With that happy insight, I wish you all the vision to see beyond the horizon and aspire to new and interesting things in the New Year. The end is sometimes just the beginning, and if we limit ourselves to the bookends of start and finish, the journey from one point to the other is lost. Give yourself permission to smell the roses, bask in the sunshine and hear the wind while you traverse this earthly plain.
Pile it on. We are all going to be out of the office, but somehow no one seems to understand that despite my clarity on our time off next week. Illustrations, business pubs, logos just walking in the door today...yayyee. So, my head is spinning on my body..but I have been very grown up and have been stating the start date of when the work begins again. No, I will not be taking a portable studio with me etc. Somehow people seem to think that as you are an "artist" artists work anywhere and anyplace--impulsively creating for their clients. Nope. Doesnt work that way. I have Memento Mori work to do on vacation. There is hope for them to have 4-6 sketches to sell in the viability of doing a program for a big casino. My feeling is that we do not need to show our entire hand prior to having an agreement to doing the project. I hopefully have been getting through by coaching directly insofar as what works/what doesnt relative to the promise of what the client can do, create, or project to the end client. Steep slope.
More people interested in buying gliclees. Small jobs on a regular basis. Slow but sure.
Magic opaque projector just arrived along with a stack of trace. Yeay!
Its late, Ive got to wrap it up.
I was invited to join Figdig.com, a free, "high res" creative site that one is given 8 frames to fill of your work. Very easy interface and simple to use (though not too detailed) key words to describe your work/piece. I am impressed with the ease of use, the good looking page unlike the screaming green at Portfolios.com which fights with the work), and the frames that are set up for copy. They have a nice space that you can upload a pdf file "a profile" which I guess could be a spec/sell sheet of your work. They also have nice profile keywords that better help to slot what you do. Take a look at my page>> For free, it is a deal...and for pay there seems to be more on the page for the viewer than other sites. Plus, when you click on the image, the image comes up much bigger (12" wide) so the detail that is often lost with the web, can be seen.
Check it out.
I find this very frightening. Actually, more frightening than pretty much anything I have experienced in the recent past:
This is how they sum themselves up:
An effective logo should stand out above those of your competitors and bring you in thousands of unexpected dollars.
We are masters of logo design and know precisely what it takes to design an attention-grabbing custom logo in as fast as one business day. A team of 5 top in-house logo designers will work on your logo for a very small fraction of what large corporations pay - Just $259.
Yep. While you wait. Logos... and if you need to move fast, you can get their platinum service for only $99 bucks extra and have 3 more top designers added to the mix. Imagine.
I give up. Next step, Microsoft creates logodesign as part of their MSOffice suite.
However, look at the Logoloft Not only is it scaled according to how many artists and how many designs...but how you load the job much like the chinese menu offered to you for school pictures. They even provide printing, in house design and dedicated phone support.But, this is not $259. that the Logocare folks offer.
Meet Louis Olson, glass artist, glassblower, batch engineer and marketer, annealer maker and marketer and all round the most energetic person I have met in recent past. Louis is Noslo Glass. Louis was with the GlassLab in Miami--working with the celebrated designers to help them work out their designs and realize their design intentions. And, I had a chance to talk with him over a few dinners and lunches, poolside and on his birthday. If we weren't talking to Louis directly, we were talking (with amazement) about Louis. He runs his own glass business, didnt like the glass batch offered in the market so he started to make his own. Now he does that in addition to glassmaking-- he makes and sells batch and also annealers (the GlassLab has one of Louis' and it is excellent according to the team). When he isn't working, he is playing equally hard. When we were all snug in our beds, Louis found the hottest spot in Miami and was entertained by salsa dancers on the bar and the scene. He got into his snug bed around 3 a.m. to be fresh and ready to go when the rest of us, the slug a beds were rousing. He is an inspiration and a good sport. Whenever we went out with him, we made every night his birthday...and he played along...to our howls of laughter. Louis is amazing, intuitive and inventive. Plus, Louis has some very good ideas and concepts. His brain is always working.
Why do I introduce you to Louis? Louis saw my Memento Mori notebook while we were in Miami and suggested we get together and make some forms in black glass and sandblast the illustrations (probably reversed--per my new knowledge from Steuben) into the glass. That would make the whites matte and white and depressed into the glass (slightly) and the blacks shiny and slightly raised. Or, what if you worked in clear glass (say a flat bottle) with the front plane and back plane interacting in an interesting way? I think that is a very cool idea and plan to pursue this. Why not? Matt Haber (of the other night's conversation about Mark Murphy) has bottles ( Lambrusco or some cheap stock bottle) painted. I can design the bottle or vessel, do the move (that is 3 D art direction with a glass team) and provide illustration etc. Maybe introduce some sewn or woven neck treatment in the case of a bottle. Or maybe, to keep it simple, just huge spun out platters/rondelles to get the illustration up big? I could see what happens. If good things happen, do more-- and maybe enter them into New Glass Review (remember, get the work out there?)...and work until it gets boring...or too much time/money is burned in the experience. I think there could be a market for this stuff (even for the Ithaca Art Trail etc.). New Year promises new avenues.
What do you think?
Another mental holiday image. Maybe I do need sedatives. Not exactly the happiness of the season...no kookie skulls with christmas trees and lights. I am focused on the temporal and spiritual. I am working with brains and spirit effigies to see if I can get something going. Right now, everything looks like a puddle of black ink...but some clarity is coming out of the mess. But, to be honest, I am a bit dispirited with the work coming out the pen (my temporal brain is in freefall). So, maybe I just should take a little Memento Mori holiday and not push things too much and work on skulls like the above--a bit of decorating and no story/or symbol work. A bit of mental eggnog.
I think I have chugged through Graven (Allen Ludwig) by reading back and forth, top and bottom given the density of the work. No linear reading of that book. I love it..but when you begin to get deep into Puritan beliefs in angelography...whoa. I am now re-reading things I have read before--so I am seeing this as progress. Now, I need to give that a break...unless I read a bit about the various identified carvers. I am fascinated with the stone carvers who sign their stones, and often may do as many as 70 stones in a year...and some move to a different place and take their style which is so keenly identified with a locale...and it migrates. John Bull and the Stevens family (father, son and grandson) are some of my favorites.
Going to get a little chunk of cash out before the end of the week to the U of Hartford to begin to pay for future fun and degrees. I have been really impressed with the smart, can-do attitude that comes across the phone with Hartford. I figure if the "back up band" (the admins) are great...imagine the lead act! This all is very promising after the shoddy scene with the Orange. Need to close out whatever we need to before the end of the week with the business as there are quite a few things outstanding that could end us up to our knees in unhappiness if we don't resolve or at least come up with a strategy to do so. I am wondering if I have the time for the House of Health tomorrow as time is tight...and the people are all in one place tomorrow morning. Right now, I am thinking not...but we will see.
We have a concert at the High School this evening. One for the Middle School on Thursday. Luckystone is going to lunch at Dijon (a break from our tradition at the Heights Cafe) and then back to the grind.
Then laundry, packing and more laundry. What is Christmas? and When is it? In three weeks or a month? (I wish.)
My friend Tina mentioned the Hirst skull when we were last having a gab fest...so I googled it. And here it is for you.
Damien Hirst's latest artwork is this life-size platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 fine diamonds. The sculpture, titled "For The Love of God," will likely sell for as much as $100 million, making it the priciest contemporary artwork ever made. White Cube gallery is selling several limited edition silkscreen prints of the work, priced from £900 to £10,000, for one sprinkled with diamond dust. The title of the piece comes from Hirst's mother who asked her son, “For the love of God, what are you going to do next?” From the New York Times:
For Hirst, famous pickler of sharks and bovine bisector, all his art is about death. This piece, which was cast from an 18th-century skull he bought in London, was influenced by Mexican skulls encrusted in turquoise. “I remember thinking it would be great to do a diamond one — but just prohibitively expensive,” he recalls. “Then I started to think — maybe that’s why it is a good thing to do. Death is such a heavy subject, it would be good to make something that laughed in the face of it.”
Hirst, who financed the piece himself, watched for months as the price of international diamonds rose while the Bond Street gem dealer Bentley & Skinner tried to corner the market for the artist’s benefit. Given the ongoing controversy over blood diamonds from Africa, “For the Love of God” now has the potential to be about death in a more literal way.
“That’s when you stop laughing,” Hirst says. “You might have created something that people might die because of. I guess I felt like Oppenheimer or something. What have I done? Because it’s going to need high security all its life.”
Hirst is quoted on is it bling or not:
“I was very worried for a while, because if it looked like bling — tacky, garish and over the top — we would have failed. But I’m very pleased with the end result. I think it’s ethereal and timeless.”
He is selling screenprints of the same image for 810. pounds for the edition of 1700 pieces. There are other images of the same skull with editions of 250 prints at 10,000 pounds per print from White Cube>> Hmmmm.
Memento mori with tude.
He has a real unique style of guitar playing & a great talking blues style of delivery. They just don’t make anybody like Spider John Koerner. They broke the mold. As all great originators, like Woody Guthrie or Bob Dylan, anybody else who tries to imitate them would just look like that, an imitator. I do "I Ain’t Blue" in my shows and recorded it on my first album. It’s one of my favorite songs of John’s, but his other songs I love to play just for my own enjoyment; but I can never come close to playing them as well as he does."
Bonnie Raitt ~ NPR's Morning Edition
We met Mark Murphy at the Art Now Show (Claremont Hotel) during Art Basel Miami. The Art Now space was very run down and worn out (much like old college dormitories) with long, unbroken, dark hallways without windows and with steel doors. The place seemed dirty and haphazard. So, we followed the breadcrumbs and found Mark in a sparkling and bright corner space (he admitted that he cleaned and cleaned the space to the shock and surprise of the cleaning staff that his space never looked this good). His work was beautiful and presented in a very methodical way--with a bookshelf of his self published publications, his Known show (as promoted on his blog) and his big,smart and happy personality filling the space. Mark told us all about his books and love of doing it right--all archival and well designed. Mark is proud of his relationships with his illustrator friends and encourages them to take their work as far as it could go--and it shows in the beautiful, case bound books that he produces.
I was taken by Matt Haber's delicate head (see above), Marc Burckhardt's Harlot, Cathy Bleck's inspiring scratchboard illustrations and the animal head from A. J. Fosik which was well crafted and had a great design and color sense. For collectors, Mark Murphy's little gem of a space within the dingy confines of the Claremont is the ticket. One can pick up gorgeous originals from celebrated illustrator/artists on the upswing of their careers. If one had $20M to spend, you could buy yourself a collection with Mr. Murphy along with starting a little limited edition library as well (more on the books here>>).
From Mark's blog on the image above: Matt Haber celebrates the narrative tradition of cartons and comic books. Matt’s character-driven works and doll-like characters are small pawns in his constantly evolving storybook. Mr. Haber has worked as a Disney animator in the past and currently works for Fox animation studios, working experiences that has evolved his love for rich storytelling. You can see his latest painting, entitled, “Mask,” at www.glassesareshields.com
Amazon, the retailer for everything, the cyberdepartment store bought the copy of JK Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard at auction for 1,950,000 pounds that is going to charity. Amazon has set up a page on their site so you can see the book and begin to hear about the stories that Ms. Rowling has hand scribed and illustrated. There are reviews of two of the five tales...so pour yourself a cup of tea and dig in.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large egg
Special equipment: a pastry or bench scraper; a dog-biscuit cookie cutter
Pulse flours, cornmeal, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with pea-size butter lumps. Add 1 cup water and pulse until a coarse, dense dough forms.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in parsley and mint until well distributed. Gather, then halve dough with scraper. Form into 2 balls and flatten each into a 6-inch disk.
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 2 large baking sheets.
Roll out 1 disk of dough into a round (1/3 inch thick) on a well-floured surface with a well-floured rolling pin. (If dough becomes too soft to roll out, wrap in plastic and chill until firm.) Cut out as many biscuits as possible and arrange about 1/4 inch apart on 1 baking sheet.
Gather scraps and reroll, then cut out more biscuits. Repeat with remaining dough, using other baking sheet.
Whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush biscuits with egg wash and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Turn off oven and dry biscuits in oven overnight.
Biscuits keep, layered between sheets of wax paper or parchment, in an airtight container at room temperature 1 month.
Servings: Makes about 5 dozen biscuits.
Two day turn around for a comp to show a potential customer for my client. The trick I have learned is to work the illustration in positive and then give them art reversed which allows the black things to read in the glass as dark...and the light stuff gets the texture and whiteness. If this goes, there are either 6 or 12 illustrations that will be needed lickety split. Hello another stream of income from illustration through the business. Plus, I am digging the treee and think that a piece with a bunch of trees at different planes in the glass might make a nice piece...R. thinks that this technique might suit an ice skater with NYC in the background (hello cash machine)--So, this might have some legs.
Off to the grocery store to provision and to the post office for the final packages...
We are going to get snow like no ones business tomorrow and Monday. The closings are being planned as we speak.
K and I are making our traditional Christmas dog biscuits for fun.
"It can be assumed that glorified souls become angelic bodies but they are by no means the equals of the created angels. Sometimes the two can be distingusihed from one antoher but more often than not the stones are equivocal. There is not real doubbt that the angels bearing the Antram soul to heaven are not representations of glorifed souls but created angels performing their proper duties."
"Consider, if we fear God, the Angels will not forsake us at death. They will be with us all our lives long; uea, and at and after death too; when we must foresake all the world, when our Bodies and Souls must part for a time; when our Souls foreske our Bodies; the blessed Angels will not leave us, until they have brough us into the presence of Christ om Glory... When ye fall, that is, when ye die or cease to be in this world; they may receive you, that is to say that they whose office is to receive you, namely, the Holy Angels, that they may receive your Souls into their Arms, and carry them upon their winges into everlasting Habitations."
Boston Minister, author and distinguished angelographer
Jacob Hashimoto was represented by the Mary Boone Gallery at Art Basel Miami. There was a lovely installation that was very inspiring I thought I would share him with you.I love how decorative his work is using tying, knotting and little kites to create this magical world you can live in...even if its for a short time.
designboom.com says about him:
jacob hashimoto is one of the most interesting young activists in the contemporary art scene. what he does with paper creates real magic -a ravishing cascade of cloud white paper shapes flowing from ceiling to floor like a waterfall frozen by winters icy breath. viewing the piece fills you with a deep and profound stillness.
jacob hashimoto is perhaps best-known for his installations in which he creates large-scale sculptural forms out of thousands of 'kites'. drawing on the tradition of kite making, he creates each of the kites by hand, using bamboo rods, string, and offset prints. or all of their exquisite lightness and ethereality, the sculptures are expression of air, light, and space.
TITLE: Bat Love
ARTIST: Gabriel Acevedo Velarde
WORK DATE: 2007
EDITION/SET OF: 5
SIZE: h: 100 x w: 140 cm / h: 39.4 x w: 55.1 in
STYLE: Contemporary (ca. 1945-present)
PRICE*: 4,000 US$ (Convert prices to your currency with our Currency Converter)
GALLERY: OMR +52 (0)55 5511 1179 Send Email
ONLINE CATALOGUE(S): Art Basel Miami Beach @artnet Dec 6 - Dec 9, 2007
Kind of begins to validate the stuff I have been doing. Don't you think?
Bari Kumar was at Art Basel and I love his work! He was part of a group of really interesting and talented Indian painters that take eastern ideas and marry them with a western perspective. I love the way Kumar also introduces a very moody Indian inspired palette, a painted digitization/digital artifact and western symbols to create a very mixed and interesting message.The Indian artists and indian art magazines were one of the interesting categories that inspired me. Anishen Avini uses bleach on giclees of Indian imagery--erasing faces and details to create interesting new images. Galleries from New Delhi were very much in evidence.
Other observations include:
Black and white/ inked drawings are acceptable. Chris Ware's original inked layouts are being sold alongside Steinbergs etc. Great gallery (Adam Baumgold) in Aqua specialized in this sort of thing. Donald Urquhart, Herald Street Gallery London, is doing some whimsical, almost sixties-ish fashion brush drawings with very loose, scripty writing.
New technology: Karin Sander created these interesting little 3 dimensional people figures (about 8" tall in paper) that were 3D body scans that were output by a 3D inkjet printer. The laser cutter for flat pieces of paper was very much in evidence and unfortunately looked too predictable and too hallmark-y to be successful. For a laser cutter to be effective, one needs to build flaws and inconsistency into the image to have it feel genuine versus gimmicky. An artist at the Mary Boone Gallery, Che Fueki did an image called "Owl" with regular paint on canvas and then built up layer upon layer of puff paint to take the picture to the maximum with decoration and detail. Very cute and original. Another painter took pictures during her morning walk and translated the color fields to these soft, very very smooth gradients on stretched polyester (very shiny and not much texture) that seemed to take the idea of airbrush to a whole other place.
Joe Coleman, Barbara Kruger and Nedko Solokov are using words, phrases, personal narrative or biographical narrative as integral to their work. The neon guys doing complete lines of copy were impressive. The Deitch Galleries/Projects used hand painted sign making and vinyl signmaking using copy/type and illustrations to great effect. Type independant of image is less so...but integrated is very much in evidence. Charles Krafft's "Sharing is loving" pair of delft inspired bunnies in porcelain flanking a huge hypodermic needle (illustration to just give you a glimmer of it's wonderfulness)
Organs and parts very hip. Barbara Kruger and her brain. Sigga and her glass organs. There was this wonderful artist doing penance for his partner's illness. He created an outline of the body in coloraid paper (to size), with selected systems called out in other cut paper (all of it put down with matte scotch tape)--with a chalky multicolor heart, lungs, circulatory system in the hands, the brain etc. Very evocative.
Then there is old technology made new. Matthew Brannen, an artist that makes these very simple layouts--letterpress with polymer plates that he makes one saleable piece and one artist's proof. He did a great piece with suntan lotion bottle and stone crab claws. But my all time favorite was a stacked piece showing a shark as a shape with a turquoise water (expressed with a thin, turquoise woodgrain) and the pooor shark's stomach holding skeleton hands and wine bottles. It also had the shark's small digestive tract and equally small brain complemented with price tags and manila's little tags as well. Totally perfect.
Huge Scale. Walton Ford's fabulous tiger. Huge C prints of landscapes that totally suck you into their vortex and their rich, rich evocative state. The color and saturation framed up either as a slice of a luscious landscape or an elegantly overdetailed Baroque court salon that transports you to another place and time. The big size and deep color takes you to an entirely different place. Oversized is great.
Work inspired by Velazques. A wonderful compliment of images and figures in the park inspired by the Infanta in Miami. Also, the Felipe IV inspired Velazquez by Manolo Valdez was a reason to pick up a paintbrush or in the case of this sculpture, a knife. Gorgeous.
Remember this product that I designed with R. for Steuben?
Steuben has been putting it way out there for Christmas--with a phenomenal placement on page one of the NYTimes online a week ago...and this window in the NYC Steuben store is fab! Don't you love the bright blue flourishes? I do!
(click on the images to get an enlargement)
There were many outstanding images at Art Basel, but a real showstopper and one I spent time with was this image "Behold Eck, 2006" by Joe Coleman. As I googled for this image, it turns out that the NYTimes has done a writeup on Joe Coleman's recent show that I will forward to you for your enjoyment before I start my yammering>> I had seen an interview of Joe's work in Juxtapoz and didnt really understand his work until seeing this singular picture which captures the best of graphic novels with a Bosch/Breughel aesthetic in truly an american and almost victorian view. With these portraits or pictures, Joe Coleman tells you the story of the person's life from different viewpoints and little snippets from rendering little gargoyles to exemplify a personality trait, to tiny little newspaper clippings (all rendered copy in less than a single hair brush with such control and dexterity--he matches any medieval monk painting marginalia). The printed version of this painting does not even begin to show the freshness and subtlety that Coleman expresses in the original. His work is extrordinary, original and thought provoking--and as illustrators, we should all take a look at someone really using the two dimensional plane to tell a story beyond the picture and weave a complex depiction of the personality, life and deeds in a truly rich and thoughtful way. There is a book out on his work "Internal Digging" worth pursing.
Barbara Kruger (who I found out was a graduate of the orange school, Syracuse University in 1965) in a piece represented by the Mary Boone Gallery, showed an enormous piece of output (could have been 12'x 15'--stretched with a stretcher and frame..no glass or plexi) showed a color (huge benday dot) blow-up of a cross section of the brain and in her signature typography and red bars holding the type she relates:
"In the beginning there was crying"
"In the middle there was confusion"
"In the end there was silence"
Which kind of says a lot about the death thing or about the brain...or both. I was musing with my friend Tina, curator to the stars...or better the Curator of the Modern and current work at the Museum of Glass. Tina is fascinated by everything and anything and is deep into the Masons, the scene at Lilydale, Spiritualists, obscure and wonderful saints...you get the idea. She was telling me about a spiritualist she consulted with...and they tape recorded the session. As they reviewed the tape, there were other voices that she had not heard during the consultation --confirming her thinking that the spirits are not just energy but there is intelligence and involvement here on this plane. So, to that, maybe Barbara Kruger has got the end part a little wrong. Maybe in the end there is silence to our ears...but a rush of communication on another level. Maybe the puritans had it right, that there are spirits about us, those spirits that travel with us through our lives and then help us to transition when we pass from one plane to the next. Its funny how all this stuff is out there when you just tune to the right frequency.
More on the antics in Miami>>