Thursday, December 03, 2009


This image is by Banksy, a the well-known street artist who's last gallery show just took place in London this past summer. I wish I could have seen his paintings in person. Great stuff.

Check out the Tim Burton Exhibit

The catalog does no justice, and I really couldn't sneak a (good) picture in but I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend the Tim Burton exhibit at the MOMA. It includes over 700 drawings, paintings and sketches. For this alone, the show is worth the crowd. The drawings are wonderful to see in person.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hirst strikes again - artists/instigator

The artist's ego is perhaps larger than the size of the sun itself, at least when it comes to Damien Hirst. Artists need to develop a thick skin in order not to let all the negative criticism from their own colleagues, community, audience and the art critics get to them, but many artist rivalries have escalated throughout time and history all because of the artist's ego. Sometimes the rivalries are between a group of artists. Here's a more revealing article about Hirst and his latest show in which he drops another controversial and shocking soundbite, "Anyone can be Rembrandt". He claims he can paint like Rembrandt if he wanted to, but there's no use in working toward that since there's no point to that kind of art today. I can hear the realist painters' forums as I type this. Read the article here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

cadavers and vanity

Tomorrow I go to another anatomy session in the dissection lab. Skeptical I was about the relevance of dissection to drawing and learning anatomy for artists. The cadaver too messy would be I thought. But trust I must have in the force...dissection and anatomy is quite useful to the artist interested in learning how to draw the figure more realistically, indeed.

Alas! I was happy to be able to extinguish my skepticism. (Wise) Yoda-talk aside...It has already given me a greater structural and constructional knowledge in my figure drawings and I look forward to tomorrow's session.

However I dread the formaldehyde. It's not a very strong smell, but it's enough to make me want to gag some moments. There are two aisles of gurneys with about a dozen cadavers lined up in each row. I've only seen the face of one cadaver and I am very thankful for those who have donated their bodies to science. It is difficult to look at some with skin discoloration though overall it wasn't very scary to see the cadaver's face. Perhaps because I've been to several funerals in the past and have grown somewhat desensitized to the waxy look of the dead?

The first time I went to a dissection class (in high school) I hadn't attended a funeral nor was I ready for the formaldehyde. The shock of seeing a dead human being was very powerful and created a highly memorable experience in my mind. I think it may have greatly impacted my career choices.

Now back to the current dissection lab....It was actually more shocking to see their hands and stare at the delicate and graceful fingers and fingernails of some of the cadavers. Most of the cadavers' hands were still intact and frozen via rigor mortis. You didn't have to stare very long to feel the articulate-ness of their hands and suddenly remember that these were once alive human beings. Sometimes I would forget they were cadavers for a split second then suddenly the clinical atmosphere, the lecture, and mummy-lumps on each gurney wrapped in white plastic would rush me into reality. The two thoughts would juxtapose for a brief second. It was very strange.

Where does the vanity come in? Fat. I am a little embarrassed to admit that the greasy, yellow fat was something I just couldn't get over. I still can't fathom the inches of fat average persons contain just below their skin!! I looked at my own flesh and wondered what I looked like underneath. I couldn't stand to look at the fattier cadavers. The bright yellow grease called out to me like neon lights and all I wanted to do was turn away and go to the more lean cadavers so as not to have to face the human insulation many of us so dearly depend on for warmth. It affected me so much that I had a nightmare about it. While most people were probably haunted by the muscles and how they looked so much like any other animal meat we carnivores eat, I just couldn't get the image of the oily human padding out of my mind. As a friend pointed out, if we were served human meat vs animal meat we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. We look so much like what we eat! And yet, I had no trouble eating meat after dissection. I guess as long as whatever I ate wasn't yellow or greasy, I was fine.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the things you learn in the country

Keep your attic bat-proofed, otherwise close the door so that bats don't get in the house. I would write about it, but someone beat me to it so why reinvent the wheel?

I never thought I'd say that I am living in a bat-filled church. Apparently you see them fly in and out of the bell tower some nights. I never noticed. Read about it here (the pictures are great!).

Monday, August 03, 2009

Poets and Artists Magazine

Check out this magazine featuring some talented up and coming artists and poets, including Oscar Bermeo who's blog Intuitive Intertextuality is one of the blogs I follow here (take a look at "Literary Bloggers" on the sidebar). Also in this issue is Kehinde Wiley. His themes on canvas provide an interesting juxtaposition of traditional themes and narratives painted over the past 8+ centuries, with a modern twist.

Most of all...dig this awesome widget for the mag:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Time in the countryside

Being away from the city and having time to actually do things I like and need to get done, like paint, write, read, relax, catch-up, cook, grocery's a nice feeling. What I've been loving most is actually getting to grill and the space, oh the glorious, abundant space!

At first I thought, "Oh gawd I left my coffee up in the study....what a drag to walk across the studio (which is about 6 times the length of my nyc apartment) then up stairs! Ugh!" Have I grown lazy from living in the city despite all the walking required to get around in an urban space like New York? It was quite alarming to even have the thought!!

I mean, you want to surrender to laziness when it comes to things like reading a good book, not when it comes to things like grabbing a sweater 'cause you're cold! Well, at least it didn't stop me from grabbing the cup of coffee I left. As far as the space? I quickly became used to it.

I wonder how things will be once I return to my little closet-sized apartment? I do love the trade off. But then again, my mind knows it's temporary and there are a lot of chores I've been enjoying (like mowing a pretty good-sized lawn) which I know are purely due to novelty. Do I like living in the country because it's a novelty? Or do I really miss the simple pleasures?

Minimal Mac

If you're like me, you like to keep your MAC environment nice and minimal. But I'm a mess so why not use some applications and shortcuts to get the job done? Check out these useful tips on how to indulge the minimalist in you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Public Sculpture in the Post-Postmodern Era

As the article in the NY Times today starts out, "Outdoor art isn't what it used to be." With the introduction of installation art in the 70s,  traditional monuments have nearly gone extinct and have been replaced by the more broad term "public art sculpture". The purpose has changed and most commissions are no longer created to memorialize or celebrate a person or event. How many times have you walked around (especially in large metropolitan areas) and run smack into a seemingly random object (usually oversized about 10x larger than life – at the very least), like an oversized spider, a huge car, a gigantic picnic table or Hello Kitty?

Sometimes they're amusing, other times they act as great backgrounds in tourists' photos. The more permanent "monument installations" such as Claes Oldengurg's oversized replicas of simple, everyday objects (clothespin, typewriter eraser, etc) are shocking at first and with repetitive exposure become just as familiar and unnoticed as the skyscrapers they attempt to enliven. I think more people took pictures next to Takashi Murakami's installation piece of three massive bronze spiders than they did with the classical popular Prometheus at the Rockefeller Center Plaza.

So what does it all mean?

Will there ever be a return to the "good ole' traditional monuments" of highly ranked and good-postured men on horses looking off into the distance? Will our children know about Prometheus and general William Tecumseh Sherman? (say who?!??)

I'll say one much as one can say that I'm desensitized to the temporary, site-specific oddities (in the good sense of the word) springing up around the city here and there, they're still great eye candy that turns my head and makes me, well, smile and feel a little warm all over. I don't know what it all means. We'll just have to wait for post-post-postmodernism to find our answer.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What'll happen to Billyburg?

The New York Time wrote about the, often stigmatized, "trust fund babies" a.k.a "trustfunders" or "trustafarians" of Williamsburg -- 20 somethings who rely greatly on their parents to help pay for $2,500 rent lofts while they go after their passions and spend time in boutiques and coffeeshops off Bedford Ave. We all know how difficult it is to make rent and other essential living expenses in this city, while juggling jobs and having the time and energy to create work – oh yeah, and some sleep as well. It looks like the economy has hit Billyburg and many are moving out. The recession is definitely affecting the entire strata of the social pyramid. It doesn't seem like there's anyone untouched by this.

I couldn't get over the quote which, mind you, I thought was a farce and something more that I would more likely read off of The Onion than the New York Times:

Luis Illades, an owner of the Urban Rustic Market and Cafe on North 12th Street, said he had seen a steady number of applicants, in their late 20s, who had never held paid jobs: They were interns at a modeling agency, for example, or worked at a college radio station. In some cases, applicants have stormed out of the market after hearing the job requirements.

“They say, ‘You want me to work eight hours?’" Mr. Illades said. “There is a bubble bursting.”

I know, I know...but schadenfreude is the entire point of the article...and this blog post. (I never claimed to be perfect.) Here's a link to the New York Times article. As an added bonus and for an interesting read on the hipster debate, check this out. Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Be a Thief

If you're going to steal, be authentic and sincere about it.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Street Artist: Swoon

I ran into one of my an interview of Swoon, whom I've never seen before. So it was quite a discovery. I had a feeling this artist was somewhere nearby, definitely living in Brooklyn 'cause most of the pieces I've had the luck running into have been in Dumbo, the Slope, etc, etc. I love how the direction the art is going.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

National Poetry Month: A poem a day

Here we go....I'm a bit behind already since time escaped me and I didn't realize it was already April.  So here's the first prompt. There are actually two sites, each with a different prompt.  Whether it seeds from indecision or overachievement, I'll attempt to write one for each.  On uninspired days, I'll choose one.

Prompt from April PAD Challenge, Writer's Digest: Day 1
Write an origin poem. It can be the origin of a word, person, plant, idea, etc.

Upstream Passage

Cold tiles against bare feet, using
bathroom walls and banisters for balance,

she stretches and squats all day,
intent on inducing

labor. Some days she sits
on the sofa with her seasoned belly exposed

like a peeled mango showing
its ripe flesh.  She practices in solitude,

squeezing an orange
for pulp, crafting

the perfect birth. You
peek through the window and see

one of Degas’ dancers warming up, reaching
for her toes in mid-stance.  Beautifully awkward.

But most days she stands

by the door, a worn out trout
swimming upstream, waiting to be done with it.

NaPoWriMo Prompt, Day 1: Metaphor

Right now, at this very minute, list five things in front of you. In
front of you being a relative term: on your desk, on your arm, out your
window … . Choose the two most disparate things and yoke them together
into a fabulous metaphor. Now, use it in a poem.

sometimes fruit

not everything’s a metaphor.  sometimes fruit
no matter how sweet
or fleshy is just
fruit. juices drip from hinge
of mouth tells me
you’re messy
and maybe next time
more napkins.

For the Writer's Digest Challenge, there's an e-book giveaway -- a feel good incentive, something to work towards that's all.  For rules check out Robert Lee Brewer's blog, here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

John F*$!-en Malkovich

Someone else noticed his favorite word when acting.  He has truly developed this into an artform. Watch.

Challenge: Name a movie where he doesn't say it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Interview with Art Spiegelman

Here's a light interview with well-known comic artist, Art Spiegelman (author of graphic novel Maus) on one of my favorite podcasts, KCRW's Bookworm with Michael Silverblatt. 


Direct Link to the Interview's webpage, click here.
Visit KCRW's Bookworm and subscribe to their podcast.