Friday, August 29, 2008

Why I Reside in da Atl (reason #3)

Read recently that Georgia's system of state parks are rated 3rd best in the country.

3rd best! I believe it.

Shame you can't say the same thing about the state SAT scores.

But never mind maths

these mountains are beautiful.

and they make J-tard one happy pup.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Master of the Bump

Rainy night

loitering at Friends with Beth and Erin.

After the very best tasting dinner at Kitchen de Christo

on to the show. The much anticipated XiuXiu live at the Crunked up Uni-corn.

where I saw the magic happen live at last.

Eccentric instruments, wailing lyrics, discordant sounds, it was incredible and exhausting to watch.

Paper earplugs required. The music was beautifully jarring and threatened to pierce eardrums in all its harsh instrumental screams and cries. (I sound like a such a douche bag music critic right now)

The drummer was a force to be reckoned with.

The tortured soul Jamie Stewart used an autoharp (!) to great effect. With the level of sincerity in Stewart's rasping voice its hard to believe this concert is part of a tour, to be performed over and over on a nightly basis. The music felt emotionally raw, fresh off the cuff, but the production of it was comfortably smooth.


Time to dance it all out.

Sweat it out to some Queen and what else? its all a blur.

With a dance partner

in a skirt printed with bountiful baskets of fruit.

Somewhere along the way, in all my animated eurhythmics, my cell phone bounced out of my pocket and ended up in the possession of the DJ. (just when I had become convinced my vest was the most perfectly utilitarian piece of clothing I owned)

Luckily I know Hanyun and she knows everybody. So I got it back.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To Each Their Own Monster

the eyedrum

fittingly has an old discarded car sitting out front

the Elder

is half of the team responsible for this show

Goni "Trepadora"

The Monster Show, which may be disbanded at this point but luckily you've got snap happy me to take you on a belated tour.

Jennifer Montes "Sweet Machine"

Every artist in the large group show was asked to create art dealing with "monsters" and the entries greatly varied from mutilated clocks with transplanted orifie and felt bows

Chadwick Noellert "(Everything and/or Nothing) is Obscured"

to paintings of obscure dreamscapes where the monster threat seems to loom just outside the frame of the canvas.

While the monster theme seems to be quite popular these days (possibly due in part to the Mail Order Monster Show at Deitch last year) what made this show so worthwhile had less to do with the included artist's own thoughts on personal demons or cultural symbols of evil or even present day monsters (cough cough george w cough) but that this show gave license to many young artists (a majority from SCAD) to get a little crazy and experiment both in material and subject.
Maybe the best example being the sculptural painting above. The imagery on the panels was not quite as interesting as the funky dynamic shape of the overall piece

which, especially this bit, broke apart any preconceived notions of "the painting."

Ashlee Oliver "Oh My Goodness I'm so Depressed"

Musing over monsters seemed to have moved many of the artists to drop traditional art practices for something entirely more playful.

The two organizers of the show, Heather Elder and Ashlee Oliver built this giant puppet show "I Told You All I Want is for You to Play With Me."

And there was this excellent paper-cut painting of oozing monsters defying gravity and swallowing a mannequin whole. (Not sure on the artist name)

The show came together into a comfortably packed salon style exhibition

which included this sweet series "Monsters Are Real" of crying children by Jacosa Kato (which, in a different setting, could have taken on a much darker in tone)

Alex App's "Robot Sculpture" and in the background are a series of portraits by Josh Durham entitled "King of Horror" of actors in classic horror movies (I'm think).

Heather Elder took a more personal approach in her portrayal of real life monsters with the painting "Unchecked Growth," depicting an engorged cancer cell bathed in classical light with rich reds and pinks on a velvety dark background.

The same form is almost mocked (giving the finger to one of life's more menacing occupants) with the excellent tongue-n-cheek screen print "Autotrophic Carcinoma of an Unknown Primary." This work nicely grounded a show which may have otherwise been caught daydreaming in a time when life's real monsters are all too common.

Another really excellent inclusion is "Mini-Twinned Apparatus I"

and "Twinned Apparatus I" by Lucha Rodriguez. These two writhing creatures worked well layered over water stained paper and I was ready to take them both home with me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Circus, Indeed

Matt Relkin "Prism Building" - Acrylic on paper

Saturday night saw the opening of the much anticipated "Ringling Brothers" show at Beep Beep Gallery. The title and theme of the show play on the fact that the artists involved, including Steven Dixey, Sat Kirpal, Katie Ridley, Stenvik Mostrom, Jason Murphy, and Matt Relkin, all graduated of the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida.

I would have to say the opening did feel a bit like a circus though not because of what was hanging on the walls. The risk of bumping into people with video cameras, lights, and microphones who are attempting to conduct interviews in the middle of crowded art gallery openings is becoming fairly commonplace (and a bit strange right?)

"B83" - Acrylic, pen, ink on paper

Matt Relkin's works really popped, the sharp lines and bright colors working nicely with the richly drawn pen and ink backgrounds (which read like graphite). Not to mention the fact that it's a missile heading straight down and leaving a rainbow in its wake. Needless to say, I wanted to take this home with me.

"Wormhole" - Pen and ink on paper

And "Wormhole" (this foe-toe does it no justice) is a heavily worked pen and ink drawing, that, kind of like spoting one ant on your kitchen counter and then seeing thirty, the closer you get to the drawing the more it vibrates with thousands of writhing little worms.

Here is Beep Beep co-owner Mark Basehore discussing the large number of bloggers crowded into the small gallery space. Damn bloggers, always showing up everywhere, giving their two-cents worth.

"Mountain" - Etching

Katie Ridley had this nice mountainscape, which made me think of Jason Murphy's show at Eyedrum last year, and how it would be interesting to see those two tackle the concept of a themed show together.

Speaking of Murphy's show at Eyedrum, co-conspirator Steven Dixey had this collection of highly detailed apocalyptic paintings in handmade frames.

The biggest surprise to me about "Ringling Brothers" was how disjointed the show came across. While each artist attended the same school, and each works in an illustrative style to some degree, the similarities between the work seem to end there. The show did not feel like a circus of cohesive sideshow acts as much as six mini-solo shows - which is not necessarily a bad thing -though had all six artists played with the notion of "circus" in their differing styles it would have been an all-together different experience.

Steven Dixey "I Wish For Better Things" - Pen, ink, acrylic on paper

"I wish for Better Things." This piece is excellent. Makes me think of, well, so many things, not the least of which is the declining bee populations across the globe for unknown reasons (i.e. pollution 'n pesticides). Unfortunately, it had sold before I could get my grubby hands on it.

As did "My Beating Heart." These small works by Dixey gave me the impression of talismans, little paintings for the home to give hope (or ward off the apocalypse?).

Show up at Beep Beep Gallery until September 7th 2008 - check it out.

The circus continued for me late into the night with Judy Chicago's Dance-a-thon.

To which Hanyun and I kept the dance floor warm till the very end.

And somewhere along the way VA managed to snag the Judy's hat.