Wednesday, April 30, 2008

DASCHLE AND THE APOCALYPSE









I should have posted this awhile ago but it just occurred to me...I submitted the above artwork to the Fuse Gallery about a month ago as part of their traveling "Draw show" that is presently touring Europe. It was in London but may have moved on at this point. This was the study that ended up being "Daschle and the Wave"(image below) - my initial concept was a barren blackness behind him as if the world were in the process of ending - this is a cropped down version of it...I ended up redrawing it with a giant wave behind him instead, making it a little less obtuse....


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ART RESOURCE

Hands down as a resource for artists in their early or mid careers is a gentleman named Alan Bamberger. He has a great website that I stumbled across a couple of years ago and have read pretty much every one of the articles he has posted. From pricing, to legalese, to opening night etiquette; his writings are simply written without pretense and quite informative. I suggest all artists check out his site here, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

THREE TALES OF ART FAUX PAS


Get your art straight, fool!
So we were at Ryan Myers' art opening in Philadelphia the other day at Artstar Gallery and there was an artist there I know (who I will keep nameless) and we chatted for a small part of the evening. I noticed a piece of her artwork was there, presumably from a past show and thought it would be nice to acknowledge it. As she was passing I pointed to the work and said "I see you have a straggler here". She looked at me smiling, I could see the confusion in her eyes..."one of your pieces..." I pressed on. It was only then when I saw my wife look at me that I realized it was a different artist I was thinking about. I wanted to die...

My wife affectionately calls me Larry David because I am constantly saying things or dwelling on issues that I shouldn't. But I find it is hard to keep up on all the artists out there, skillfully being able to match the names with the artwork. I sent her an email apologizing and I wrote, "... it could have been worse, I could have mistaken your work for a Thomas Kinkaid "Painter of Light" painting" -- then I realized after hitting "send" that maybe what I just wrote was in fact worse.


The Art of Some Young guy...
A few nights ago I was in my neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn and I saw an Asian artist I know walk by. We had a nice conversation once at an opening here in the city - his work is well know and again I will keep him nameless, but I went up to him and said "Hi ___________ how are you" I shook his hand vigorously, "Michael Mararian..." I announced, "We spoke at the _______________ gallery. I didn't know you lived in my neighborhood" He smiled at me and said one word.

"Yummy."

I continued babbling on, sort of ignoring his comment, but again he said "No, no, Yummy!...I'm Yummy!"

I'm thinking to myself now, "okay dude, what are you trying to tell me here" And it then dawned on me. Yummy is the name of the Chinese food place around the corner. He works there and that's how I recognized him. He laughed, smiled continued on and I apologized and left. I would love to tell that story to the actual artist but I'm afraid it will sound racist but the fact is the guy really does resemble him. Perhaps I will tell him the story one day and preface it by saying "I know this sounds racist, but..." Riiiight, something tells me from the moment you start out with a line like that you are destined to be sending an apologetic email later that night....


In Retrospect I Should Have Fawned...
Lastly, I met Ron English and Mark Ryden recently - well sort of. It was an opening at the Jonathan Levine Gallery and they were both there at the preview standing near each other. I would have been the third person in the triangle had I been part of the conversation. I wanted to say something but I didn't want to be fawning over either of them so I took my cue from Mark who said as he was about to depart, "We're off to see a drag show." and he said the performers name and I was surprised how uninteresting it was. I was accustom to artists names like "Hedda Lettuce" "Ivana Cockatoo" "Marsha Dimes" etc.... So naturally (or un-naturally I chimed in)

"That's strange," I said - they both looked at me - a pause as they tried to figure out if I was a friend of either one of them -- "Usually drag queens have very interesting names." I continued, "...a buddy of mine met a black midget drag queen once, and her name was "Teeny Tiny Tina Turner".

Long pause now. Neither of them reacted at all. AT ALL. Nothing. No response. Death. Mark said goodbye and left.

* * * * *

In my case there is something about the art world and my dealings with the artists themselves: I really need to just shut up and be a silent observer.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Colorful Illustrations 93°C - Please DO NOT buy this book!

Darren Di Lieto, the creator and editor of LCS Little Chimp Society illustration site, discovered recently many interviews he has written for his blog and dozens of the artists work he's has featured have been plagiarized in a published 350 page book that came out recently selling on line for $100. You can read more about this here on his personal blog to get all the details

Artists and supporters are asking for people to not buy the book and anyone who comes in contact with the book to consult the manager of the shop to inform them of the situation.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TURF-ONE













One of my favorite artist these days is Truf One. His work is just so imaginative and nostalgic. And he's nice guy as well -- I had the privilege of meeting him at his Fuse Gallery show last year. Check out the rest of his work if you get a moment. The piece above is not two separate works but a three dimensional layout that illustrates how the face on the left opens like a hatch to reveal a skull baby on the right. Very cool.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

DEAD ON ARRIVAL











Thomas Hoving , former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a classic final tableau is his appearance in the film Who the $#%& Is Jackson Pollock? In which he claims the piece is frivolous, a fake, with no emotion - that it's "Dead on Arrival" . But whether you believe his expertise or not, what really makes his cameo classic in this film (which I highly recommend) is the way he examines this presumably fake Jackson Pollack painting that the main character of the documentary claims she found at a thrift store. The series of stances he dons are priceless.

Here are a couple. My two favorites are when he fist walks in and will not look at the painting until he is fully seated and prepared to "take it all in at once" and when he looks at it upside down. It's a great little film















Friday, April 11, 2008

OLD SKETCHBOOK ENTRIES 1993

1993 was a sparse year for my sketchbook (at least this one) I found most of the 100 or so pages of the book were thin, soulless drawings (actually I didn't even finish that book which was rare for me then) the overall feeling of this sketch book was that of sadness it seems- my love life was suffering so a lot of the entries were mostly text art that reeked of anguish - I did, here and there, manage to render some pencil sketches with a bit of depth like the one of my friend Ruth Anne...but even her portrait is sad looking now that I see it again after all these years....







Thursday, April 10, 2008

WAYNE COE

Had a studio visit and had dinner with a very talent artist named Wayne Coe. If you enjoy his biting sense of political humor like I do, be sure to check out his upcoming show at McCaig Welles Gallery in May, 2008.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

GOLDEN THROATS

I met my friend Paul Klein the other day for drinks at the Half King bar in Chelsea and in catching up with some old times found ourselves laughing over the new B52's album that came out (it's good actually) and the fact that Fred Schneider is such a classic character who's made a cottage industry out of being a "non singer", much like William Shatner.


We found ourselves crying with laughter at the idea that Shatner and Schneider should do an album together. So I went home and put this together for him...

















Oops, looking at it now I spelled shatner wrong - oh well.

POPAGANDA PRUCEY

I viewed Ron English's documentary POPaganda: The Art and Crimes of Ron English yesterday and it was interesting to see Ron's earlier career work since I only know him from his later works and from gallery openings that we both attend. It was fun seeing him on the old Morton Downey Jr. show and especially to see his earlier photography work which I thought was mind boggling -- without the use of Photoshop he created these black and white photographs of situations which seemed impossible. But beyond all of these pleasant discoveries, the one surprise which really threw me for a loop was the fact that out of nowhere, during the billboard paste up segments one of my best friends , Jim Prucey, (who is an artist as well) pops up in the picture. He even has a line in it in which he complains of stepping in the dog droppings that were peppered around the area. I had forgotten that Jim had told me once he used to help English years ago - (15 now to be exact) and that he had a great time then hanging out with him at his studio and talking art.












All in all I thought the film was a fun history into Ron English's work, especially if you don't know much about his past history and only know him form his art featured in places like the documentary Supersize Me. So check out Popaganda. I know it's one of those instant view choices if you have Netflicks.