Monday, December 21, 2009


In senior seminar we received a 6 by 6 inch acrylic (see through) box. Basically we could do whatever we wanted with them as long as they could be displayed on a shelf in the gallery. Some people used the box as a frame, some to hold materials, some covered the box... others didn't even do the project. (not even going to start on how people expect to succeed as artists when they don't seize every opportunity.)

I spent a good amount of weeks (months?) looking for a dead bird to put in my box. Ended up with offers on dead mice, rats, and snakes... and found out that it's illegal to possess a dead bird. Ultimately, I couldn't find a bird and bought feathers to put in the box. I think the feathers worked better.
I guess this post is me wondering at the way things turn out. And wondering at being conceptual.
In painting especially, I don't think of an end result. If it's from life I obviously have expectations of what I think the painting should end up as, but I still never really know what's going to come out. When I'm done with the painting I'm always surprised. And painting non-representationally is even more surprising when I'm done. I never know where I'm going, I let the paint lead me more than I lead the paint.
It's kind of like working through a problem to find the solution. Which is not how I would go about 3d art like the box of feathers. I can visualize an end result and then somehow have to work backwards from that to end up with what I want.
And where does having a concept come into any of this...? I guess I don't know. I think I produce loaded pieces without realizing it. People talk about my concepts and ideas and what my art means, and I don't have answers if they ask me questions. I don't know what my art means. I don't know that it matters. It doesn't to me. There is just a force pushing me to do whatever it is I do.
Apparently that's not enough though for everyone else.
I guess what I really need to know is if it will help me or hurt me to try to have specific, concrete ideas. Because I always have ideas, they're just a little floaty and fuzzy and I kind of like them that way. Is that bad? Does this mean I'm lacking something as an artist?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Photography Collaboration: Artist Statment Attempt 1

My goal recently has been to lessen the separation of photography concepts from painting concepts in my process. Undoing natural barriers and smoothly connecting ideas from two very different mediums has proven to be quite challenge. Now, at the end of the semester I may have found my niche in combining photography and painting in an "outside" way. I am almost cheating my mind into believing that I am painting a picture, rather than photographing one.

The collaboration process was both intimate and immensely surprising at times. Finding, at the first try, a partner in art who is so naturally attuned to my process (and vice-versa) was breathtaking. As a painter who creates for her viewer, it was incredible for me to become both a viewer and a contributor to what was happening. I began to develop my own, separate concept of what painting on the body could mean. For me, it was becoming close to the painting by removing the separating factor of the canvas. Rather than painting in a triple (artist, paint, canvas) she had opted to paint as a partner equal to her paints. There was no go-between, she was in complete contact and control of her creation. I was merely documenting this partnership, offering advice from my personal experience as a painter.

I am a young mother.
I am a virgin mother.
I am a bad mother.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This last photo shoot was immensely successful. I think. Drove all the way to Arcadia with took us 4 hours to get back because of the snow.
Anyway, I had a pretty decent critique on the previous photos shown up here in class the other day. They really pushed me in the right direction. Choosing color and coordinating with a backdrop. Doing this also allowed me to get even more involved with the process and decision-making. It felt good and I have a few good shots that will be good for printing once they are color-edited.
So exciting!!!!


Monday, November 30, 2009

some kind of statement.

i paint for myself. i don't necessarily think of the viewer. ever. my paintings don't have to be conceptual because they end up having meaning anyway. to the artist or to the viewer. if it doesn't have meaning then it's not a successful painting. i'll save it for a while and then paint over it later. when it becomes worthless.

but even the unsuccessful paintings were learning experiences, which give them worth. but that doesn't last.

to specify "ends up having meaning anyway." meaning doesn't have to be concrete. i don't expect someone to stand in front of any of my paintings and come up with words or thoughts. i don't know if i want them to. when i paint i don't think; i feel. i'm not trying to get at something, i'm trying to get something out.

when i paint my body it's personal. it's hard to feel a painting rather than think it when you're staring at your face in the mirror and smearing cold paint on yourself. it has to be like a trance.

if i could eat colors or become colors, i would. painting myself is a way for me to get as close to colors as possible. but this is a small part of why i keep doing this.

the thing that keeps me most interested in the body painting is the impermanence of it. when i'm done the paint washes away. the only thing that is left is the photos. and no one can see them unless i let them. no one can see me painted unless i invite them into the room. it doesn't become an object and it doesn't exist unless i want it to.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Photography Final Images Selection 1 (Day 1&2)- Unedited

Will most definitely be made into a print.

Needs some work in photoshop, but will be an awesome print because of the juxtapose here. Notice the earring/berries. Love that moment.

Probably won't make it into the final cut.

There is something about this shot on a large scale.

Probably won't make the final cut because it is sort of unrelated. I dig it though.

Definitely click on these to blow them up for the full effect.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Excerpt: 11/19/09 (sketchsteph)

"Jackie called us brave...with the idea that there is a certain bravery in an autobiographical piece. We know we have to talk about what we do and we don't want to necessarily, but the art that comes as the end result means enough that what we think about it just doesn't matter. At least not in that way.
Painting 4 will be a continuum of the absence of, coupled with "what comes from" things gone. Sort of like when a ship sinks and something new comes from it...or when something dies in nature and something new and living inhabits its space or its dead body.
I will be using natural fluids in this painting. I had a difficult choice to make between whether I would use a chemical or a natural fluid. The reasoning behind my choice of the natural is that almost everything about my triptych revolves around human nature in some way. The nature of desiring, bearing, raising children. The nature of societal confusion, the nature of feeling devoid or being devoid of something that others have (ie-emotion, parent instinct, anything...). Outside of the concept, the process stems from nature as well. I test the nature of water on water against gravity. The nature of the fast-drying acrylic versus water that will not easily evaporate into the canvas. My "hand" plays only a small part in the painting. I apply the paint and the water and allow it to live, naturally. I am involved with these paintings. Anytime we are physically involved with someone, the other party should have an equal say on the extent of the physical interactions. I allow my paintings these choices to the same degree which they allow me. I do not want to be in complete control. If I don't have to why should I?

On my original idea of Choice for this triptych...just now I am conciously considering ways to make choice a relevant idea in my life. Not necessarily revolving around pro/anti-choice but around being a young woman getting by in an ever-changing but still largely patriarchal society.
So, this triptych may also be considered a serious look at my exercising of CHOICE. Viewed in this way, it is interesting to note my ongoing discomfort at having to discuss the concept behind these particular works. I have made my choice, but is my lack of eloquence in speaking about it a reflection on my inability to stand by that choice? I don't feel fear of my choice, but something else is happening internally that keeps me unable to be very open about what I am working on.
I am hiding from something.
A large part of it may be my fear or frustration at having to try convincing an audience of something so obvious and important to me. I don't necessarily care that it is rejected.

!!!!!!!!!!!No, I DO NOT care that it is rejected-
MY ISSUE-FINALLY- is that I have an ENORMOUS fear of failing my piece. I don't want to fuck it up. I love it and I can't let it down.
The painting is more than capable of standing on its own. It is what it is, it says what needs to be said. It does these things perfectly so I won't have to.
Maybe I paint because I want something that can take care of me & my paintings have been pretty good at that so far. They aren't going anywhere & there are more to come to keep me afloat. The absolute best part of this is that these paintings are all an extension of myself. In a round-about fucked up way, I've got it all taken care of. I'm using tools to do it, but I'm still doing it. It's still just me looking out for me.

*applause* if you've read this entire post.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Holy Shit

Fading Out <---link

I can't figure out what this guy's concept is but I'm loving it. I wish I had more to say about it, other than "this shit is fucking cool."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

art can be... anything?

when i was done watching this i said, "what is THIS?" It is a music video, which makes sense viewer-wise, but it is also interesting, creative, nothing i've seen before... it is art. art doesn't have to be inspiring, beautiful, or ground breaking. art can be fun. art can be light hearted. art can be just weird.

i'm not sure what point i'm making, probably a point i've made before... but i guess i'm trying to say that there are no boundaries in art. there are no rules. art is art. art can be anything.

fantastic mr fox.

...we'll never be able to learn it all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Explain to My Parents

How to explain my parents from Lernert & Sander on Vimeo.

This video was tough to get through, but something I need to watch at least twice more soon and will need to re-watch probably for the rest of my life.
It brought up a lot of important issues I have with this same topic that I didn't really realize existed.

There is this sad assumption for most artists, I think, that our parents will not understand our art. I can only guess that it is some raw fear that stops us from even trying to make our parents "get it."

The art we create is too important and too intimate to be shot down by someone who is also important and intimate to us.
Watching this video, there is so much tension and hurt happening. Art is an enormous part of this man's life, and it's something that he cannot share with his father. There is frustration and anger and I think he was brave for trying and his father is brave for attempting to listen.

There is so much personal work that comes with figuring out what we consider art, why we consider what we create to be art, and why we create at all. It takes years of serious thought and reflection to get anywhere. These thoughts consume my mind, and I'm only at the beginning of the road. But I know that if I were to try to explain to my parents, or friends, or anyone else but an artist it would be a difficult thing for me to do. I would have to catch them up on years of learned "art vocabulary," then fill them in on my own very abstract but solid views of art, then talk about a lot of things I don't like talking about (the reason my art is conceptual in the first place). Maybe it's my job as an artist, maybe it isn't?

The road to "what is art" is so hard to travel...trying to convince someone else of that same road is even harder, because it is more likely to fail.

Anyway, that video opened up a whole new train of thought for me about communicating art to the type of person who doesn't quite get it. Is it possible to catch these people up? I lean towards no, because each person who wants to get to "that point" sort of needs to do it on her own.

Unresolved, maybe I'll get there. I'll probably post about it again sometime soon.


Loretta Lux

First, let me say- it's been way too long since I came across an artist with a decent website. THANK YOU Loretta Lux. Your photography is well worth it.

Anyway, I think it's probably very obvious why I am enthralled by Lux's portraits of children. The content completely captures my heart for two reasons.

Reason one, and possibly of less importance: working with children
Reason two: Working with children strangely.

It's obvious that she hasn't photographed these kids in an attempt to show the world her love for the young aliens of our society. I feel like this artist and I would have a lot to talk about. Which is to say that the way she photographs children is how I generally feel about kids when I am around them: Disturbed, uncomfortable, awkward, because I find them a little bit eerie. For the first time I can say that a work of art does not only affect me very deeply in an emotional way, but also that it speaks to me. Something that sounds so absurd until it is experienced. And it's an important experience. This series is helping me resolve some serious issues I have with childhood and motherhood that are so unresolved for me as a 21 year old female. Obsessions.

Her photographs have obviously been manipulated, but this certainly does not take away from what is going on through her collections.

Love love love it. LoveloveLoretta.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lava Project.

If there's a guy talking in the beginning just skip it, because the actual video is what's cool.

art can be anywhere, any material, breaking any boundaries.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

didnt read anything you posted yet need to write nonsense probably.

just left senior seminar with one third of the senior artists on campus and then had an argument (right word i dont know) with my interior design roommate. i called half of the people(including her) closed minded because they looked at most of the art presented (damien hirst, corniela parker, marcel duchamp, picasso even) and said, "that's not art."

excuse me, what?!

what the hell IS art then??? roommate said she looks at damien hirst (picture of the lamb in fermaldehyde) and it disgusts her and doesn't inspire her and she never wants to look at it again, and therefore it's not art.
to me, something that creates such a strong reaction DEFINITELY makes it art. if you put a carved out of marble lamb that is "beautiful" in a gallery and put a real lamb in fermaldehyde in another gallery and you have, an equal reaction to the two, one in awe and one in disgust, how does that not make them both successful pieces of art.
how do you not appreciate that? you can hate something and still appreciate it's value.
and then i asked if it's not art then what is it? and she said an idea.
isn't art ideas?
i'm starving and shaky and not thinking clearly i want to write more but i cant.
It's been a while, but I was waiting for something good to come along and it finally did.

In Art History yesterday, we watched a 30 minute documentary called Couple in a Cage. Artists Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña studied the reactions of the public in the characters of two members of an undiscovered native race, the Guatianaui.

A few things really struck me about this video.
One was that the public seemed to fall for the act put on by Fusco and Pena. Only one or two spectators showed any inclination toward disbelief. Watching the documentary, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the museum-goers, wondering if I would honestly fall for what was obviously a show.
To take it a step farther, it floored me that once people had fallen for the act, they were completely okay with it. Only one viewer showed any concern about the idea of human beings put on display in a cage for others to gawk at.

The "primitives" would tell a story in their native language or do a dance for just $.50, and for $5.00 the male would show his genitals. Total. exploitation. People completely bought into it.

Anyway, I read the piece as a criticism on the willingness of modern culture to exploit what they consider to be "the primitive." For some reason, people find it easy to disconnect the idea of human-being from primitive human-being.
I honestly believe that most of the museum-goers who loved this exhibition would say that putting the Native Americans on display in circuses and such so many years ago was immoral, hardly realizing that they were tested for making the same mistake and failed.
People. never. learn. And it's scary.

Anyway, I couldn't find any good video clips. Or any actually, except for this one. With a small write up by someone who basically felt exactly as I did when watching this.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

real life stuff.

i guess this is by volkswagen, but it's cool cause it shows how art can impact people daily. and in any setting.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Brown Sisters Photography Project

Nicholas Nixon. 25 years of the Brown sisters. I think this is beautiful, and that the pictures get better as they get older. It says a lot about the permanence of a true sisterhood and real love and dedication.
It made me think that if I had learned about this project about 3 years ago, I would have wanted to try something similar with my sister-friends. The project would never have come to a proper conclusion, because those friends are gone now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In photography today, I did a presentation on Sally Gall. Her photography is less important to me than what the article I read about her made me realize about myself.
Gall is, just like me, very hesitant to describe to others what the concept of her work is. I used to describe this as a problem. I regarded it as something I wanted to fix. Now I understand that it really isn't a problem, but a conscience decision I have made as an artist. Gradually, I am coming to terms with this decision. Once again, this becomes an issue in academic studio. During critique, I am expected, to some extent, talk about my art. Because of my fear of talking about (and therefore demystifying) my concepts, I sometimes hesitate to let free what I am trying to conceptualize. This interferes very negatively with my creative process.
Sometimes, I know that a strong concept exists but that does not necessarily mean I know any more about my concept than a viewer... There isn't always something to talk about.
My paintings have become a very exhausting, emotional, and slow journey of some sort of self-discovery. I wish I could be more sure of what I was discovering. I guess that question hanging in the air is what keeps me moving moving painting thinking. I am curious by nature, as are most artists. I need this curiosity to be sated or I will have no reason to be outside of square. Instead of move think paint, I would be reduced to move think about boys. Which. Yeah.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

RE: re: Eureka!

Yeah, I thought about revoking what I said about the artist community because I think I'm wrong there. I think what I was meaning to say is more along the lines of allowing myself to be accepted as what I am in that community, which for some reason I'm afraid of.

Also, as an art student here I've always been taken very seriously. If I hadn't, I never would have gotten to the point where I am now. I have raw talent but it definitely needed focus.
So the professors aren't the problem.
I think my issue is that this is the first time for most of my classmates where they are intensely on their own as far as what they are going to create. I'm not saying I'm more advanced than them, but I think I am more willing to go out on a limb conceptually. I have always leaned toward conceptual creation, even in high school. Except I never really knew how and I still sort of don't.

This was a good back and forth, I LIKE IT


Monday, October 19, 2009

re: eureka!

it's funny... this is like one of the times when you say you thought i already knew that when i'm telling you i realized something about myself... cause i thought you already knew all of this. maybe it's just because i feel the same way about this stuff as you mostly.

anyway. i like that you say yours isn't beautiful in the way theirs is. because everyone has a different opinion of beautiful, especially in art. and i agree with you that if you can stand in front of a painting and get a feeling from it and feel the emotion, that's what matters. that's what's real and that's what i find beautiful about art.

also, you SHOULDNT need to paint things "perfectly" over and over, but i think you should know how to do these things, which is why we're in art school. but you should use this knowledge you have from school as a jumping off point for whatever you as an artist, not as a student want to do.

i think you're assuming a lot to say that the artist community needs to accept the fact of what you're saying. first of all, i think the artist community has accepted it already (look at all the artists that don't paint "pretty" things and are famous). i just think your artist community (in school) hasn't accepted this, because they're still painting pretty pictures. second of all, the artisit community doesn't NEED to do anything. that's what art is. you make what you make, you think it's beautiful (for whatever reason), maybe some people agree with you, and definitely some people think you're shit.

anyway, i didnt mean to say that your art program is bad or anything, i just mean that by the time we're seniors here we've already been treated as artists, not students, and so we feel like we can do whatever we want and not be judged for it. and i think a lot of us end up making "non-pretty" art that is beautiful.

i hope your eureka moment ends in a fuck them all attitude and you can let go of whatever it is you're holding on to and you can just DO whatever you feel is beautiful to you.


This Sunday, at breakfast with my roommates, I had the BEST Eureka! moment!!!!

One of them asked me what I thought about Jackson Pollock. As I was explaining how much I love him, something sort of just spilled out of my mouth that made SO MUCH sense in regards to how I view art and why I lean toward creating art a certain way. I was surprised when it came out, but I felt a huge sense of relief that I had finally reached a new understanding of my own art.

What I realized is this:

I really love Pollock and I finally figured out that it isn't because I find his paintings to be visually beautiful, in the same way that I do not create art that is visually beautiful. That breakfast was the first time I said out loud (and realized, period) that I do not create beautiful art. This was a huge, huge, huge realization for me.
For one thing, it made me realize the discomfort I was having with creating art that is technically simple, but conceptually elaborate. I feel an incredible pressure with creating conceptual art that isn't "pretty" in an academic setting. It can be an uncomfortable feeling for me when other students are looking at and judging what I create. My work is not beautiful in the way theirs is; I avoid portraits and tomato plants and the norm. Whatever that is. At an academic level, my work is out of place and can be confusing. It's hard for my visions to reach their full potential in the current environment. Taken out of the context of a school, I really think they would thrive.

I have begun to completely view art not as something seen, but something perceived. I naturally gravitate toward art that typically falls short of being visually pleasing for the average person. I can FEEL the emotion emanating from these works. The artist has allowed me to experience some of what he is feeling...something important has been revealed. CONCEPTCONCEPTCONCEPTPROCESS.

I never allow myself to emulate the skill of another artist, because it should be a given that each artist does have skill. This is something that should be recognized and not forgotten, but not always shown. I should not need to paint the human figure beautifully over and over for others to understand that I can do so.
The artist community needs to first except this fact. I believe that anyone creating beautiful things for the reason of beauty is more of a craftsperson than an artist. I do not mean this in a critical way whatsoever. But I hold that if we can all recognize that we have skill and do not feel the need to prove it, or have it proven to us, we would stop getting stuck on the beautiful and move on to something much deeper and more important. That way, we might all start finding answers.

And that's just skimming the top


Saturday, October 17, 2009

no motivation.

rainy weeks are the worst for getting things done... i have no motivation to go to the studio.

Friday, October 16, 2009



It reminded me of how wild we are. And how we're not really allowed to be that wild, because we're adults and we're women and so we've become artists to compensate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009



"I'm working on a paper and I want YOUR STORIES!! I want to know your exposure to the arts! please tell me what you experienced or didn't experience. Do you consider yourself a creative person?? Do you tend to stay away from the ...arts? And by the arts i mean visual arts, performing arts, music, ect.. I want to know how you feel the arts have/have not had a role in your life and during your education"

I've always considered myself a creative person. I'm breaking down a lot of creative walls now, and trying to really throw myself "out there" to see what I can find. I look at the artists who I admire, and they went way past that creative wall- ultimately leading to their success.
My exposure to the arts started pretty late. I didn't become seriously interested until I was a junior in high school in Mr. Jiorle's drawing class, and that was the only really useful art class I took at the high school. For some ridiculous reason I chose it as my major, and so far it's worked out pretty well. My first few years as an art student weren't all that rewarding until I found my niche(?) in conceptual painting.
So basically since this summer I have become immersed in the arts. I sort of consider it my job to be thinking about art in some way at all times. Whether it's to notice that something is visually pleasing and WHY, or whatever. No matter what: my brain is WIDE OPEN at all times to things I've seen, heard, felt, experienced. I never fail to shock myself at what I pick up subconsciously and throw into a painting way down the road. I've learned to create extremely strong, intimate relationships with most things I'm working on. Like any relationship, this is a completely exhausting experience. I can throw as much love, money, and knowledge into a painting, but that doesn't always mean it will be worth anything. At all.
However, I am 100% willing to paint over any piece that does not satisfy me. If it isn't satisfying me, it isn't satisfying the viewer either, making it a completely useless piece of art.
I'm really in love with the idea of the process (or choice) of a piece of art. If there is a conscience process involved, or a conscience choice made by the artist: art has been created. Period.
Currently, I'm exploring my feminist philosophies concerning choice, having children, family ideals...etc. Anything relating to being a woman, basically. My main focus is embryos. They say a lot, even if I'm not always sure what that is.
The great thing about being an art student at Ramapo is that the visual artist community is extremely involved with the music scene. Having people understand the insanity of CREATING something that's worth anything is an awesome awesome awesome buoy.

Anyway Alison, hope this helps. I'll tell Niki to write something up too...I'd also suggest looking through the posts we've written on here. There aren't many, but a lot of them (especially the more recent ones) are about our own philosophies and experiences with art. All of them are geared toward answering the question of what art is. As individuals.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Get me??


Things I Know About Myself

Straight from my artist journal (MY AJ)

-I am in love with the idea of projecting onto the canvas so strongly that it projects back onto me. Even though it kind of makes me want to die sometimes.

-THE PROCESS of the piece. I explore my own process AS it is happening. With the expectation that it will eventually lead to something else & etc. Reflecting the evolvement of ALL art (!?)

-THE EXPERIENCE of painting is draining and emotional and painful both physically and emotionally. It can be a passionate fight uphill that reaps no reward. As an artist, I bear my soul in each of my paintings. Sometimes, I do not like what I see. Possibly, the occasional forced nature of what I paint is caused by an inability (refusal?) to come to terms with whatever it is that I feel (or don't allow myself to feel) on a regular, exhausting, basis. This bearing of the soul is also why I have a hugely difficult time talking about my art. What I paint is all I can offer to the viewer, I can't offer much else.
This is the lot of the artist. I take the challenge on willingly, even though I am tired.

-Everything on the canvas has a reason for being there. The viewer should become involved with the piece. Everything comes from somewhere.

-I want to convey a strong message through my art. I would like the viewer to experience some emotion when viewing my work. I greatly admire artists who I connect with emotionally. I do not always know why I connect w/ particular artists, but I believe they have accomplished what they may have set out to do by impacting me in some way. It has a lot to do with the viewer.

-Looking to achieve a grittiness that will evoke personal, intimate emotions from the viewer.
CHALLENGE my viewer into an internal conversation on feminism

Make a statement

-As the artist I prefer to share VISUALLY & withhold vocally. Secrets lose their meaning when they are shared. The mystique of the symbol is lost & raped by the eagerness of the viewer to "get it." I would rather my viewer just FEEL IT. I paint for the viewer because she will be seeing my paintings not based on my emotions, but based on her own story.
I guess we don't need our artists' journals to sound kind of nuts. I'm going to use this to develop my philosophy on art more aggressively. I might write things repeatedly. whoopsie

something from cezanne?

I'm not quite sure who said this because I'm reading a book right now that is quoting things from all these random places, so either Cezanne (MY FAVORITE) said this, or Cezanne kind of said this but a poet wrote it... or something...

"Shut your eyes, wait, think of nothing. Now, open them... One sees nothing but a great colored undulation. What then? An irradiation and glory of color. This is what a picture should give us... an abyss in which the eye is lost, a secret germination, a colored state of grace... Lose consciousness. Descend with the painter into the dim tangled roots of things, and rise again from them in colors, be steeped in the light of them."

my favorite is the last sentence.

RE: Phil Guston/my philosophy/ a little bit about duchamp

I LOVE WHAT THIS GUY HAD TO SAY. Even though I only heard the filtered down version via you.

Sorry I've been slacking on putting new interesting artists on. I like to put up people who are mindblowingly nuts, just to keep it interesting.

ANYWAY. What Phil Guston calls his control *I think???* I call the process. Or, as Duchamp said and which I love, the CHOICE of the artist.

I accept Duchamp's readymades 100% art, no questions asked, because he made the conscience decision to choose an object and display it as art. I feel like he had his own set of challenges as the artist, because he had to become a "selector." He had to find an object which he connected with and envision that object in a different setting from what was usual for that object. Thus, changing the meaning of the object. Allowing himself to connect with an inanimate object could not have been such an easy thing, right??

Also, I think Guston said something about allowing the painting to go through you. I LOVE THAT BECAUSE I HAVE EXPERIENCED THAT .I'm not sure if it's me the artist or me the viewer that can just sense when the piece I am looking at has not become a real part of the artist who created it. As artists, we need to get seriously SUBMERGED into our pieces.

Thank God we're both artists, I have no one else I can talk to about this stuff.
It's okay, probably even a good thing, to be insane. It isn't my fault that my paintings make me this way.

This makes some sense but is completely unedited and I feel like I just sort of put thought fragments in my excitement and rush.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I watched the BEST art video ever today. Philip Guston: A Life Lived. And i can't even find it anywhere online. His non-representational stuff i liked. the other stuff i can't really make a judgement on cause i havent seen them in person, but they're kind of cartoony, which he was going after or whatever. BUT just listening to him talk was AMAZING. I wish he didnt die cause i would make him talk to me forever. In the video he talked about everything that ever matters as a painter.

talked about how you have to paint what's real. You can't not paint it or it's fake. You become a wax figure i think is what he said. And he destroyed all the paintings he wasnt happy with. It's not even worth it if you don't make contact with it and have enough of an experience with it. and you KNOW it's good if the painting comes not from you, but through you. he said every other person in the studio disappears, and eventually you disappear and it's just the painting being painted.

i have this post it note above my desk that i wrote "ART IS CONTACT" and i knew i liked it enough to write it down, but i didnt really get it, and now i get it. Art is contact, it's not worth it if it's not. cause it's not real. and by real i mean to the artist. not to anyone else. and you might get shit or criticism for it, but AGH he described it so perfectly. basically you HAVE do it. to survive. otherwise you die.


found this: it's not the whole thing, but some clips from it. the guy talking is kinda boring, but guston talks around 2, 4, & 6 minutes. i'll keep looking for more...

Friday, October 9, 2009

LOOK AT THIS! (Eric Fischl)

i dont know what a chromecoat is ...?


i like the chromecoats cause they're not so detailed. they feel felt rather than thought. the portrait paintings on his website i dont like as much. too much thinking.

Borna Sammak interview.

I can't find images of what the end product looked like, but it's cool anway. gets you thinking about all the places you can put/view art.

oh, here's a link to what it looked like:

and a video that i can't get to work:

in response.

in response to kiki smith, it's about the same stuff.

janine antoni. and the piece of art i'm talking about is gnaw.

Artist Pick 6: Kiki Smith, Second Wave (?) Feminist

Awesome find, full length Kiki Smith on Art 21. Here is the link to the video. Her segment starts at 39:00

Unfortunately, I can't find a good website or blog that has written about her pieces. From what I know about her, she comes from a time in feminism when artists were very very into the "gritty" and grotesque of women. They did not back down from their feminism. For example, one woman poet read a poem from a ribbon as she was pulling it out of her vagina.
I would have LOVED TO HAVE BEEN AN ARTIST AT THIS TIME. This was the age of "female artist." In the third wave, I think we've gotten very caught up in political correctness, and so there is a lot less "I am female, I am proud," and a lot more ambiguity as far as gender...third wavers now lean toward just being a person, not male or female. So I am just an artist, not a female artist, because I have nothing to prove by saying that and because most men do not allude to gender in that way (except of course when they are in the role of something classically considered "woman.." go figure)


To remedy her lack of a website, I'll just add some images I can find online and put 'em right here for you all to seee. Don't forget to check out at least some of the video too.
I actually can't find the print I'm looking for and the biggest reason for putting her on here (other than how crazy her stuff is). The print is so SO similar to a piece I am working on for my next painting. It's weird because my painting professor's works have actually had a huge impact on my work, and Kiki Smith has made an even larger impact on my professor. I thought it was really interesting that now I am creating a work so much like Kiki Smith's without ever having seen it and only being influenced by her in this secondary way. WEIRDWEIRD

Whatever, I'm out


Thursday, October 8, 2009


this is kinda cool... i like the sound more than the idea or the visual.

or maybe the idea is the sound.

REPLY: RE: why can't abstract...

i have a feeling i won't be able to say what i mean in a way that makes sense:

i was talking about art from the viewer's perspective, not from the artist's. OBVIOUSLY it means something to the artist (and hopefully to the viewer too). and i've been painting non-representationally for a while, so i'm not... i dont know. ha i'm not discrediting or taking the piss out of anything.

so yeah, i guess i kind of meant art historians, or even people who don't know anything about art at all. why do they stand in front of an abstract painting saying this looks like this, this line means this... or maybe more when people ask, "what is that?" Why does it have to be something? can't it just be what it is... a painting. with colors or shapes or a mess.

Obviously as an artist you want the viewer to walk away from your painting with something. Some sort of experience or feeling or thought or impression. even if it's a bad one. what is art if it doesnt create a response?

i just don't see why there has to be soooo much analyzing for every single painting. Don't get me wrong, i think some abstract art definitely is created for analyzation and others deserve to be analyzed just because. I'm just saying that art like Pollock's (which i could be completely wrong about this cause I don't know anything about him or his process, but that's the risk of making art- people have their own views on it) seems more like a visual experience to me rather than an analytical experience, and why are people trying to find stupid shapes in it?

RE: Why Can't Abstract Just BE Abstract by NLeist

I think you should clarify what you mean in this post because it seems like you're on to something, but I'm confused as to what.
If you're saying you think art historians shouldn't sit around like assholes reading into every dot and line, I think I have to agree with you.
My current art history teacher seems to make things up on the spot (out of his butthole, that jerk), and it's really obnoxious.

But, since I've been moving into nonrepresentational and "obsessive" art I've begun to understand the mindset of people like Pollock. The idea of just getting it out getting it out getting it out, whatever IT is...which I think we've talked about and agreed on before.
I do think though, that Pollock may have been free of painting with a pretentious purpose, if that makes sense. I think that, like me, he may paint something and then decide later on whether or not it's coming from anywhere outside of pure visual elements.

Anyway, I think that this response isn't what you were getting at at all, but these are some things I've been thinking about recently.


Artist 5: Jenny Saville

Link: Jenny Saville (youtube montage)

It may be obvious already that I have a definite definite huge fascination with the grotesque in art. The next two artists on my list will also be indicative of that.

Jenny Saville, (my first female pick!!) is one of the most exciting painters of my life. She finds the macabre in ordinary situations and has the ability to create one of the most dynamic perspectives of the figure I have ever seen. To say the least, her work is gritty and it's just plain cool.

I definitely relate her to the works of Lucian Freud, who will be Artist Pick 7 and is pretty rockin'

Enjoy the video link!


why cant abstract art just BE abstract?!

I guess i get it because the left side of the brain can't help but put everything into order and symbols anyway, but WHATS THE BIG DEAL?! can't abstract art just BE abstract? that's the whole point. to not sit around and stare at something and say oh, that's a boat or that's a fish or that's a vagina. i mean, i dont know.

Look at this article about Jackson Pollock's painting. First of all, Pollock kind of pisses me off anyway, but this guy wrote a book on how pollock put his name in his painting?! I really doubt that it matters AT ALL.

Artist Pick 4: Ron Mueck

Watch the (link): video. Enjoy how very coolvery cool very cool awesome awesome he is.

I'll talk about how effective this video is in showing the first sculpture of the boy so many times. The entire piece changes based on the location of it, which is something that is very imortant to art. This particular piece says a lot about the artist's choice in location.
I am in love with how in certain spaces the boy may seem "too large" and cramped, while in others he somehow becomes vulnerable and small.

All of them make me want to kind of pee my pants or SOMETHING, but my absolute favorite is the piece toward the end....Look for it at moment 2:30!


Artist Pick 3: Matthew Barney, Cremaster Artist

Here is the Cremaster series website. I can't say much about this amazing dude, there are no words for the bravery he has in getting the shit in his brain out and into life.

Link: Cremaster 3 (the last video in a series of 5)

I'm not positive whether or not this is the full length version, but it's saweeeet. I'm having a hard time finding the rest, I know there are moments in the others which are much crazier and more intense than this example.



Artist Pick 2: Photographer, Abelardo Morell

Click for Abelard Morel's website. It's very extensive and FUCKING AWESOME.

The photographs which I find to be the most breathtaking are from his book series. This dude travelled worldwide to get these pictures of different books. Wowwowza
What makes the photos so great is the way he captures the romance of books. PERFECTLY. The photo I chose for this entry , Dictionary, is my favorite from the book series, but the other book "portraits" are downright gorgeous as well

The reason I gravitated most strongly to Morel's book series is because of the very important relationship I have developed with books. They are my saviors during the hard times, without them I would probably in a very bad place. Ie-reality.

Anyway, also of note by him is his retelling and photographing of Alice in Wonderland using cut-outs mixed with real life elements (ie- cut out of Alice, real water). Makes for a very very interesting layered effect.
Lastly, check out Camera Obscura. It's not obvious in many of the pictures, but he's playing with images upside down using the extremely simple camera obscura.

Good shit.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Us, We Love

I wasn't nude but I could have been. Art changes being naked to something else that makes you not naked anymore.
I guess nudity is a state of mind.


colors are weird things... Dyskinesia & Blue Lenses. xNiki

I swear it's real. Putting blue lenses on a percentage of Parkinson's patients helps with dyskinesia.


Everyone should take this:

it tells you what your current life problem is.

My first artist pick: Stephen Shanabrook

Stephen Shanabrook, "chocolatier."

Check out the link to see this dude's work. HE IS INSANE. My biggest question is about his suicide bomber piece (above), which is where that link should send you.

Shanabrook would go to morgues to cast the bodies and body parts that he wanted to become a part of his collection...but how in the world did he cast the body of a this dude with intestines hanging out and everything?? Was he called on site or WHAT.

One important thing to note about his work is that he makes a consistent effort to change the meaning of his mediums, something that can be difficult to do in a creative way in sculpture.
The chocolate is the biggest example of this, in that he is taking something edible and generally DELICIOUS and making it gross and icky.

Chocolate body part wedding favors...go figure. People are all sorts of nuts, and I kinda' like it.

I guess I won't be talking tootoo much about the artists or their process on here or whatever.
For this dude, I'll just say that I love his chocolate pieces and paper surgeries and pretty much everything else too.

Be warned that all of his stuff falls under the macabre in a kind of nauseating way.

He da bomb though.
As are all the artists I will introduce on this blog. Promise.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Arm of The Sea Theater

These amazing street-performers were called to our school for Earth Week to tell the story of the City That Drinks the Mountain Sky. IT WAS THE COOLEST THING OF THE YEAR. SERIOUSLY. I wish I were a better photographer so I had more than 2 really quality pictures to show for it.