Wednesday, April 30, 2008

art IS fashion earlier guilty purchase of a Nylon magazine did lead me to an interesting play on art + economy. Damien Hirst collaborated with Levi to design a pair of jeans in the Warhol collection, using the imagery of his $100 million diamond skull. The art-world is one outrageous gift shop!
love + bling,

p.s. In response to your question about artfairs (or affairs) in hotels: it's a luxurious vacation to the escapist ideals of art, further glamorizing (inaccurately) the life of an artist. The collector plays a cultural rockstar, pampered and catered to, in order to feel anxiety-free about spending un-earthly (because they are no longer in the earthly realm, but a make-believe liminal space) amounts of money on whatever they fancy. It is, after all, souvenir shopping. Forgive me, I just lectured on the Rococo period and am feeling especially cynical in general. "Showtel" looks very cool! AND difficult to purchase!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Show me your hotel

Hey hon..I'm jealous of all your art fair a-going. From your pictures, all the work looks so interesting and delicately modern. I keep noticing this trend of highly detailed large-scale drawings and minute sculptures everywhere. It really appeals to my interests in the mixed media as well as architecture. I've been "seeing sculpturally" these days, after my first semester in teaching 3-D. Plus, I love the comments on "the future of art" - what IS it? And how does the economy and money fit into the equation??? Coming from the non-profit/academia side of things, I think both of us find this art as a commodity, auction houses and works being sold for the price of foreclosed houses is hard to wrap our heads around.

It was actually a really great weekend for the arts in south Florida. Showtel, "an annual one-night exhibition of site-specific art" was this weekend, and it was quite a hit. 21 artists transformed each room of Hotel Biba (a funky old Florida deco hotel) into an array of fatastical worlds. The installation of the pool was my favorite (and also my greatest regret for not charging my camera batteries.. ugh!) - visualize a bed, two nightstands, a rug and lamps floating on the floor of a pool effortlessly. It was quite the conversation starter. Plus, everyone looked pretty fabulous. Here are some pics from last year... Learn more about this fun south Florida event at

Alot of artfairs are now housed in hotels. (particularly at Art Basel Miami). What's the connection?

Still underwater,

Monday, April 28, 2008

and the winner is...Technology!!

Hey K!
Just got home from the NEXT art fair (part of Art Chicago: Artropolis) in the merch-mart. It was completely overwhelming, like Scope Miami or the Armory. I don't even think I saw half of it!! Here are a few excerpts:
Battle of "the Cute" by Kathy Aoki (My Little Pony was fighting Teddy Ruxpin in viking ships)
This was titled something like the slow death of American muscle. They were crashing into each other at such a slow rate, that I wouldn't even have known if it weren't for seeing it two days ago (when they were only nose to nose, yet all wheels on the ground). There was this gnawing noise of metal on metal---slow fingernails on the chalkboard kind of thing. Violence in slow motion seems quite perplexing.
Crazy maximalist collage installation by Mark Fox. Look him up, it's gud stuff!
"Diorama Drama" by Tracy Snelling. Little models of shady hotels and baptist churches with scenes of ill repute via figurines, eerie lighting and tiny videos. The dollhouse of adult misfortune. One of my new faves!
Best in Show (in my opinion) was this video piece by Jakub Nepras. It's hard to tell from this image, but it is as if he took several bits of video showing groups of people in action and blended them together to create this hybrid organism. Every tiny element is in motion, seeming very molecular, biological, and totally unreal! My co-worker, D, said "it looks like the future of art." And I said, "it looks like the future!" All those little people, like viruses, moving at super-speed, producing and destroying, reproducing and recreating. Soooo incredible! Beautiful and frightening!
Many, many others I didn't write down or take pics of, but...three that I thought you would especially like. Beginning to overload, I missed this artist's name. Shopping bags, set up like shadowboxes, with one solitary tree cut from the top of the bag so that is stands in the center of light.
And with similar delicacy both Sara Bridgland and Stephanie Backes (from Berlin) make tiny architectural forms from bits of paper and cardboard. (I didn't mean for this to be the longest blog ever. Sorry!)
Overall, NEXT was a very fashionable affair: excellent video work, tight drawing, sloppy po-mo painting, pop culture + political + art-historical references, glam installations, and flash---a revolving snake made of acrylic nails (scales) and sequins. It was money! Of course there were loads of polished galleristas chatting up unexpected buyers. Some of the equipment used to display the artwork costs more than my rent for a year!! B said he easily overheard "so...would you like 18,000 on your card or?" You know the drill. I don't completely get it (the money thing), but I did enjoy the visual stimulation!

Wow! Too much. Sorry for the overload. I gotta get to work!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Distracted by dance..

Ok, K..

Love, love, love your heart-shaped mushroom and other pics. I'm feeling distracted by things other than art lately as well. Paperwork is getting me down this week (to-do lists, papers to grade, final exams to organize, etc)... good thing S and I had our first ballroom dancing class last night to perk up my step! - After years of taking ballet and modern classes (and not always feeling so graceful in them) I'm finally taking ballroom. And our teacher is hysterical - think 80 year old crooner in shiny dance shoes. We are the youngest couple on the dance floor by an easy 20 years, but are loving it.

Maybe some of these graceful "slow, slow, quick, quick" rhythms and lines can start to appear in my art making.. . Here's hoping for a productive art weekend inspired by new moves.

Let's boogie,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Enjoyably Distracted

Well, K,
My most recent grocery purchase: Coffee Creamer, Nail Polish, + a Nylon Magazine doesn't feel very "green," but at least I walked to the store. I love imagining you on your crystal blue, riding around sunny Fla, with your hip basket full of flowers, snacks, books, and paper-art projects! This image of you is sooooo cool!

Ah geez. So, back to that archiving discussion again, it seems I've been so busy with my lists and "to do's" that blogging lost rank for a bit. But I do think you're right about our desire to whittle. I especially want to feel like I have a hold on things, to ease the anxiety of overwhelming Lost and Busy-ness. Also, it's meaning-making, meaning-connecting + contextualizing, which IS the business of artists (it's our "paperwork").

I want to share with you this exhibition I took my students to today, but I'm sleepy and distracted. In the meantime, an organized list of recent cute happenings in my life---things that aren't on the daily/weekly/monthly agenda, but sometimes seem more important:

1. heart-shaped mushroom (I left it on the plate for a few days to watch how it shriveled)2. Greasy delicious goat-cheese pizza (it's called "Thee Hipster")3. blooming + beautiful Jap. Mag.
4. Tita + Bella (Tita's brother, Josh, was giving them tickets for breaking sidewalk bike laws)5. an authentic vending-cart-on-bike (my neighbor's...not sure what's for sale, but there are colorful palm trees painted on the side)

More art-stuff soon!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Groceries + Bike Basket = Happy Earth Day

Hey K,

A quick Happy Earth Day... I went to a pretty fun "Green Fest" this weekend at the park across the street. My beachy cruiser fit right in with all of the eco-goods and yummy edibles. I haven't always been a bike fan, but ever since I got my crystal blue ride just like this one, I'm a convert. Plus, other best gal named K gave me an adorable modernly woven basket that I just can't resist.

Found this bag in my endless etsy searches. . . What is on your grocery list this week?
With love for green,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Hey you.. Wanting to share my excitement about my student's last project. The assignment? -Create an edition of 10 paper sculptures. The idea? - Get them to grasp the concept of an edition; get them interested in playful paper sculptures; experiment and grasp cutting and folding. The verdict? - They completely blew me away!

The guitar totally reminds me of Picasso's famous cardboard guitar, the flowers are made completely of paper cranes, and the books are classic charm for bookworms.

Thanks for all of your pep talks lately, I couldn't do it without you.

Love, despite a day of crazy allergies. Good thing I'm not allergic to paper, I dont know what I would do.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Archive to Get a Grip?

Dear K,

I think you're right on with your views on archiving.. There seems to be alot of it. Perhaps, in our crazy multi-technological, mutli-tasking communicatory society it fills our need to document...? Suddenly, everyone wants to be there own, as well as the world's personal historian. Issues, feelings, images, notations are constantly and consistantly whizzing by at lightning speed, so I think it makes sense that we want to organize, prioritize, alphabetize, catergorize as a method of sifting through the rubble of our existence.

You know me, if I have a list of things to do, it makes me feel like I can handle the tasks ahead of me. In terms of imagery, we as artists constantly have images we are inspired by, images that we have in our heads but have yet to create, and images that we quickly disregard. For me, its all about creating a system in order to whittle-down our daily lives. By whittling things down to a more manageable scale, we are more likely to get some clarity in our making.

These two artists above are my favorite "systems" artists (a term only used by me). Danica Phelps creates beautifully layered drawings of her daily life, while Mark Lombardi creates connections between seemingly disparate topics. His layered loops create diagrams that I usually have never thought to connect.

And speaking of diagrams.. I'm always a sucker for a good Venn Diagram. I recently stumbled upon this artist, Jessica Hagy, who posts daily diagrams that beat the band on humor. Check more of her out at: I'm really wanting to buy her new book, "Indexed".

Off to check things off of my endlessly growing to-do list.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

my transmedia fix

Ok, so, I'm procrastinating big time, us!


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Why archive?

Hey K!
Although I love (as do you) archiving, cataloging and all things diagramatic, what's with all the art as archive these days? Do you think it is an indirect attack on the Modernist ideas of static identity and logical categorization? Or a direct reference to scientific dissection and objective "understanding?" Comment on historians, critics? Is it about information? Nostalgia? Or...

Image 1: detail of Beth Campbell's My Potential Future and How I Got There?
Images 2+3: Ward Shelley and Douglas Paulson, Archive
These are both on display at the Cultural Center in a show called Slightly Unbalanced. The archive descriptions are especially witty. Go to the artist's website ( to read some of the labels. They seemed to customize a few for each location---there was one that read "new prospects for the chicago cubs."

I guess we're creating our own archive to the right, huh? What's the fascination? (I'm asking myself and you)

Just recording my thoughts...with love,

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'll see your Grumps with a Shark-Tooth Nail Biter

Dear K,
You know I like hearing about your Bushwick friends. Their life seems so romantic! And I always enjoy seeing the "making of" elements relating to any creative project. Have you heard that quote (I don't know from who), "It's not the movie but the making of Fitzcarraldo...?" Critics argue that the story behind the making of the film is more interesting than the film itself. I find this true about a lot of contemporary art. I'm more intrigued by the process and the evidence of the artist's thinking than the actual product. Except for in the case of SharkGirl...

The last stop of three Friday night openings. The show at Packer Schopf Gallery featured two artists: Michael Genovese and Casey Riordan Millard (SharkGirl). Michael's work (since we're on a first-name basis) was very urban. Graffiti/tattoo aesthetics mixed with street language and vague-yet-very-subculture one-liners. "All my Skin Folk Ain't all my Kin Folk." He had these beautiful aluminum etchings, which look as though others (the audience) participated in their production. Like writing on the bathroom walls, people carved obscene or absurd pictures and quotes. He then amplified them, by drawing highly detailed decorative doodling. Here is a picture:
He has a lot of interesting projects. Check out his website:
My favorite part of the exhibition were the vending carts. V and I decided that they are so very "Humbolt Park"---customized carts with hand-painted lettering and images of Corn (Ellotes). It's funny seeing this in a gallery context. I've always appreciated the sort-of "rigged" aesthetic of the outside world. In the scheme of things (in the art-world that is), it seems so honest and real. I don't know if it's a good thing that it is being recognized or not. You know what I mean?

SharkGirl was downstairs. These characters were adorable! There seems to be a trend right now: animal-headed people. Have you noticed? It's all over the "hip" visual scene (which sometimes makes me totally J!). These played right in--cute little objects with a bit of angst-y mystery. There are more images on the gallery site:

I want a shark tooth!
Hope the grumps leave you alone soon.
love, k

Friday, April 4, 2008


Dear K,

Feeling grumpy this morning so I took a walk to clear my head before I headed to work... It almost worked.

These are my neighbors. I like their style.

Thanks for you.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Archives and Research

Hey K's!

Been missing you.. we were on a blogging roll there for awhile. I have a million things that I am trying to check off of my list today, but I got an email from my friends at Bushwick Farms about some of their new projects and updated website. This interesting couple has built a life around being Artists in Residence at various locations around the country - giving them the space, support and time to make their work. Their drawings, installations, photographs, performances and short films are based heavily on research, collection and the idea of historical archives.

I love the collection of drawings placed strategically on the wall, coupled with this blueprint for planning out the space. I get so effected by space and always am drawn to blueprints, quick sketches and plans of installations. It's like receiving a secret and coded message for deciphering the work.

Check them out more at: or

How are you today?