Monday, April 28, 2008

People Live Here!

Remember when that car ran into my apartment building? And the telephone pole it lodged itself against? How that was such a bizarre, unusual, string of events?

Apparently not so unusual. This guy tried his hardest to drive into my studio but the telephone pole seemed to have gotten in his way. I'm beginning to really appreciate that particular beam of wood but I wonder, how many hits can it withstand?

On the other end of my block, this parked car was a sitting duck.

Luckily, this time Jay-T was far away from the scene of the crime.

He was busy dropping teeth left and right and getting blood all over my clothes. It's only a matter of time before I am no longer his favorite chew toy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Went over to Earl's to see Tapes 'n Tapes give a live performance of what had to be one of the most repeatedly played songs in my car, on my computer, and in my earphones all of last year. Unfortunately, the rest of the show paled in comparison to the little gem Insistor that they saved till the very end.

La Blogotheque has got TNT playing it live on the streets of Paris while simultaneously dodging oncoming traffic and trying to sing above the roar of public transportation.

The surprise of the night was the opening band White Denim, which I found to be far better live than recorded. Their high energy and jollity got the crowd hopping and they took every opportunity to push their instruments and bodies to the sweaty max.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Miracle Dough

A few short days after making the claim that I had just attended the fanciest of reception parties, the bar was raised once more - or perhaps its more accurate to say the bar was raided. I can't say that I have ever seen a party so lavish, or accompanied by so much money, surrounding an art opening.

but really, what better excuse is there for a party? This was the tent (along with a minimalist bamboo jungle) placed outside to celebrate the grand kick off of the Hagedorn Foundation Gallery, a non-profit photography gallery supporting local charities and local photographers.

Paul Hagedorn, the founder,

has his work on permanent display on the first gallery level

Stephanie Dowda "Rehearsal" Color analog prints

and the work of contemporary photographers on the second level. Judging by the premier, the caliber of artists shown is going to be very high, adding another much needed venue for contemporary artists, especially in the Buckhead area of the city - it is, after all, a whole different crowd.

"Gather It" Color analog prints

Stephanie Dowda is showing four large works from her "Time & Time" series which, surprisingly, look incredibly polished when individually framed. Dowda likes to remain vague on the subject matter of particular photographs, but the series as a whole explores "how memory fuses our past and present, affecting our understanding of reality and ourselves. "

"Gather It" detail

Along the lines of recollection, these works deal with color, each piece dominated by a particular hue, intertwining the passage of time, a saturation of color associated moods, small details and larger abstractions of space, into fragmented narrations of memory.

"If Anything" Color analog prints

"Persist" Color analog prints

John Paul and Stephanie, dazed by the flash. I feel as though I am turning into some sort of amateur paparazzi.

I was also lucky enough to run into the infamous Jeremy, of Ghostmap Microwave, who coincidentally likes whiskey doubles (sign of good character) and penned an excellent review of Dowda's show here that everyone ought to read.

Paired with Dowda is Andrea Brown, showing a series of silver gelatin prints that also speak of solitude and intimate details, in the way that memories parcel out a personal history.

"Found Valona V" silver gelatin print

"Found Valona VI" silver gelatin print

I couldn't help but think the work struggled in the presence of Dawda's colorful photographs, as Brown's photographs are as small as Dawda's are large, and placed into a grid that resulted in individual pieces being lost to the overall formation.

"Pgs. Collection" detail - silver gelatin print

But upon further inspection there were some very nice photographs laying within the gridwork.

"Pgs. Collection" detail

Formal connections being made along with snippets of implied narrative.
Overall, it's a really sharp show in the upstairs of the Hagedorn - I highly recommend you check it out. Show up until May 31st 2008.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fancy the South

Headed out of the city on a quest for art.

All the way to Madison, GA for the "Madison National 2008."

Larry Estes, "Hey Whitney" - pen on paper

It's a juried show, the juror being Sylvie Fortin of Art Papers.

Jody Fausett had a nice spread.

Wild cats and wilder furniture.

Jody also won a prestigious "Best in Show" (and really enjoyed the attention)

Trish Ramsey "Squink" sewing nylon, wool

as did Trish Ramsey from Columbus, GA who created these interesting three dimensional drawings using steel and nylon.

Trish Ramsey "Day Dreaming" steel, nylon

This one was especially cool. Fortin gave a short talk during the opening to explain her mindset while jurying the show. She said that she wanted the show to serve as an "index" of the contemporary art practices happening in this region. Each work selected represents a larger movement.

"Day Dreaming" detail

Fortin also said she was surprised by the large number of submissions relating to drawing or photography and decided to focus on these media, selecting artists who are expounding upon these practices. Hence Ramsey's drawings, which for me, summed up the scope of the show.

Ashley Nason "Observatory" drawing, collage

One of the best aspects of this exhibition was seeing such a sharp collection of contemporary works housed within the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (the building is amazing, check out the link). Originally a school, the beautiful old building sits in the middle of quaint Madison, drawing in a friendly crowd, and giving an interesting context to the show, merging the antique and the new in an excellent way.

This water fountain was great

and classrooms back in the day look incredibly uncomfortable

and they had such small chalk to work with, I pity the kid with meaty fingers.

The show was hung very well, each piece relating to the next, drawing connections between the quilting of graphite on paper and the abstraction of basket weaving.

Barb Bondy, Opelika, AL "RW" Graphite on paper

This piece was intense, unassuming until viewed close enough to see the infinite number of graphite markings cover the 360" long roll of paper.

Peggy Wyman "Swoop in Glide" Fiber sculpture

I could not help but notice this was the only piece in the large show which had been marked with a red dot. Nevertheless, I withhold making any sweeping generalizations or coming to any sort of critical conclusion.

Jon Davis, Miami FL, "Lady With a Fan" mixed media

This was an slick light box sculpture which Joyce said reminded her of the box sculptures of Duchamp and his crowd.

"Intelligent Design" color pencil on paper

This is a great drawing by Alanta artist Philip Carpenter.

"A Self Study" photography

And a pair of great photographs by Atlanta artist Maria Watts, who I met and doesn't resemble either one of the people photographed.

In group exhibitions the placement of your artwork is always the fear, its the one thing the artists don't always have control over and the wrong context can unintentionally change the interpretation of the work. I was very pleased to find my photograph in the exhibition room with a "Warning: Exhibition Contains Nudity" sign by the door, and in the company of Watt's naked self studies. Like I said, the time and thought spent by the Madison-Morgan crew in laying out the show was apparent and well worth it.

The installation "Battleships, Battle at Sea" by Corrina Mensoff and Hartmut Koenitz occupied a third room.

Interesting to imagine that this use to a be a classroom.

After the opening was the fanciest private reception party I have ever attended and the hosts had an impressive collection of lighting sculptures and custom furniture.

And most importantly, the champagne was freely flowing. Shana and Alex made the trip, brought a little glamour with them.

Sylvie Fortin and Susan Bridges.

Jody regretting the decision to be the driver of the caravan.

If you happen to be anywhere near Madison, GA between now and June 30th, it's worth the detour to check out the show and spend some time cruising around town.