the more I fall in love with this guy. He has an incredible way with the subject matter that takes the yucky/gross/ew and turns it into beautiful/gasp/giggle! I'm particularly taken by his series of "anal kisses."

 Anal Kiss A 15 (left) and A11 (right), 1999
53 x 44 cm (framed)
lipstick on hotel stationery

Aren't they great?! I would LOVE to get my hands on a copy of this book - a collection of Delvoye's earliest work, completed between the ages of 3-6. I can only image what awesomeness it might contain. This is now at the top of my Christmas list!

This puzzle too! Oh boy... gotta have this! hahaha! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

drawing (droodling)

3" x 8"
ink on paper

I'm onto some new-ish things in the studio. This drawing above is the start of something. It's primarily serving as one of many studies for some larger paintings I plan to do with polyurethane and oil paint... so we'll see about that! I've been looking at a lot of photos online of skin... all kinds of photos... but the really zoomed in ones of skin layers are by far the best. I found these at sciencephoto.com 


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

herb & dorothy

I finally watched this film... and I highly recommend it!
"HERB & DOROTHY tells the extraordinary story of Herbert Vogel, a postal clerk, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who managed to build one of the most important contemporary art collections in history with very modest means. In the early 1960s, when very little attention was paid to Minimalist and Conceptual Art, Herb and Dorothy Vogel quietly began purchasing the works of unknown artists. Devoting all of Herb's salary to purchase art they liked, and living on Dorothy's paycheck alone, they continued collecting artworks guided by two rules: the piece had to be affordable, and it had to be small enough to fit in their one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Within these limitations, they proved themselves curatorial visionaries; most of those they supported and befriended went on to become world-renowned artists including Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle, Chuck Close, Robert Mangold, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Lynda Benglis, Pat Steir, Robert Barry, Lucio Pozzi, and Lawrence Weiner. "
CLICK HERE or HERE to lean more - or watch the trailer below

Sunday, November 6, 2011

rocks that wow

I think it's time I learn some more about geology. It's more aesthetic than I ever realized.

Yesterday I spent some time with the rocks in DC's Natural History Museum. I've been to the museum twice since moving to DC, but for some reason the dinos and dead animals always seem to take precedence. My friend Julia and I ventured upstairs this time to catch a glimpse at the Hope Diamond (though I still don't know what's so great about it) and found ourselves amongst the most incredible rocks/minerals/crystals we'd ever seen. I could've spent ages in that room just ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the gorgeous forms and colors. It's amazing to think that all these things have formed naturally over time. So outrageous. Seeing them all has given me lots to think about - especially concerning the idea of the "organic." I've always thought of rocks as being so stationary (contrary to my impression of the organic) but after seeing how they grow into such incredible forms, I can't help but consider them organisms themselves.

I saw a lot of things that reminded me of elements and materials used in my own work. For example, there's a striking resemblance between this lava rock and this "Folded Flesh" painting I did last year...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

wim delvoye

This video by Belgian artist, Wim Delvoye (of Cloaca Factory fame) came up in conversation last night. I'll refrain from extrapolating... but I must admit that I like this... a lot.

CLICK HERE to read a great interview of the artist