Friday, March 30, 2012

B(r)easts of Nochlin

Way back before we had to have a blog for grad, I had my personal blog where I wrote about the readings for Stuart Steck's class(I think I used to care more). Anyway, if anyone is interested in checking those out-

Musee d'Orsay, A Symposium- Linda Nochlin, Art in America, January 1988
sub- The Beauties and the Beasts: Outdoor Sculpture at the Orsay

Actually enjoyed the historical (by default) and hopeful analysis by Nochlin (not too trope, pretty general discourse). But what I really found interesting was the side bar we weren't assigned about the outdoor sculptures. If you want to see more of the detail shots of the 6 continents dressed as women, try wikimedia commons ((,_Mus%C3%A9e_d%27Orsay. ))

I wonder if anyone has ever done a census of how many sculptures of women in Paris have their breasts bared. I'm sure it's more common than not. What is sort of impressive to me is how similar all the breasts are- very conical and set fairly low on the chest, perhaps with the exception of Africa's, which really just has extremely pronounced nipples and an odd substructure garment. In the era before implants, it's impressive to me that there was still such a homogeneous nature to idealized boobs.

Speaking of im-plants- That rhinoceros is traipsing through the botanical gardens! Those 2 plants do not grow in the same place. I also like that a monkey has caught the baby elephant. And what is that harrow doing under that horse?

Hope we can keep the sidebars coming!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Endless Wonder, found in Other Cities

Ok, this record cover should just be my art work, right? Eames chair, girls in funny costumes, super bright colors, guy with moddy glasses... Did I buy it? No.

Someone else (in San Luis Obispo) is working on the same pipecleaner dream machine as I am.

And from the Jack London Square produce packing stalls that were closed Sunday. I forgot to take a picture of the Oaklandish windows to accompany this, but here's the site: (oh wait, that's the tee shirt I want for my birthday...)

WPA Posters

So, I've been feeling particularly nostalgic for my days as a screenprinter. And, as such, have been debating screenprinting my super fancy calendar, even though that would then actually negate the necessity of making the ornate and detailed things that I'm currently indulging. However, as the interest was peaking, I purchased a wonderful history of WPA Posters. These are just a couple (cellophone) highlights, but almost every one featured was fantastic. Sadly, only a couple hundred examples remain of the nearly 35,000 that were originally produced. That, in and of itself, makes me want to make more posters...

Going Native, etc

Yup, I'm taking notes on the semester readings-

Going Native- Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Art in America, July, 1989
Matisse in Morocco: A Colonizing Esthetic? Roger Benjamin, Art in America, 1990
Critical Reflections- Johnathon Crary, Art forum International, Feb. 1994
Resonance and Wonder- Stephen Greenblatt, 1990

So, these are the articles (plus a little bit of one other) that my mother managed to read aloud on the 10 hour road trip we just took together. Now, some of that was because of snow (where I, as the driver, had to not be rolling my eyes), but a lot of it was because of moaning (on both our parts.) Now, my mother is one of the smartest people I know, and she has seen most of the works in question. She has visited the Musee D'Orsay approximately twice as many times as I have. She reads the New York Times Arts section nearly weekly, gets the New Yorker even though we live on the other side of the country, and, above all, she cares. She likes Matisse, she just visited Turkey,and she has an avid interest in artifacts. And the readings, even the ones that sound "fun" were mostly a bit of an outdated drag. (Oh, and ironically she had to read to me on approximately the same stretch of road 6 years ago for undergrad, in a class on, apparently, exactly the same topic). Did I mention she's a Literature and French Language teacher? She knows big words in 2 different languages.

Anyway, these are listed in descending order thus far.

Going Native: I have no idea why it's supposed to be relevant for me to be reading about an exhibit, let alone an exhibition catalog, I wouldn't have been able to see 23 years ago, of an artist I have never been able to relate to, who was active over 100 years ago. Is anyone else nostalgic for world's fairs it could be assumed we were all influenced by because we lived in the same proximity? In an era where we were informed in Stuart Steck's class that prostitutes and mixed-age sexual relations were commonplace, are we really supposed to be shocked by Gauguin's behavior? Yes, people were lewd. People are always lewd. What I think is considered especially interesting about this piece was that anyone ever took Gauguin's writings about anything seriously. He was a washed up painter speculating on a quickly atrophying island culture, and anyone paying attention in anthropological circles at the time would have known that. Shame on the people who bought his paintings, but I find it hard to shame him for having flooded the market with piffle. (Actually- there's an exhibit of his works up in Seattle, which I have been wanting to see. I have no problem enjoying sexy native chicks in muumuus. And that it's showing to great fan fair in Seattle, a city which has a significant Pacific Islander population, (Washington being in the top 5 states for Pacific Islander populations) is particularly interesting)

Matisse in Morocco- So, leaving aside my general annoyance (from 1990? Painter active in 19tweens?), I think the author's desire to have Matisse be the exploiter is a little harsh. If I go to Greece in search of Greek subjects how is that different from me going to my back yard and painting back yard subjects? Clearly Matisse had reasons to be interested in Morocco, and who could blame him? Morocco is and was interesting. Exploring is fun. Showing people new ideas from foreign lands has always been a way to make money, and continues to be today. Call it "cultural awareness," if ya like. Getting Islamic women to take of their Moorish attire is something we almost consider heroic today (think of how we were "liberating" women from their burkas in Afghanistan at the beginning of our most recent conflict). How is he being exploitative here, and not later when he makes his chapel? Hogwash!

Ok, I liked the Resonance and Wonder chapters. If you were going to skip stuff in the readings this semester, this would not be one to skip, because it is truly lovely writing. Very few tropes eschewing discoursive blahdeblah- real words, well placed. But then I found it more fascinating to see Bukowski's typewriter, wine glass and eyeglasses and to remember the impact of his poems on me, than to actually stand and reread the hand-printed impressions that lined the walls of the Huntington. Anyway, especially liked the anecdotes about the Coke stand and also the Marcel Proust vase. See, now you have to read the article, with those tantalizing leaders...

And lastly, Critical Reflections, a lovely speculative work about the internet. It's good to be reminded that we really couldn't have predicted Facebook or the Arab Spring. I really do think cell-phones have made the world a better place, even if i still have my doubts about virtual reality being virtuous reality. Thank goodness Steve Jobs had a lot more impact on reality than this guy.

What a productive vacation I had!

Poly Canyon

So, I know I've been remiss, but look where I was visiting!

I sincerely enjoy having my experiences brokered by other folks that I haven't seen in years. Such it was to visit San Luis Obispo and my old buddy Phillip. These images (only one taken by me, the last) are of some of the structures in Poly Canyon, an architectural site series hidden in the back of Cal Poly campus. There are also horses and turkeys and warning signs about wildcats. Excellent fun!

The 2 featured here are Shell House and Green House. We actually could traipse around inside Shell House, which is completely wired, and even has a range, fridge, sink, lights, ceiling fans,etc. fully installed. The kitchen, to me, was wonderfully situated, with very little wasted space. However, the rest of the space was a little odd, and filled with tables places in "storage." Oh, and it had lovely kitchen garden landscaping, where I failed to catch a lizard. And it's just hanging out on a hill, anyone can visit.

Anyway, this kinda funny article seems to be more articulate than I am today, I just drove through a snow storm, so I have an excuse...

Friday, March 16, 2012

The trouble with suits...

I've recently been having this dream about unzipping my skin. The zippers keep showing up in different places, and I'm always very excited to unzip them because there's always great stuff underneath. This is quite a contrast from my general life right now, where I'm feeling quite disconnected from my body, and the physical world in general. In fact, I'm at that dangerous point where the virtual world is beginning to feel more real. But I'm sure that will change Monday when I drive away again, southerly, mother in tow.

BTW, I'm looking into videoing the landscape as my mother reads the Crit 3 readings aloud. Sound good to anyone? They'd be available the 1st couple weeks in April...

Monday, March 12, 2012

About Mike Nichols

Ok, so I'm distracted easily from my paper writing, I admit and I am also distracted from fingerknitting and (ee-gads) have been listening to the news and also reading Vanity Fair. And so, I've been hearing a lot about Mike Nichols ( Someday, possibly for thesis, I will write about my love of somewhat obscure comedy. I love this sketch. It comforts me in times of need.

Also, they don't start moving till halfway through the video. However, it's a radio piece, so just listen.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How you'll be remembered if you become a famous artist.

My friend Michael, who works in a variety of catering capacities at the Seattle Art Museum, sent me this image of the donar table list. Wouldn't you hate to be the one person to order the beef at Remington's or Gaugin's table?

Lately I've been watching all these science fiction films, and noticing the what I assumed were Eames furniture items featured in them. Especially the white table (2001 A Space Odyssey, Soylent Green, Solaris...) which you could practically place bets on how long it would take to show up in "the future." Surprising to me, it's actually an Eero Saarinen from 1956. "The underside of typical chairs and tables makes a confusing, un-restful world," explained Saarinen. "I wanted to clear up the slum of legs."

However, the blue chairs which show up in the helicopter control booth in "Superman" are all Eames all the time.

Anyway, those are my not very deep thoughts involving tables (and chairs).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


William Herberholz (AKA August) is a seattle artist whose work I've been admiring as I work away at the Hi Spot Cafe in Madrona. He's got that delicate balance of lovely and kitschy that I personally aspire to.

Headed back to Tri-Cities today, and it's looking to be a lovely drive. Maybe I will actually get inspired for a thesis for this next paper... sigh...

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pop-Ups and Paperdolls

I've been escorting my friend Andrew about Seattle and today we visited Allen Library's Special Collections show "A Merry Company." I suggest watching the slideshow at the end of this link (( An enormous collection of all types of pop-up books from the last 300 years, it also had a great range of paper dolls. (please excuse that these photos are all shot surreptitiously with my phone) These actually come closest to how I now envision my calendar. I especially like the headless Scotsman. The idea of physically removing myself from the objects also allows me to think about making the props themselves 2 dimensional.

I loved this pop-up anatomy diagram, the "human-o-scope." The body parts are attached to transparent pages, and printed on both sides, so you could remove the structure on one body then replace the structure on the opposing side. This could work wonderfully for actually showing the costumes, perhaps...

I know it's early in the semester, but I'm absolutely overwhelmed by how much work I have to do, and the incredible expenses I can only begin to imagine to carry out the work that interests me. UGH...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

for Sarah! With an "H"!

How to simply gild some fancy cards

Any one else want me to make some videos at my kitchen table? nothing could be easier (though I have to go to the beer store to get them to load...)