Thursday, December 31, 2009


I'm not sure how I feel about the imagery, but I think that the idea of turning engravings into projections is pretty interesting..

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mat Brown

For those of you who are fans of the macabre, this guy is pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


As I was researching non-geographical maps, I came across this website and wanted to share. Check it out!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Complex of All of These

Artist-in-residence Abigail Uhteg put together this video while working on her artists’ book, The Complex of All of These, at Women’s Studio Workshop. The stop-motion video uses 3000 images to show some major action, covering printmaking, hand papermaking, letterpress, and book arts production.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

In a different vein..

Amid my over-analyzing of the manifesto project, I managed to stumble across some artists/collectives that made me smile. I guess this post is about that simple.

I tend to forget sometimes that artmaking doesn't have to be all serious. It can, in fact, be confetti-throwing and lotto-style scratch offs.

Sometimes we need to challenge our ideas of mark making.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Hello. Earlier in the semester I was introduced to this cool site in my animation class. The Gnomon Workshop is a fantastic resource for every stage of the three dimensional animation process. Whitiker lab does have copies of Maya and Photoshop, so it is something you could try out if you are interested in animation. I know a few people are, and the site offers free tutorials for those brand new to the process (at the top, under the freebies tab) which really help offset the difficulty curve of Maya. And if you decide that you like the software, you can also get higher level educational resources from professional users of the software in dvd format (which is not free, though). Just thought I'd pass that on.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

art and the trendy: reworking the skull

Damien Hirst's For The Love of God

I'm not sure how everyone feels about this, but I feel as if the skull is getting to be pretty exhausted as the hip, edgy thing to "reinvent" all over the art scene. I've always been really interested in how things become trendy in the art world - and in general - and how subsequently, after enough exposure, they tend to lose their power as a compelling or as even an original or interesting image or object. To maybe commemorate and offer up a memento mori of the memento mori, I thought I'd do a brief visual review of some selected favorites... some that still pique my interest, but that leave me uncertain whether they are still provocative or just trite... it's a strange push and pull. 
check it out:

Skullphone digital graffiti

John Espinosa's Skull Prismatic Resurrection 

Brian Dettmer's cassette tape skull

and finally Jim, a "skull artist" actually...
(for more, check out 

How do you feel about art "trends"? How do they affect the way we perceive and respond to certain images or objects?

Interesting Application

I read about this application a few weeks ago in a little blurb in ARTNews. This Add-Art application essentially blocks advertisements on some websites by replacing them with curated images that rotate every two weeks. There are other adblockers out there, but they simply leave a blank space. The Add-Art website provides some brief information about the artists and images. Currently, the show is photographs of the" youth that have taken part in photography workshops faciliated by the Portland, Oregon non-profit My Story." After using this application for a few weeks, I'm still pleasantly surprised to find these images preventing advertisers from taking complete control of my mind. I've noticed that the application works better on more high traffic/popular websites . This application also brings up a curious new way to think about 'curating' a show, strictly online, squeezed between articles and other information, and unpredictable about what will pop up, where, and when. Anyways, I thought this was an interesting idea and has definitely been appreciated in recent times of increased web-surfing.

McDonald at the Louvre

I was just reading the blog post on consumption and I thought that this piece was very ironic considering the past posts.

Mixed Pickles

While reading magazines in the art library last week I came across an ad for an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago called "Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage" that is up until January 3rd. This is a really exciting because this is the first show if it's type, and we all know how often works on paper are on display. I was surprised that at a time when photographs were just beginning to circulate, people were already cutting them up and inserting them into their art to make these strange collages, just as artists still do today. Who knew Victorians were so funny and creative!

Even if you can't go to Chicago, there's a lot of images from the show on the website. Go look!

Shifting Interests to Social Commentary about Consumption

Right now I am shifting gears in my artwork which I am really excited about. Previously I was working on cellular forms, but now I am taking more art into a more social commentary direction and using found objects which I am really interested in- I am exploring ideas about societal consumption and accumulation of material goods and I am really eager to see where this new direction takes me.

I have been very focused and interested in Kate Bingaman-Burt's blog website Obsessive Consumption and I recommend that everyone should take a look at it. She does daily drawings of the objects she buys and works a lot with craft art to make her installations. She makes us question our own role in consumerism and I think we can be inspired by her and learn a lot from her own work.

I have also been really interested in reading up on blogs over the past few weeks and for those of you who are interested in feminist thoughts check out Feministing blog. It has no connection to printmaking really but can be a good source of subject matter to inspire you and get you going. It is really entertaining and intriguing to read.

Hopefully soon I can post some pictures of the new art I'll be creating. Right now I am collecting receipts and seeing where that takes me.


I have been an artist of many existential crises. Almost every semester of art school I have almost given up the gig entirely. BUT, something wonderful!!, astounding!!!, life changing!! happened to me this summer. I made public art. It completely changed my mental model of my practice and absolutely qualmed any concerns I had about the studio isolation effect.

On the prowl for outlets for public art (and for a paying job), I ran across this article in the T magazine of the New York Times. RxArt not only gets art out of the galleries, but gets it into places that really need some cheer- Children's Hospitals. Take a look, its a pretty wonderful program.

Steve Wolf and Sam Winston

After tirelessly thinking about a great post that would inspire the entire printmaking studio, Steve Wolf and Sam Winston are two artist that I decided to share with everyone for today! After searching the internet for inspirational stories and even a great video I continued to think about the manifesto that I just finished. I am constantly questioning why I create art and what is it exactly that the patterns, shapes and colors provide for my viewer.

Steve Wolf caught my eye because of the precision used in his work. Currently being exhibited at the Whitney are his works on paper. While I have a very fuzzy and unclear descriptions of exactly what it is that I create I was very interested in the first line written on the Whitney's website:

"For over two decades, Steve Wolf has created objects and drawings of astounding craft and visual presence that investigate the intersections among material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory."

This idea struck me as very interesting and after a thorough investigation I am very attracted to his desire to recreate record labels, vinyl recordings, and tattered books with such precision.

This is one example of his works, and is something that may inspire many of us new, and or old printmakers.

Alongside Steve Wolf, I continue to come back to Sam Winston's work and investigate it time and time again. I am very interested in incorporating text within my work, however I am aware of strong meanings and implications that come with placing text on a page. Text is a very powerful tool and I want to make sure that I am saying exactly what I have in mind.

Winston creates books, drawings and sculptures that incorporate text in a subtle and creative way. Here is a few different works that I continue to look at again and again.

Everyone should check out his work:

OK Art Manifesto

This won't be a particularly enlightening post, but considering all the MANIFESTing going on, I found it amusing.

The OK Art Manifesto is precisely what it sounds like - a manifesto about art and artists that are just, well, "okay." Meaning not mind-blowing or fantastic.

My favorites:

3. OK artists really want to make great art,
they shoot for the stars, but their work ends up
being just OK. OK artists are OK with this.

4. Art enthusiasts and cynics alike, leave an
OK art exhibition saying "that was OK".
No one is blown away but they don't feel cheated either.

I actually found the manifesto simultaneously horrifying and comforting. Horrifying because of what it would mean to be considered just an "okay" artist. Comforting because even if you are just an "okay" artist, that's...okay.

Though I hope to never settle for being just that!


So even though this isn't directly linked to printmaking, I wanted to share this link about the project called Poetry 180 started by former poet laureate Billy Collins. I see a similarity between the misconceptions about poetry and the misconceptions about printmaking in terms of being old fashioned. The concept of Poetry 180 is to show a poem at the beginning of class and read it without going into typical analysis overdrive. Poetry has generally been deemed "uncool," but movements such as Slam Poetry strive to reawaken the poet in all of us. In some ways poetry and writing are more democratic than Printmaking since everyone has access to words and not necessarily does everyone have access to a printing press. Every word is a matrix and there are an infinite number of possible combinations just like the infinite possibilities within printmaking.

Introduction to Poetry

Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.

Where Does Our Genius Exist?

In 1954, psychologist Julian B. Rotter developed the concept of locus of control. Rotter believed that a person's locus existed on a continuum from "internal" to "external." A person with an strong internal locus of control would have strong faith in his own actions (personal choice, free-will, etc.) to determine the outcome of events in his life, while a person with a strong external locus of control would believe that forces outside of himself (fate, God, the environment, other people, etc.) govern the events of his life. For the person with a strong external locus of control, too many negative outcomes in life can lead to a sense of helplessness, of weakness, a sense that the world is completely out of his control. We may think then that having an internal locus of control is better (indeed, this is what our hard-working, American, individualistic culture emphasizes) but a strong internal locus of control can be equally problematic. A person with an internal locus of control may suffer from self-doubt, thinking that he is not skilled enough our "good" enough if things aren't working out quite right.

So how does this apply to us as artists? I find that when something doesn't feel right in studio, when my work is un-fulfilling or uninspired, when I have a bad critique, I blame myself, my lack of skill, my poor eye, my tastelessness, my stupidity. This thinking seriously hampers the art-making process. But it is my art, so how can it not be my fault if something is wrong with it? How can I move past this self-defeating mental block?

Elizabeth Gilbert has an answer. If we are ever plagued by self-doubt as artists, maybe we just need to shift our locus of control a bit. Maybe our genius isn't really our own. Watch and have hope.

Art takes guts and a little bit of nuts

For a significant part of last week, I was working on framing "The Garden of Earthly Delights" for the exhibition, Remastered, which just opened this weekend. When I wasn't focusing on the "final finesse" of this piece or figuring out how to price it, I was carving and printing the pigeons in my current wall installation. All this made me wonder what the value my work really holds.

Of course, you should never sell yourself short. But how marketable are you really? Not that you should be terribly concerned; you're making art, not merchandise, after all. But at a certain point, what is your art but the stuff you store beneath your bed? Where is our time going, and why has it been worthwhile? Does it have value to anyone else besides ourselves? Does it still have value to us after we've finished it, besides being a reminder of how much we spent on paper this month?

Why did you absolutely have to make it?

As I set up my installation, I thought about how much I really love making big work and taking up space. But simultaneously in the back of my mind I wondered what it all became once I took it off the wall. The pigeons would revert from installation to scraps of paper in my drawer. I wish there were a way of assuring that the things I make are still the same when not on display, are worth the effort to keep flat and well-preserved, and can be valued by anyone besides myself. I'm not trying to make my work over-precious; rather, I'm trying to understand why I should keep it at all if all it if it might never see light again. The subject matter is dear to me, dear enough at least to make me want to create. So am I doing some sort of dishonor to my subjects if I can't insure their worth or good keep? Have I failed in my message if I store it away and nobody but me ever knows about it?

We tell stories to share them and, in essence, preserve them. We believe they deserve that attention, to be recorded and remembered. We choose images that mean something to us. So how do we give the same justification to our subjects that we give ourselves to depict them? Without our inspiration, our work is nothing, and therefore valueless. The beginning of a work's true value lies with its concept. It is up to us to craft it adequately and to know what we want when the work is in our hands - and how we would feel should it go to or be judged by someone else.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Art... Art is what brings us together today.

The Museum on the Seam is a socio-poltical contemporary art museum in Jerusalem, Israel. It is located in between east and west Jerusalem (hence its name), and the exhibitions there focus on different aspects stemming from the conflict in Israel: trauma, coexistence, collective memory, violence, anxiety, etc. For each exhibition a long list of international artists' works are curated around a central theme, such as HeartQuake (an attempt to "shudder and shake identity and otherness vis a vis anxiety"). The past shows have included some of our favorites: William Kentridge, Anselm Kiefer, Sophie Calle, and Alfredo Jaar.

I find it fascinating to see an Israeli museum inviting artists from outside of the Middle East to participate in a dialogue on the conflict. It is interesting to see that some of the artists seem personally invested in the conflict in some way, while others have their work included because it is relevant to the theme.

**** transition back to the United States****

In case you are wondering how the art fair went a couple of weeks ago...
We had a lovely afternoon basking in the sun and selling prints.

see, look how happy we are....

Don't forget that WHAMMO is still selling raffle tickets for a print from Tom Huck, Lisa Bulawsky, Tom Reed, or Amy Thompson!!!!!! Get yours today and tell all of your friends!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Museum in the New York Times

Since we are occupying our thoughts with the New Museum, it might be worth while to take a look at what is actually going on there right now, as described in a recent article in the New York Times. A show is being organized that will feature works from the collection of the Greek industrialist Dakis Joannu, a primary collector and patron of Jeff Koons. Jeff Koons himself will be curating the show. Dakis Joannu serves on the New Museum's board of trustees. There has been a lot of critical response to this endeavor from many sources, all summarized in the New York Times article. It brings into question concepts of value and the ideal purpose of the art museum as an institution. If anything, the article provides a brief history of the New Museum, which could certainly prove helpful as we go about imagining an exhibition to stage there.

As stated in the article, the concise mission of the museum is "new art, new ideas."

What can we contribute?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remastered Opening Reception!

Hey, since it's the week of critiques and hence a week with no announcements, I thought I'd let everyone know that Trisha and I have a piece in the exhibition, Remastered. The theme of the show is reimagined art historical masterpieces and it is hosted by the Soulard Art Market & Contemporary Gallery. The opening reception is this Friday, November 13, from 7 pm to 10 pm.

A sneak peek at our contemporized masterpiece:

Thanks for viewing and we hope to see you there!

Monday, November 2, 2009

summary of studio life

you know critiques are approaching when:

1. The Red Balloon goes from being a quaint entertaining French children's movie with religious undertones to a presence which you cannot extricate from your daily existence. It follows you around, like a weight around your neck, but instead of inducing feelings of sinking it instills a constant awareness of something in back of your head.

 2. Portals to other dimensions open up in your hands. You can't close them. You are merely the gateway to another world. Do your best to admit the worthy and hire a good bouncer for the undeserving.

Thanks, MOMA!

MOMA has created a most excellent interactive flash site on various printmaking techniques! The site explains lithography, woodcut, etching, and silkscreen in layman's terms so even (or rather especially) children can understand it. So the next time you're having a difficult time explaining printmaking to someone, you can refer them here.

Artist statements

Ran Ortner, an oil painter from Brooklyn, won the Art Prize competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan this month. He'll receive $250,000 for winning by receiving the most votes from members of the public.

Here is his artist statement from his website. I thought it might be interesting to read in light of your manifesto project.

Artist Statment

In my art, I contemplate collisions of opposites, from the most tender brutalities to the most devastating sensitivities. These paradoxes register within me and I can see myself within them. I am continually surprised by the reflection between me, as an individual, and the environment within which I exist. As Robert Lax said, “The blood within and the brine without.”

I often think about Rollo May’s idea that “sustained intensity equals ecstasy.” Every day I enter my studio, prepare my materials and, as James Joyce said, “go for the millionth time to encounter the reality of experience.” I find that sustaining the encounter with life’s biting reality is not “miserablism,” but rather intense engagement. The undeniable union of life and death is not dire but majestic as evidensed by the inevitable crash of each cresting wave. In a tempest, distinctions blur registering in me as the rhythm of life’s dance. Life’s beauty is magnificent as it hangs at the edge of death, insisting upon its relevance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Make your own show exactly as you want with major resources at your fingertips: not actually an impossibility in the world

We have just been given an assignment in which we were asked to curate an exhibition at the New Museum in New York. In another phase of our invitation to manifesto we have been told that we have unlimited resources to do something, anything, at the Whitney, with unlimited time, staff, and budget.

The Rubell Family of Miami, FL completes an undertaking that combines elements of both of these endeavors every year. They mount a large scale show in their own contemporary art museum. The museum is located in a former FBI confiscated goods wearhouse and has a great deal of space. All of the work that they show is from their personal collection. Each year the show is arranged around a central theme and includes a wide variety of contemporary artists.

There are a number of institutions that work this way in Miami. Other examples are the Marguiles Collection and the Cisneros foundation, both located in former warehouses near the Rubell Family Collection in the emerging (or pretty much emerged) Wynwood arts district.

Ever have a conversation with Huck about "rippin' stuff off" from other artists, or "appropriating appropriated imagery?". If you were in my last crit, you know that I have..... Anyways, the next show at the Rubell Collection, Beg Borrow, and Steal deals with these themes directly. Take a look, and see how some major collectors have gone about organizing shows throughout a long career. Many of the artists on our list are represented in their holdings.....

(The above picture shows the collection's largest gallery, as it was seen in last year's show, 30 Americans. Thats a ginormous woodcut by Kerry James Marshall along the back wall.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Please, Just Give It a Rest

In light of recent studio conversations about "sabbathing", experiencing anxiety attacks, manifesto assignments, applying to grad school, and the fact that I had to skip my sabbath day today...... I would just like to reiterate:

don't panic. sabbath.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cadavre Exquis

Proof that you never have to completely write off anything - even what we do to try out new processes in demos. The surrealists enjoyed the exquisite corpse exercise as a group game to maintain the sense of randomness and intuition that defined their approach to art. Yves Tanguy, Victor Brauner, and others contributed to this one. You can see this exquisite corpse right now in the exhibition Chance Aesthetics in our very own Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The show is on display until January 4th.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Silk Maps in Jail

Call me a nerd, but I find it really interesting that this is the news article featured on Yahoo! today right after we met with Allison Smith.


That's all I wanted to share. Hope you guys enjoy the article and discover a new appreciation for Monopoly. :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009



Hi all!

This semester Annie, Katie, and I are working on a collaborative photography/book arts project. Annie and Katie started this project on Facebook, and it has grown ever since. We would love for you all to participate! Here's what you need to do:

Step One: Read "The Bus Driver Who Wanted to Be God" by Etgar Keret. It can be found online on googlebooks. While reading, focus on the mental picture that arises when learning about each character. There are three characters; the Bus Driver, Eddie, and Happiness.

Step Two: Find people in real life who fit your mental picture of the characters. Photograph them!

Step Three: Send pictures to the email listed below.

Once we have received the submissions, we will compile the photographs into a book and send it to Printed Matter, a mega-store of artist's books.


Submission Guidelines

Deadline for Entries: October 17th, 2009

All submissions must be made electronically.

Images should be no larger than 1500 by 2100 pixels (5" by 7") at a resolution of 300 dpi.

Each file should be labeled as follows:



1. smith_eddie.jpg
2. smith_happiness.jpg
3. smith_busdriver.jpg

Any submissions that are mislabeled, corrupted, or too big we won't be able to accept!

Email your submission to Please include your full name and email address.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Alter Printmaking Blog

A new printmaking blog to follow!

It's called Alter printmaking, and this is how it's described:

"Alter printmaking - where printmaking is de-constructed and re-proposed as a conceptual process. It’s not just about mark-making, but making your mark, process and dispersion and heralding changes in print technology from cut and paste publishing to a printer in every home, printed images the size of buildings, variable print, delivering tailored information, the PDF, the virtual print that only exists on a hard drive and unfolds like a performance. Lastly, print passes the baton to the www."

The blog is authored by Chris Mercier from Berkshire, UK.

Here's one of his performance pieces called "Square Dance":

Monday, April 27, 2009


Hey, everyone, here are some photos from the show Saturday night. We had a great out turn after not too terrible mayhem during hanging. The show looked fantastic. Here are some highlights from the night.

I have more photos of all the works in the show and various other, lovely points of interaction, so if you'd like me to give them to you let me know.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Serious Business!!!

So you know how maybe you haven't seen us all year? That's because we've been working our little tails off making art. And if you want to see us, and our work, you should come to SERIOUS BUSINESS, our show. 

You may potentially see: bears, little girls, maps, Jesus, world markets, guns, grandmas, imaginary creatures, Hungarian influences, obscenity, destruction, obsessiveness, natural fecundity, dots, happy ponies, death, angst, and borderline pornography.

Matt Barker
Judit Bognar
Lindsay Deifik
Mary Ellsworth
Cary Euwer
Nick Francel
Jenie Gao
Trisha Gupta
Derrick Jensen
Laura Mart 
Jonathan Monroe-Cook
Eleanor Ryburn
John Witty

THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS and we all expect to see you there!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

collage vs. montage

These two posts are quotes I found in a recent acquisition of the art and architecture library: Collage: Assembling Contemporary Art.

I was greatly inspired by both - the first one seems to justify some of my impulses, and the second relates collage to general issues of contemporary practice.....
DL: Suppose I suggest that collage foreshadows everything that is happening now, that now everything is a kind of collage, that it is a given, almost the only method available?

JS: I think that this has been the case for a while, but would use the word ‘montage’ rather than collage. Montage has become mainstream. It was radical in Eisenstein’s day, but now it is facilitated in the editing of color supplements, it is the cut and paste method that everyone uses, the standard way of working. I see collage as acting in opposition to that. It is an exposure of and a resistance to the seamlessness of montage. I see collage as the opposite – a desire to expose and to hold on to the seams whereas, in montage, the seam is hidden and universal.
Collage offers a perspective on the essential condition of the image in our culture: the existence of an image perpetually in relationship to another. This ‘other’ image is always apparent, and the image always strays between its own position and that of its ‘other.’ This awareness is kept to the borders of consciousness. We are never brought into confrontation with the edge between them

-Collage: Assembling Contemporary Art

Collage related thoughts

David Lillington: Collage has sometimes been criticized for being nostalgic.

John Stezaker: ‘Nostalgic’ has been the standard put-down of collage over the past 30 years. For ‘nostalgic’ read: reactionary, backward-looking. But for me this lack of place for collage is what commends it: it is capable of subverting the cultural context it finds itself in. Collage, I think, is indeed a yearning for a lost world and reflects a universal sense of loss. (Writing about Jack Goldstein David Salle uses the phrase “nostalgia for the present” to describe that sense of exile from the ‘real’.) The best defense against the ‘nostalgia’ accusation is in Milan Kundera’s novel Ignorance. He points out that nostalgia is not a comfortable form of reverie but the opposite: it is a way of living with loss. It is not about an imaginary retrieval of the past but about the impossibility of return; a condition of exile.

-Collage: Assembling Contemporary Art

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hanging Work

To follow up on Jenie's pics of the space for Serious Business, the junior show (Saturday, 4/25, from 6 PM-9 PM, shameless plug, I know) here is a link to a good resource with some tips and general rules about hanging work. The site covers traditional gallery styles as well as salon style hanging with the math to boot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Very Serious Environment

The space

Angela approaching the doorway into an architectural cave

The stairwell

I should have taken pictures of the really big windows in the stairwell, but you can kind of see the bottoms of them at least.

Monday, March 30, 2009

wir haben

"ich habe" (from the demo) sounds like a great title - that idea had floated through my head as well..... and not just because I am a German minor ...... something about it speaks to me.....

maybe we could realize the communist silk screen altelier that some of us discussed in the demo as well....

along those lines, I highly recommend the movie, "The Legend of Rita"

Its a great film from the well known German director Volker Schlöndorff -- it is the story of a communist activist turned terrorist who runs from the law by escaping into communist east Germany, where she is harbored and given a new identity - only to discover that the communist cause she advocated is not the idealized world she had imagined....

on top of all that, it even involves a communist silkscreening altelier.....

Call for SHOW TITLES: Junior Show!!!

I'm jumping on the train started by John Witty in the last entry and starting an open forum for ideas for show titles!

Those of you who went to SGC certainly saw lots of those token things that occupy many printmakers...and artists in general. When I try to think of a title for a show, it usually has to do with a song lyric or something that would sound good as a band name. Or, it is something really pretentious and vague. I go both ways. Here's a list-some are old, some are new, some are real bad. 

1. Fighting Polar Bears
2. Under Pressure
3. From the demo: ICH HABE
4. Fresh Prints
5. Frozen Flowers
6. Cloud Room
7. Unicorns

Add to the list...

running list

(a better, more related image, like the cover of the latest issue of modern painters will follow soon)

This is something we've talked about - something that an SGC experience can certainly fuel.

Here goes, you'll know what it is:

bears, little girls, deer, taxidermy in general, animals, combined/ hybrid animals, old photos, SKULLS, (two of the above things we even encountered in living breathing dancing form at SGC - dancing bears and skulls in one location), cabinets of curiosities, ethnographic illustrations, dated machinery/ do it yourself manuals..... and the oddest one I can think of, but I did see it a number of times from different artists at SGC...... John Wilkes Booth....

what are these things? Themes? Ideas? Interests? Archetypes? Jungian signifiers of the collective unconscious? Whatever they are - they seem to be occupying us - as artists, as a generation thereof. Do we want to use these in any way? (Maybe in an upcoming exhibition title?)

add more

Monday, March 23, 2009

More than just taxidermy and little girls and bears??

The above work by the artist Carolyn Salas shows a deer -- one of many that seem to crop up left and right in. Why is this? Similar to what we discussed earlier this year with the "little girl/ bear" imagery, what are these images we see frequently? What themes do they indicate? What themes, ideas occupy our generation? (I think narrative is a big one - we all want to make our own little worlds a la Trenton Doyle Hancock....)

So what do we want to say with our show? "isms and itties" in the sculpture department was a fun investigation - a tongue in cheek comment on criticism -- so are we criticizing, investigating, celebrating, making a tribute to, rebelling against, manifestoeing, muckrackering, ...........or what?

Hate the deer, love the deer?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Plush Prints

Hey gang,

Today in my screen-printing class the professor suggested we try to make 3-D prints. His suggestions were: "soft sculpture - such as printing a picture of yourself (front and back) on fabric and stuffing it, or perhaps even a soft sculpture mobile...."

hmmmm..... that all sounds so vaguely familiar?

On another note, this professor is also on a mission to make all screen-printing materials non-toxic. He is going to show us how to make screen printing ink and the "goop" (sorry, I can't remember the name) that blocks out the screen edges.... I'll bring home recipes for anyone interested. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oscar Munoz, Narciso

One of my favorite artists these days...Oscar Munoz deals so elegantly with memory and identity, and with such a perfect marriage of technique and concept. Here, he has used a silkscreen to screen charcoal powder onto water, and then the water slowly drains from the sink. Watch the video until the end to see the dissolution of the image/identity/memory.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art!

The following is a quote from an article by Holland Cotter in the New York Times. I have to say - the tone of this article sometimes grated against me - but it does give a good (though heavily filtered) sweeping overview of the art world - and I like the few suggestions that are contained in this excerpt. With the opportunities our school has to offer, I think we are pretty far along the way towards living out some of these ideas......

Here goes:

It’s day-job time again in America, and that’s O.K. Artists have always had them — van Gogh the preacher, Pollock the busboy, Henry Darger the janitor — and will again. The trick is to try to make them an energy source, not a chore.

At the same time, if the example of past crises holds true, artists can also take over the factory, make the art industry their own. Collectively and individually they can customize the machinery, alter the modes of distribution, adjust the rate of production to allow for organic growth, for shifts in purpose and direction. They can daydream and concentrate. They can make nothing for a while, or make something and make it wrong, and fail in peace, and start again.

Art schools can change too. The present goal of studio programs (and of ever more specialized art history programs) seems to be to narrow talent to a sharp point that can push its way aggressively into the competitive arena. But with markets uncertain, possibly nonexistent, why not relax this mode, open up education?

Why not make studio training an interdisciplinary experience, crossing over into sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, poetry and theology? Why not build into your graduate program a work-study semester that takes students out of the art world entirely and places them in hospitals, schools and prisons, sometimes in-extremist environments, i.e. real life? My guess is that if you did, American art would look very different than it does today.

Such changes would require new ways of thinking and writing about art, so critics will need to go back to school, miss a few parties and hit the books and the Internet. Debate about a “crisis in criticism” gets batted around the art world periodically, suggesting nostalgia for old-style traffic-cop tastemakers like Clement Greenberg who invented movements and managed careers. But if there is a crisis, it is not a crisis of power; it’s a crisis of knowledge. Simply put, we don’t know enough, about the past or about any cultures other than our own.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Buck shot

Down the Barrel by Riah Buchanan, 2009

During some recent web browsing I came across a great example of peer to peer critiquing from Cranbrook Academy. While our large class size here doesn't necessarily allow for the level of insight and detail this critique delves into, there are some worthy things to consider:

a) a description of the item in detail: materials, methods, appearance
b) an interpretation of the possible meaning of the piece based on the observations of materials, methods and appearance
c) a conceptual outline drawing on a source outside of art (here, psychology)
d) a link to an art historical source-an artist who has worked/is working in a similar vein.
e) conclusion: Does the piece work? What can be improved?

I highly recommend that everyone takes a moment to read this evaluation. It could be a valuable tool when critiques roll around (READ: in two weeks) or if a friend asks what you think of their work.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Have you all heard about the Art-O-Mat project?

There is a guy who decided to revamp vending machines and fill them with art for the masses! You can submit your art work (there are specifications on the website. It must be an edition of at least 50), and people can buy it from the vending machines for $5. 
It is perfect for small prints, artist books, and zines.