Sunday, October 21

one million skull paintings

"Deathmask for Andy Goldsworthy"

When I was in Chelsea last month with Aaron Gerth he informed me that the theme of September had been skulls (the next theme, he confided, was: Quarries [you heard it here first!]). The grandaddy of skullshows, it turned out, was still up at Cheim and Read when I stopped by giving weight to Aaron's facts:

"I Am as You Will Be: The Skeleton in Art"
Bones everywhere! I decided I still like Donald Baechler (large painting in middle).
Is it a bandwagon theme hitching to the Damian Hirst hype...or an early Halloween celebration? I'm betting on B, no one wants to be seen as caring about A:

So I was tempted to wait til Halloween to post my own skull art, it seeming fitting, but I still need to talk about volcanoes so, here's your skull.

This close-up on the eyesocket shows the paper I found up the hill from the river.

Bundles of handwritten receipts from a local hardwarestore that went out of business this year. I guess they prefer throwing their tax records in their backyard forest in Vermont. They were moist and rotting and stuck together. This detail changed a potentially easy and pleasant project into a stinky, slimy, and cold one. I think i just described a salamander (I have seen two tiny ones underneath river rocks here).

Anyway, I love Andy Goldsworthy, (in fact, we all just watched "Rivers and Tides" here at the studio center before this blog entry) but I had to use paper instead of leaves or moss so that he would turn over in his proverbial grave. Can I reverence my heroes through irreverence? It seems like a solution.

And here is a view approaching from downstream the Ghion River

Ah, Vermont.

Tuesday, October 9

one million studio centers

So this is Vermont.

The river is the Gihon. Named after the adamic one, this river also starts in a town named Eden. That's the Red Mill, now converted into the main building of the center for offices and our cafeteria which nearly hangs directly over the water. This view is from stepping outside my studio called "The Firehouse" which, as you might guess, was the village's old firestation. It seems that our cluster of old houses and churches converted into studios takes up about 2/3rds of Johnson which isn't too far an exaggeration if you count just local businesses.
More photos to come (I have a new camera).

one million drawing instructions

This summer I saw plenty of Sol Lewitt (r.i.p.) drawings hanging around (Venice Bienale, Dia Beacon, James Cohan), in honor of his recent passing; but they only minimally* prepared me for the awesomeness of this cube in Paula Cooper.

Cryptically titled "A Cube with Scribble Bands in Four Directions" Aaron Gerth (foreground) ordered me to behold this feat of pencil and pay my respects before I left for Vermont and I'm glad I did. Even if it wasn't a feat miraculously handled by one human but many - and not one of them the pharoah's pyramids, it also serves as a giant, monolithic tombstone, ordered by he whom it memorializes, for us to forever remember in awe the power of one of our greatest.
This series of drawings, although pure pencil, moves and fuzzes with almost electrical vibrating gradations, bearing an unexpected correlation to the style of Chicago painter Ed Paschke r.i.p. (who was given a spot in the last Whitney biennial as a reward for dying).

Coincidence that these two are arguably the most famous of our recently artistic dead?
All I'm saying is Beware the electric gradation style - it might be as radioactive as it looks.

*(sorry, pun totally intended)

one million art stars

Brooklyn, during the Dumbo arts festival two weekends ago.

I was a fly on the wall as my good friend James Peterson navigated his now reality-t.v.-lifestyle as a Utah/L.A./Chicago/Arizona artist commuting to New York for season two of Artstar.

He shares this Dumbo studio with other recent graduates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where the search was made in order to give cream-of-the-crop yet non-new yorker artists a chance at the big time.

See the link for new paintings.
This sneak peak from the past is Jimmy and I parking his entry from last year's Deitch Projects Art Parade in the East Village after the parade was over.

It took about two days to be totally picked apart.

Here's the glory day of the car (and my beard) one year ago: