Thursday, June 21, 2007

PRESSing

Wednesday I had the opportunity to experience the Press Preview Day at The Arthur M. Sackler for DCist. Sackler's new exhibition, opening the 24th, is entitled Encompassing the Globe, Portugal and the World of the 16th and 17th Centuries (tune into DCist for the full report).

I'd never been to a Press Preview Day, and this was certainly overwhelming. Any event where there are a lot of people and general confusion, I get a little skittish. Regardless, I had a wonderful time and walked away feeling smarter - one of the signs of a great show.

The first hour or so was a brief introduction of the major players who brought the exhibition together, and a lot of thanks were extended to the major financial donors and object lenders
who are making this exhibition possible. There was some mention about the content of the work being viewed (I did manage 3 pages of notes) and how the exhibition was divided.

But, the most entertaining thing of all: the cell phones. I don't know if it is because I have Sprint, but I seldom can get reception if I am wrapped too tightly in a cocoon of cheese cloth (no, it's not a hobby). So, how the bulk of Portuguese in attendance were able to get cellular reception is beyond me, let alone calls. And there were many. When one of the Ministers from Portugal was speaking there were unanswered telephone calls galore followed by a chorus of individuals, trying to be discrete, quickly lowering their ring-tones to vibrate. Eyes were audibly rolling. I simply exhaled a giggle through my nose.

The other thing I couldn't understand were all the photographs. This is simply from an aesthetic observation. How important is it to take a picture of any person standing in front of a Power Point Presentation? Later on, museum assistants were telling camera crews that their lights were too bright for the objects on display. Good times.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Recent Work

The above work might be going into a show at Re'Frame It - A People's Gallery (2015 Lord Baltimore Driv) in Baltimore at the end of the month, along with some other pieces. And, by might, I mean if I don't go back into it this weekend. This coincides with my involvement in the Strictly Painting show in McLean, VA - also at the end of the month.

Considering much of what I did through graduate school involved collage, this work is a bit of a shift. However, I was doing this work too, secretly, in a closet. Fortunately, since DC is in a panic of color school stuff, I can bring them out of hiding, make a few more, and maybe get them out of my system. But I don't think I want to.

Background: my first year of graduate school I knew nothing about the "Washington Color School." This is ironic because I was attending American University at the time. However, I was enrolled in the (now defunct) Italy program. Italy is not DC, though much of the driving style is the same.

I'm from an industrial town on the Mississippi River. The only color there is the color of John Deere and the leaves when they turn in October. Otherwise, it's kinda grey. Alcoa. Case. The Arsenal. Even the river is called the Muddy Mississip. Then I moved to Italy. Color everywhere. Beautiful stucco. It had an effect. I spent part of my summer at the Vermont Studio Center doing this kind of work.

Did I know anything about WCS in Iowa? No. Did I know anything about WCS in Vermont? No. I knew Rothko and Frankenthaler. I didn't even know the names Morris Louis or Ken Noland until I came here. There are about thirty people in Iowa who know about them... they're called art professors. As for Gene Davis? He draws that cartoon, right? That cat's real funny! Creepy though, how they all have the same ey...what?

Oh! That's Jim Davis? Uhm...


Never mind.


When I write pigment on canvas, that's what it is. There is no painting involved. I won't go into detail about how it is painted. And, despite the chaotic method in which they are painted, I don't dwel on the ideas of order and disorder. I think about the pigment like a pixel. It's enough to get a graduate student worked up into a lather about this stuff, but look upon it like a hobby. Strange to think that my hobby away from making art is making art.

Monday, June 11, 2007

In Case You Missed It...

...The Sopranos ended last night. For those of you who missed the last eight years of the show, I'll summarize what you missed.
8 hours of Tony dealing with issues of inadequacy with his children.
8 hours of Tony dealing with issues of inadequacy with his wife.
19 hours of Tony dealing with issues of inadequacy with his therapist.
6 hours of Tony dealing with issues of inadequacy with his mistress.
7 hours of Tony dealing with issues of inadequacy with his mother.
A lot of people getting whacked as a result of his inadequacies.
5 hours of Tony sleeping.
37 hours of Tony eating (solo or with friends and family).

Of course, this is just a guess. To be fair, I watched the show four times and each time I was bored silly. What it produced, culturally, was the real phenomenon. I waited tables in New York during its apex (before it jumped the shark with the dream sequence), and thanks to the Sopranos it gave every guy from New Jersey, who even thought he looked Italian, to behave badly in public. In fact, it gave every male who had even heard of New Jersey the same excuse. To compound the matter, their girlfriends all watched Sex in the City. So, when they would dine out, they would all order cosmos. Imagine a muscle-bound meat-head with slick-backed black hair, acting tough, like a hit man, sipping on a pink cocktail. That is my memory of 2002 and 2003.

Oy.