Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rebel Rebel

Richard Parry, New Dome drinking Club, 2008, oil on canvas

I began looking into artistic initiatives that attempt to do what all good artists should do - look for alternatives. Here are a few images I have gathered together for inspiration. More of Parry's work (featured above) can be seen at Mot International and Parry's own space, The New Dome, a form of resistance in it's own right.

Merlin Carpenter, 2007

Unknown, 2007

This clip is a random link I found on The New Dome website marked as 'Buy Art'. It's a shocker, but very entertaining!

Trophy, Elizabeth Price, ongoing since 2000, stainless steel trophy inscribed with the galleries in which is has been exhibited.

'New Dome Drinking Club' and 'Trophy' photos courtesy of  Mot International

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jeff Depner

Reconfigured grid paintings No. 1-6 , oil on canvas

I am loving formalism at the moment, so these paintings from Jeff Depner out of Vancouver are really getting to me. I just love everything about them. All of the work on his website is wonderful.  

Recycled Porcelain

Just discovered these new pieces from Studio Violet via oh Joy

what a day

I know exactly how she feels. Love these photos from Gia Coppola at Every Day I Show.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Just a little distraction

I know, I know - I am not supposed to be looking a this stuff right now. My life is supposed to be dedicated to theorizing all the marvelously complex aspects of the contemporary art world, but LOOK AT THESE! I decided to take a break after countless hours of research which has left my brain quite numb and have a beer. After a little internet surfing indulgence, there they were staring me straight in the face. The designer Issy Solomon, orginally from Veracruz, Mexico is a self taught jewelry designer, and an incredibly spontaneous character. He moved to Miami after high school and started working with semi-precious stones, then one morning, up and decided to move to NY City. Three days later he found himself in Manhattan with a stall at the flee market on Prince Street. His designs started selling and the rest is history. After partnering with Zulema for NY Fashion Week, he has decided to launch his own ready-to-wear line expected to launch this year.

I don't know about you, but I rarely hear of such a success story. Solomon works with lucite, suede, charms, enamel, glass and crystal from old chandeliers. I love the recycled aspects of his work and the strong formal design of these earrings. I could just eat them up & they are only $45! 

Issy Solomons Jewelry can be found at the I Love Shop in NY and Charm and Chain.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Little lights in the tunnel

After my Creed manifesto yesterday, I thought I would lighten the load a bit with this very comical mustache key holder from artist Ben Floeter sold by the Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco.

In addition to the Curiosity Shoppe being one of the coolest and most creative businesses in the bay area, the owners Lauren and Derek have recently released a new book entitled 'Wallpaper Projects' where they share a ton of their DIY ideas. These two are the kind of people anyone with an appreciation for design would be in awe of. They have something of a cult following for their DIY Wednesdays project for Design Sponge, (the pillar of design blogs), and run their own blog, Grace posted about their new book yesterday & did an interview with the duo which can be viewed right here! 'Wallpaper Projects' can be purchased through the Curiosity Shoppe.

Images courtesy of the Curiosity Shoppe

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Things, 2004

I have been looking for something to post about for a few days now but everything seems so irrelevant lately. There is a kind of guilt looming over me that makes it impossible to appreciate any commodity. As the "crisis" worsens and I begin to fully realize the effect it has on the people I love, not to mention the individuals most in need in the world, I have begun to turn to artists who appeal to the more empathetic or emotional side of me. Its funny who you turn to in times of a need for social legitimacy in art - Martin Creed was certainly not who I had in mind. His practically naked minimalism has always bothered me in the past. It was like someone stripped the art from the art, leaving us with, well, nothing. And as long as I am being honest, his scrunched up piece of paper (Work No. 867, Paper, 2008) neatly placed inside a vitrine balanced atop a holy plinth really pissed me off. At the time, I thought, is this really where we want to go? And, explain to me again what the point is of turning the lights on and off without end in a room at the Tate Britain? After he won the 2001 Turner Prize for this piece, I really had something to complain about. There was no matter of theory that was going to convince me that 'the lights going on and off' (2000) could maintain any sense of integrity. I felt deeply insulted, as if he were attempting to take the piss out of all art lovers.

As you can probably gather, our current state of affairs in the world has led me to look at Creed a bit differently. Perceiving the sheer extraneousness of his work was never the problem, but now I begin to see merit in it which leads me to believe that Creed's work does possess valuable content. To us, the extraneous is valuable and comes in many forms, sizes, colors & veneers. Maybe this is why Creed insists upon using existing material for his work, rather than creating more 'stuff'. The Paper piece could be an ode to misdirected sentimentality, a reminder that there can exist just as much narrative, memory and meaning in a blank scrunched up piece of paper as anything else. Although, this is where I always got confused. Why do we have to look at it that way and what makes it relevant? 

Work No. 867, 2008, Paper

I have read Creed's commentary on his own work and he doesn't seem to be an overly complex sort of individual, not the kind you would expect from the contemporary art world anyway. He does not protect his artists 'persona' with some impossibly pretentious, difficult to penetrate esoteric language. He simply "always wanted to make things", if I recall correctly, and his work is dedicated to the emotive side of himself, a need to communicate if you will. This piece at the top was the entry point for my newly discovered appreciation. I was looking for 'things' to post about on the internet because all of my good magazines had dried up or closed down due to lack of advertising contracts, and the last 6 exhibitions I saw had left a lot to be desired. Somehow, this 'who cares about all this crap' mood I was in, led me to this photo. It reminded me of something my Mother has always said to me, "honey, they are just things". I always knew she was right, but I could so easily point out a 'things' worth, whether it be aesthetic, intellectual, historic or sentimental. I suppose this is why I studied art theory - to further my justifying skills. I had to prove to myself, or more importantly, prove to others, that art was a necessary decadence for society, and yes, I always believed that it was decadent. This belief is something that has always contributed to my underlying disenchantment with regards to art and the market it now revolves around. Maybe this is why it is necessary for me to focus more on the social, the political and the emotive side of creativity rather than its provocative aspects. I feel a strong need for art to play a significant role in our lives, as opposed to an object which mirrors the iconography of trashy pop culture and functions as a bargaining tool for the Fortune 500. Possessing such strong ties to the art world, I personally don't want to be associated with a facile, exclusive, and pre-meditated machine that revolves around commodity vs. culture discourses and concerns itself more with affirming its utopian ideals than engaging with a real audience, namely, the world.   

Just to clarify, my hyper awareness will probably never dwindle my appreciation or love for art, design & just about everything else I can't live without, but it does help me appreciate the finer things in life, and the futility of everything else. Futility in art is a hard pill to swallow. I suppose this is what Creed's work shows us, although he does replace a morbid message with a hopeful one. His work is more focused on the nature of interior contemplation rather than the exterior. I believe that when art can form an interior image within the viewer, this image becomes larger than the artwork itself and is then capable of taking on a life of its own. When art helps us understand something about ourselves, it must not dictate or mirror culture from its exterior nor should it play into our expectations. Due to this lack of appeasement, there is a generosity to Creed's work that borders on salvation, I just hope that people don't take it too seriously - I know I do.  So, as hard as it is for me to admit, I think we all need a little Creed right now. 


Photos courtesy of Martin Creed

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art & Economic Satire

Whilst searching for some semblance of of artists responses to the economic crisis looming over us, I discovered something rather unusual. Canadian born artist Melanie Gilligan, known for investigating the relationships between politics aesthetics and their political economy has got the jump on the financial crisis with her 4 part series 'crisis in the credit system'. Gilligan had shows at the Tate Modern and the Serpentine last year and is well known for her critical contribution to art. A project sponsored by Artangel, the videos are a product of 7 months of research and interaction with major hedge fund managers, key financial journalists, economists, bankers and debt activists. Gilligan has scripted a parody of a major investment banks effort to run a brainstorming and role playing seminar for its employees in the hopes that they might discover constructive strategies to work against crashing market. It is a little difficult to understand at times unless you have spent the last few years on the trading floor, but it is also witty, intelligent, and makes you feel like you are viewing an improv acting class from behind the scenes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Songs of broken glass

Am Freitag, 17. April 09, tritt der Singer/Songwriter Nick Lawrence (England) mit seiner unvergleichlichen Stimme im Romanischen Keller auf und spielt seine Lieder im ersten Set solo und im zweiten mit Begleitung.
Danach legen die DJs /sailəntsfiəʳ/ (audiophilets) und Witwe Bolte ihre Platten auf.
Wir freuen uns sehr auf Euer Kommen!