Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
There was recently a lawsuit concerning Damien Hirst and a 17 year- old radical artist. The teenager was forced to stop selling and displaying his art that featured images of Hirst's diamond encrusted skull. Taking revenge, the student marched into Tate Britian and stole a pack of pencils that were part of Hirst's pharmacy installation. Early in the day, he created a fake police poster advertising the pencils had been stolen from the museum. With a warrent for his arrest, the student received the news that his stolen pencils valued at 500,000 pounds, being the entire sculpture valued at 10,000,000 pounds. He quoted " For the safe return of Damien Hirst's pencils I would like my artworks back that DACS and Hirst first took off me in November. It is not a large demand...He has the end of the month to resolve this or the pencils will be sharpened. He Has been warned." First of all, that sounds like a bit of a threat, and I'm surprised there was not a repercussion for that comment. Secondly, there is a lot of irony going on in this dispute, considering another artist, John LeKay claimed he had been making diamond encrusted skulls three months prior to the time Hirst's came out. It sounds like a whole bunch of artist drama, but I have this strange conspiratorial theory.
Perhaps Hirst has set this all up. I mean, the man is a multi-millionaire and instead of playing a game with a 17 year-old kid he is threatening for a lawsuit, for more money! Maybe by the end the teenager will sell 500,000 pounds worth of re-appropriated artwork, become famous, and the two of them will go happily gallivanting into the sunset.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This past summer I reached that pivotal point of my life as an artist: I went to France. For some reason, young creative-types crave adventuring abroad and I am no exception. College brought me three-hundred miles away from home but I needed three-thousand miles. I packed way too much and with the remnants of my four years of high school French, I was out of the country for the first time.
I spent two weeks on a school study trip in St.-Cirq Lapopie, a small village up on a cliff along the Lot River. It has been difficult to write about my time there, because I found that I was reacting to the place visually. I took hundreds of pictures and filled page-after-page in my sketchbook. Writer, poet and surrealist theorist, Andre Breton wrote the following about St.-Cirq:
Beyond any other site of Europe or the Americas, Saint-Cirq put the spell on me - the one which binds you forever. I have stopped wanting to be elsewhere. I believe the secret of its poetry is similar to some of Rimbaud's Illuminations and that it is produced by the extremely rare equilibrium of the most perfect difference of its levels.
It was my experience that after spending just two weeks in Southwest France, I could never look at anything the same. I had spent a total of eighteen days in France with my only obligation being to create art. All artists need to experience that, even if for a brief time. We look to these art-pilgrimages for changed perspectives, inspiration and simply a good time. As someone who hits the snooze button for an hour before waking up, in France I woke up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock and it was the best sleep I've ever had. I was in a place that had history that just can't exist in the United States because nothing here is that old. I saw 30,000-year-old cave paintings at Pech Merle! Often my day-to-day life in Chicago is systematic and time goes by quickly. Life was different in France, much more slow in a way that has allowed me to remember each bit vividly.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Here are some of the artists whose work I liked:
- Mary Giles
- Kathy Ruttenberg*- Check out her awesome Macy's window displays!
- Betsy Youngquist*- I prefer her recent work at her recent work.
- Esther Shimazu- I like her animals best of all.
- Geoffrey Gorman
- Dirk Staschke
- Anne Lemanski- She doesn't have a website and this video doesn't show many of the pieces she had at SOFA, but it gives you a good idea of the work she does.
- The Illusculptors:
Red Weldon Sandlin
Monday, November 9, 2009
But why do I feel like this is one of the few communities within the institution, apart from some of the faculty community? Could it be that this particular medium is so dependent on a team effort that it builds a foundry family? Or it could be the way we practice artistic traditions. Either way, apart from networking and collaborations, I am only able to find community in one niche of the school.
F News "The Year of Iron"
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Thursday evening Anna and I attended a talk given by Lynda Barry and Matt Groening, as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Lynda and Matt, both comics artists with backgrounds in writing, met as students at Evergreen College in the 1970s and have carried on a friendship for over thirty years.
As Anna mentioned in her previous post, Arts Organizations, she and I met as Apprentice Artists with the ArtWorks Summer Program in Cincinnati. During the summer of 2005 we worked together on a mural project for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. (Miraculously Anna ended up at SAIC, sealing our fate as BFFs.) I spent six summers with ArtWorks, also participating in various projects during the school year. Along with Anna I was part of the first-ever Teen Advisory Board at the Cincinnati Art Museum. As a young artist, meeting a bunch of other art kids was an incredibly cool experience. Some of the people I met during my time at ArtWorks remain my closest friends. The concept of the Art Community became very important to me.
Surrounding myself with artist friends has surely influenced my work. My artist and writer friends are the first people I turn to when I need advice on something I’m working on. When I create something that I am proud of, they are the first people I want to show. Carrying on conversations about the arts is a natural part of my daily life because art is the common denominator among the creative-types I tend to associate with.
I have devoted a significant amount of my time as an art student to community building of sorts. I am the student leader of The Creative Writing Guild, (CWG), a student group with the mission to support, promote and involve writers at SAIC. My friend Caitlin Schriner and I founded the group during our sophomore year. Involvement has grown rapidly. Recently we released our fifth publication of student writing, Dialogue, and hosted a reading. Recently in discussing what I consider to be the importance of the CWG I stated is purpose as being “to establish imaginary coordinates in which to contain a network of people as an audience, to be audience to, to collaborate with and create dialogue with. One cannot be static.”
As of now, my greatest audience is found in my friends and the students and teachers who inhabit this community I am part of. My connections to these people are highly valuable and will continue to influence my work and introduce me to new directions. I hope that thirty years from now Anna and can sit on a stage and talk about our beginnings at ArtWorks, tell crazy stories at about our times at SAIC and though our work is very different, we both have an interest in narrative and the coincidence of growing up twenty-minutes away from each other.