Saturday, December 26, 2009
My family has experienced a great deal of death over the past five years and as a result, I think about my loved ones a lot. Finding ways to acknowledge how much I care for them has become very important to me and as an artist, a really natural way for me to do that is to make art about everything that is important to me about them. That being said, when it came time to decide what to make for my final projects for my Artist's Books and Drawing Materials and Techniques classes, I chose, without hesitation to make a series of drawings based on family photos. These drawings would be reproduced in sets of five and distributed among five clamshell boxes. I'd then give each of my family members their own clamshell and set of drawings.
I'm really pleased with how the project turned out for a variety of reasons:
1. I feel pretty good about my clamshell-makin' skillz
2. I've been able to focus on doing some highly-technical drawing and gain confidence in my drafting abilities
3. I've been able to analyze and understand my drawing process and experiment with several new techniques with the help of my drawing professor, Richard Deutsch
4. Each making session doubled as a kind of therapy session. In creating these tangible objects, I feel I've gained a greater understanding of intangible things like the feelings I have about my family and all of the death we've experienced
I'm going to continue making these drawings and sending reproductions to my family and in the process, I'd also like to learn a bit about making quality reproductions- something I currently know nothing about. Richard said his friend, SAIC legend, and my former professor, Peggy MacNamara employs some really impressive reproduction techniques, so I might be shooting her an e-mail sometime soon. I'm considering taking a print class at some point while I'm at school in order to learn how to make multiples of my drawings. Having a great deal of control and being able to use an extremely fine line is really important to me so if you, lovely reader, can think of a printmaking process that you think I'd like, lemme know.
I hope everyone's holiday celebrations are going along swimmingly.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Ain't got no time to find a hip, hop, happenin' gallery? Just skip on over to Monroe and State, walk halfa block towards Wabash, and you'll find yourself face-to-face with the Pop-Up Gallery.* Having had my eye on these window displays of mostly sculptural work in ye olde Carson Pirie Scott building over the course of the past week or so, it seems the work has been rotated pretty frequently, but overall, everything that has been shown in the little exhibition is very playful. With the cavernous room behind the gallery being worked on, the show feels very fleeting, as the name of the gallery suggests. As the killer, pointy gold ornaments dangle and swing ominously over the unsuspecting doormen across the street at the Palmer House, brightly-colored figurines and fanciful sculptures warm the cold windows of the CPSb, and subsequently, the ice-licked Chicago streets.
It's nice to see that the space is being used for something nice 'n' cheery. I extend proper respect to the organizers of this tasty treat.
*I'm not sure if this is a traveling show, a simultaneously-occurring, multi-locational thang or a one time blip on the art world radar.
So when I walked by the gallery today, I saw the website printed on the window. Apparently this is a project by the Chicago Loop Alliance and it is multi-locational.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I'm incredibly disappointed.
I've been looking forward to seeing the SAIC Advanced Fibers group show, Ano Viejo, all semester, but alas, last night during the the opening reception, I was in the Artist's Books studio, chipping away at the big assed block that is my final project and was unable to attend. I wanted to go support two of my loveliest friends, Alex "Ziggy" Miller and Alex Zak, as they'd been working all semester to create epic-sounding pieces. Ziggy made artifacts (and means of which displaying them) from a fictional archeological dig and A. Zak created an installation consisting of a hand-crafted log cabin and several looped video pieces.
I'm so proud of both of them and am so annoyed that I couldn't get to the Tom Robinson Gallery to check thangs out. As my brother Aaron sometimes says audibly, "sigh."
You're in my thoughts, fellas, for you've each accomplished a feat of badassery and I'm more than proud of and inspired by you.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
About two months ago, my friend Brandon Kosters* called me to tell me that a quickly-written show proposal he'd submitted to the Gorilla Tango Theatre had been selected as part of an experimental performance series. For the past eight weeks, Brandon has been busy writing a script and the music for his puppet rock opera inspired by the work of Alfred Jarry. His friend, Scott Nadeau and I have both contributed things to the script and a lovely assortment of builders, musicians and performers have worked hard to realize this hour-long production.
Towards the Sun! will run for two nights only at the Gorilla Tango Theatre:
Monday, December 7th at 9:30 p.m
Monday, December 14th at 9:30 p.m.
You can buy tickets for $10 here.
I am warning you now: this show isn't for everybody. When Brandon was writing the script, he told us he was replacing every use of "shit" with "cunt" because "'shit' isn't shocking anymore." If you decide to come, do not bring baybays, itty, bitty boo-boos, or other chitlins, this ain't appropriate for 'em.
* I met B to the K, K in Blair Thomas' Puppetry and Performance class last fall. Over the course of this year, we've talked about working together on various projects, but all this talk 'tain't never amounted to anything, until this past August when Brandon called my ass on the telephone, explaining that he'd written to the producers of the Jerry Springer Show with some cray-cray idea for a show and that they'd bitten and wanted to get in contact with him and the other people involved in his "real life" scenario so they could put 'em on the show. Brandon then told me what he had in mind. He would play a student that worked at his college paper by day and become a super hero at night. I would play his girlfriend, a nice young lady on whom he's cheating with not only my adopted Chinese sister, but also a colorful array of amateur superheroes. We'd go on the show so that Brandon could come clean with me about his psychosexual issues. For several weeks, the JSS production staff strung BK along, gathering his cohorts' contact information and talking to the dudes cast as Brandon's various lovers. Eventually, Brandon got a call from one of these fair fellows who told BK that he thought he might've fucked up. When a JSS producer called this fellow up, he'd gotten a tad carried away with his story and ended up telling them about his cavorting with masochistic little people.
The producers didn't call Brandon after that.
Even though we never got to go (and I'm kind of glad we didn't- it would have been cray-cray), I'm not sure that anyone could flatter me more than Brandon did by having so much faith in my acting ability that he thought I could go on the JSS. Plus, I can tell this story for the rest of m' days, which is pretty much all I need to be happy.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
After the glorious Groening|Barry talk, I went to another Chicago Humanities Festival event: the Guerrilla Girls talk. As you might imagine, 'twas glorious. Them ladies is a buncha powahouses. Here's the response comic I made after the talk.
In other news:
Two weeks ago, a gaggle of us went to see my friend Jeni's work in the Self Portraits show at the barbara&barbara gallery featuring:
- Shawn Roberts
- Marie Lafranque
- Clare Rosean
- Anthony Adcock
- Casilda Sanchez
- Kara Wabbel
- Jeni Crone
- Celia Rose Marks
- Julie Haw
- Vanya Schroeder
- Michelle Mashon
- Ray Arroyo
- Shaina Hoffman
- Sierra Berquist
- Eric Bessel
I couldn't locate websites for everyone, sowwy.
I really liked most of the work and was really impressed by the good chunk of technically-focused paintings and drawings that made up the show. I rarely see really proficient oil paintings at hip, happenin' art shows these days, so seeing oils at the show that I confused for photographs was really satisfying. Aside from the great drawings and paintings, there was a pretty nice array of other media represented including fibers, photography and collage. Even though the work was so diverse, its physical arrangement was really successful, which made the show flow really well. I think b&b did a nice job of making the whole presentation really harmonious.
Even though I'm more of a audiobook-listenin', movie-watchin' homebody who prefers small dinner 'n' board game parties to loud-assed jamborees, I enjoyed the DJ's set. I was yelling the whole time I was conversin' with my friend Ziggyface, but a bowl of Warheads distracted us from feeling frustrated in any way.
The barbara&barbara gallery is a teeny, tiny little space but it's got a mighty 'tude. It's cozy, has a backyard and shows good work. The only negative thing I have to say is that it's not located in the most convenient of all places. I mean, I'm used to trekking out to the weird-ass edges of the city where there are only warehouses for as far as the eye can see to get to little theatres, so relatively, it's not that hard to find, but getting there in the dark when you don't know the area all that well (I've only been there twice- both times at night) can be sorta tricky.