Monday, November 27

one million famous painters

Eric Fischl came to my studio

How did we get such an eighties superstar to condescend to Richmond?
Tennis lessons at the Hamptons.

VCU didn't help ease the awkwardness of his star power either, everything had to be extra special for Eric Fischl. Although he despised this special treatment, Richard Roth (department chair) was forced to interrupt my studio visit. I don't know if Eric is as embarrassed as I know Richard was to ask him to sign this book for another faculty member.

Mr. Fischl was unanimously judged an awkward studio visitor, beginning visits with silent browsing of your work. But after finally breaking the ice he hit the ground with a critique without the obligatory pleasantries.

Then came the browsing of the cassette collection.

I will be mixing a tape with the following requests:
"End it with Dylan"
"Begin with Cyndi Lauper"
Neil Diamond
K.D. Lang
Annie Lennox
"throw in a Roy Orbison"
"howbout a Cowboy Junkie"
Robert Palmer
Blues Traveler
Cat Stevens

Possesing a fame so attached to the eighties I realized I had expected hit eighties requests from Eric, but secretly hoping he would surprise me with a love of Weird Al or something.

Wednesday, November 22

one million dekooning portraits

If there's one thing I look forward to when going to the MoMA, its that DeKooning portrait. Not that I like the portrait so much, I really like people imitating that portrait while crowds of free-friday museum patrons flood around you.

Mim Rich scores high here with a remarkable mouth imitation and fierce eyework.

After three visits I really should have performed better than this, but my expressive eyebrows save me from a mediocre showing.

The first portrait was of Allan (Schmallan) Ludwig when we were in New York together interviewing for Hunter in March of 2005 (too bad Sunny Belliston, also interviewing, wasn't with us at the time). This was when there was no pre-meditation, as we entered the DeKooning room I instantly knew what I needed. It was great how hard it was to convince him to do it too (the museum was pretty crowded)

although this looks like it was taken the same day as Allan's, Karisa Holyoak made her debut a good six months later during one of my early Richmond to New York visits.

Friends are unsuspecting, but that is always my main goal now when I go to the MoMA: collect another DeKooning portrait. Near misses on portraits have been: Maria, Cassian, Christy Byrd just two weeks ago, and most recently Monica and her sister and Di Cannon too.

Anyway, the other reason I had to go to the MoMA was to pay my respects to the shrine of the Brice Marden retrospective, my one-time painting hero whose influence I have lost hope of ever shaking completely (as my drawings and recent treetube project incriminate).

I went in with this sort of cocky "I'm over you now Brice, but I'll stop by to honor what we used to have". Then I walked through an abridged version of 45 years of painting and left with a humbled, "o.k. man, you have something, I may even still love you - I even almost got excited again, but I'm still going to try and get over you...sorry, love, jared".

Tuesday, November 21

one million double fluffs

Just a little teaser which will undoubtedly entice you to hasten your visit to my delicious new link to the scrumptiluminescent art of Lauren Clay - recently labeled by Jerry Saltz as "an ovarian alchemist".

Monday, November 20

one million tubes on a tree

I lugged my tube collection of one million tubes in a U-haul all the way from Utah and they have been hanging on my wall for a year taunting and those facts alone put every artwork i should be finishing in two weeks on hold while i finally excute one of my nagging ideas for them: paint them with found house paints and stick them on a tree, looping in similar ways and colours to my recent drawings.
This is the view as you exit the freeway in a vehicle.

Fittingly, this is the exit you could use in soliciting one of my favourite Richmond thrift stores: Diversity Thrift, which employs broad rainbow stripes as a cleverly blatant design element on its buildings and trucks to announce its purpose as a fundraiser for the local homosexual community. Because of my palette and proximity with this piece, the neighborhood may easily mistake this as a Diversity Thrift project, conflating tree hugging with gay pride. It is a spot that an organazation has 'adopted' for litter control - how perfect would it be if Diversity Thrift is that adopter. I will imagine this to be the case...they will love this! The community wouldn't dare risk the political incorrectness of dismanteling this art! That way I can be assured that the tubes will remain long through the winter and spring waiting for me to photograph them during all the seasons.

I had kept an eye peeled for weeks for a large tree limb which had been torn down in a storm so that I would be abusing a dead object instead of oppressing a living thing. I had four other limbs on my list, but this one was the largest and in a great sort of surprising spot.

I also filmed here this morning, but its really boring. Maybe even these are enough photos to bore you. Well, a couple more:

I hope I can get a future snow shot of this...

p.s. I did this the week before going to New York City this last weekend. If nothing else it has been supremely satisfying to get these monkey tubes off my back and out of my studio. Blogging about it is the other ever-appearing modern monkey I am now flicking away so I can finally get back to my studio...blogs could ruin your life, but monkeys in general should be cherished.

one million pierogi paintings

David C. Scher

these were my favourites of the Pierogi opening this Saturday.
(more linked to the title).

i thought this rubber band totally worked.

in three trips to new york city in a month's time, Pierogi Gallery in Williamsburg was the only gallery i saw each time. during the first trip joe penrod gifted Pierogi with one of his blue tape shadows cast by a beer bottle on their sidewalk. The bottle has long been kicked and people have surely forgotten its recent transformation into high art; but joe's shadow, executed a month ago, still meekly lives in mutual respect with Pierogi and its visitors.

both with joe and just two weeks ago with VCU classes, we alls saw the Tavares Strachan show at Pierogi and got to meet and listen to Tavares himself who comes recently from RISD by way of the Bahamas.
(Joe Siepel - Assistant Dean and Gregory Volk - Professor/Critic listen on)

even more exciting than Tavares explaining the process (shown in this exhibition) of scientifically transforming one year of urine into drinking water, was his tale of excavating a huge block of ice from Alaska and fedexing it to the bahamas (soon to be on view in Scope Miami)

Mike Erickson and Jason Coates contemplate the possible refreshment of a refrigerated bottle of water contrasted with the relative displeasure of withstanding the mentioned lingering scent of urine to the otherwise pure beverage.

p.s. Mike's and Jason's paintings next door to my studio are currently kicking butt.

Saturday, November 11

one million drawings from the studio

i drew these simultaneously with the previously posted drawings but kept them apart in their own category - more observational of what i'm doing in the studio with styrofoam and soap and marble and things.

Monday, November 6

one m...billion baggy brooklyn bilds blogged

Bild 9 (Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Kent and 6th [off the Bedford L train stop])

Attention New Yorkers and visitors
you are welcome to the opening of this show next weekend or the one after at the above listed location. feel free to send me photographs and/or especially videos (i want a record of it breathing).

I started this with Joe Penrod two weeks ago as a tail end to his business trip out to baltimore. back then it was mainly the tubes.
here's Joe showing us how its done and overcoming his germophobia like a man

proof of the grossness joe had to fear:

joe had his own site specific guerilla project for the weekend in closer contact with humans and dog urinals (more proof of conquering grossness). here is the trashcan we worked on together in the heart of williamsburg just like we did in seattle and portland last summer (see more at

and this bottle shape tape shadow was still in front of Pierogi gallery two weeks later long after the bottle had been kicked

dis-satisfied with just the tubes we finished that weekend, i was lucky enough to come back two weeks later on the VCU trip and flesh out this idea that the windy area proposed: to tie found plastic bags to the front as a sort of kinetic, breathing painting.

this is your view as you walk towards the water from the Bedford stop

here are some details of the breath

and the false wind collection engines in the back

paint bags

but not bags of paint

my last day (two days ago, saturday) i worked 9-5 and made some new friends

first there was veronica who was there for the CMJ music festival going on across the street (finally explaining the throngs of hipsters nearby) where Album Leaf was headlining. she kindly offered to try and put me on the invite only guest list (see the bild in the background)

next was Peter and Michelle from San Francisco. this was the crazy coincidence of the day as i told them i would be showing at SWARM gallery in Oakland on Valentine's - a gallery they're very familiar with especially due to Michelle's connections with her job at the Oakland Art Gallery. i will see them in February!

see Peter's work (photography) at and

Then Luciane who confessed to noticing me working two weeks earlier approached and introduced herself as the architect of the towers being built next door...perhaps one of her contractors was responsible for the pvc pipe waste that became half of my inspiration. see her work at

two blonde german girls, Fillipa und Valerie, from Munchen came and withstood me practicing my elementary greetings on them (i'm taking 101 this semester) which didn't last long (i'm worse conversationally than i imagined)

Take (TAH-kay) appeared and promised to show me around if i ever came to Japan

and finally Kevin from Massachessetts joined in my picture taking by climbing the telephone pole. hopefully he will send me the aerial shots he took of the piece for me to show you here. i then tried to get into the music festival with kevin but to no avail (no indie rock pun intended).

congratulations if you made it through this ridiculously long post, i feel like i have given you a concussion - which is incredible since i'm using soft air filled bags - and owe you an apology...i really need to start making videos of these things.

so that was two days ago, i'm working on a plan to go back this friday or the next on the chinatown bus so maybe we really will have a little opening...