Friday, December 29, 2006

Pan's Labyrinth...

Today, after work, I treated myself to a movie. Normally I'm too busy to be able to watch movies, however, I'm still on holiday from classes. I've been wanting to watch Pan's Labyrinth ever since I first saw stills from the movie in an art magazine.

I was not disappointed. First of all, it is beautifully shot. Every scene is rich with an almost painterly light. The visuals are creative and masterfully wrought. The soundtrack is haunting and seductive. And although the story is fairly simple, the acting adds depth and character. Even though the movie is in Spanish, the raw human expression almost makes reading the subtitles unnecessary.

Perhaps the reason why I liked it best was that it wasn't a traditional fairy story - at least not a traditional MODERN fairy tale. A time existed when authors and story-tellers did not shield the youth from the realities of life. As much as the fairy tales embraced concepts of goodness and light, they counter-balanced it with the all too real truth of darkness. In versions of Cinderella, the step-sisters mutilate their feet to force them into the glass slipper.

Bruno Bettleheim wrote The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales. In it, he expresses his views on how fairy tales influence and effect the development of a child's psyche and morality. He also writes on how it utterly important to present the darkness in fairy tales and not water them down.

This movie is almost a perfect translation of a fairy tale for adults. I also liked the fact that the realistic parts were matched equally with the magical. In many magical-realism movies, they only allude to the otherworldliness and ignore the richness of fantasy.

This is a worthy film.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Moving Walls...


Around 1 A.M. last night I went to return a movie I picked up from the local Movie Bank. It was late and the streets were relatively quiet. It is one of my favorite times to go walking. Some may say that it's dangerous, but there's no one really out on the street after a certain time... especially in winter.

I watched the movie, Hard Candy with Patrick Wilson in it. I saw him walking down the street the other day on my way to the studio. I saw him and recognized that he looked familiar, but it took me three blocks before I figured out who it was. I've been wanting to see this movie, so this appearence was inspiration to go out and rent it. Although it's really disturbing, it's really good. The dynamic between Patrick Wilson and Ellen Paige is very human and very raw.

In any event, I went to return the movie and was about to cross Grand Street, when a yellow truck passed by. Lights were flashing and there was a sign that read, "WIDE LOAD." Behind it were three semi-trucks. Each one of them loaded with a Richard Serra piece. It was so strange to see these piece, these massive structures of steel in motion. Normally they stand with perfect stillness. Their weight and mass a literal presence, almost as though you were standing next to a sleeping giant. Here on the empty street, with a herald of flashing lights... the giants were moving. The walls were moving.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas in NYC...

This year I have not been moved very much by the Christmas spirit. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I associate so much of Christmas with ideas of family and this particular holiday, I did not have the opportunity to spend time with them.

But little bits of the spirit, have shone through. Despite being hundreds, even thousands of miles, away from my family and what I connect to as "holiday" - new traditions have emerged.

For Christmas Eve, I was called into work. Afterwards, I brought a butterfly adorned bottle of sparkling Melbec and a bottle of Prosecco over to my friend Tommy's apartment. It was perfectly relaxing to spend time catching up over glasses of ruby and gold glittering bubbles.

Just before midnight, Charles (my new roommate) and his friend, Dennia, and I went on the roof and watched the lights of City. It was cold and breezy, but the view was amazing. The streets were wrapped in a calm hush. As the clock struck 12, the church bells began to ring, and the lights of the Empire State building went out.

Later in the evening, the three of us went to rent a scary movie. We decided on The Wicker Man, as none of us had seen it. I didn't see the movie as strange, scary, or bizarre in the slightest. All the dark aspects were woven together with a beautiful way of life. I don't recommend the movie, but there were some redeemable qualities.

The actual day of Christmas was spent relaxing and catching up on much needed sleep. When Charles returned from work, we cooked a big feast. The day perfectly hit the spot.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Re-Title...

I've recently joined re-title.

On their about page, it says:
re-title.com is a new information resource for young contemporary artists, curators, writers and galleries providing both an artist’s directory and an up to date visual guide to exhibitions around the world.

re-title.com provides an internet hub for the community of cutting edge contemporary visual art - providing a platform to create opportunities and associations for all of our members whether they be artists or exhibitors.

Now with over 1000 artists and over 600 exhibitions listed, re-title.com is sourced daily by thousands of artists, curators, critics, gallerists, writers, media professionals and collectors.

Understanding the dynamics of today’s transitional and multi disciplinary aspects of exhibiting, re-title.com lists a broad spectrum of practice. This ranges from artist project spaces, curatorial projects, not for profit spaces, commercial galleries to events such as festivals and art fairs.

Our artist members reflect this evolving diversity as you will see by their extensive and diverse biographies. Exhibition histories range from awards, grants, residences, curatorial projects, commercial galleries to public collections.

As a researcher, you can source information quickly, thoroughly and precisely and where appropriate, articulate specific and accurate opportunities for our members.

To see my profile, go HERE or copy and paste this address into your browser:
http://www.re-title.com/artists/andrew-thornton.asp

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tagged: 6 Weird Things...

I've been tagged by my sister to name 6 weird things about myself.

1. I used to be a go-go dancer here in New York. Yes, that's right, years ago I used to dance in cages, on bars and boxes, and on poles in crazy outfits until the wee hours of the morning. And people actually paid me to do this!

2. I had imaginary friends until I was over 18 years old. When I was much younger, I used to get in trouble for talking to people who weren't there... I learned after that to do it in secret. I often times wonder what have become of them.

3. When I first came to New York, I used to go for long walks and collect pennies from off of the streets. I used to think that I was collecting wishes. In the end, I cashed in $38.72 with the coin machine earlier this year.

4. When I lived in Florida, I began training as a psychic medium and as a natural healer. In the process, I learned all sorts of poisons and their effect on the human body.

5. I'm a chronic walker. If I get mad, sad, upset, or frustrated, I start walking. I guess it started out because I didn't have a car and the bus system in Florida is pretty awful and walking was the only way to get anywhere. It was on these walks that I would think and reflect. It then developed to where I would blank out and discover that I had walked 10 miles without knowing it... or where I was.

6. I once wrote a 20 page love letter to someone describing how deeply fond of this person I was and how if we went out together we would find ulimate happiness, but eventually grow to hate one another and become distant, hollow people. I think the letter spanned a hypothetical 80 year life-cycle, ending with me having died and them realizing finally that I was their one true soul-mate. Needless to say, this person did not go out with me.

Bonus: *Cynthia and I both share the weird love of dried cuttlefish!

I tag: Manish, Karen Michel, and Heather Wynn.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Part Two...

A couple of friends couldn't make it the actual night of the opening. So, I filled out a couple of papers and got a couple of signatures and had the floor opened up to my visitors. Only about half the people on the list actually showed up, but it was GREAT having the ones that did swing by! It was a lot of fun.


Left: Christy and I striking a pose for the camera. Right: Neil and I.


The amazing artist, Christy, raises a toast.


Me and Jesse looking all sassy in front of The World Undone.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Butterfly Effect: The Opening...

Here are a couple of images from the Open Studio event. It was a lot of fun and I got to see a few people whom I haven't seen in a long while. It was definitely a treat and I was very happy to share my new work. The series entitled, Butterfly Effect.


Here I am with one of my mentors, Uta Koether.


Tommy Cinko and I in front of, The World Undone.


Vanessa Williams (who's horribly camera-shy) and I in front of some of the resin and lightbox pieces.


Natalie W. in front of Jessica's studio. I don't think I actually took this picture, as my camera sort of vanished for a bit and I discovered a whole set of images that I hadn't seen prior.


Left: Rachel Strum and I in front of her earthen constructions. Right: There I am with Stephanie. Rachel and Stephanie are my studio neighbors. They used to host the New Party Club in their loft in Brooklyn


Riva and Justina at the end of the evening. Justina is graduating. It's funny because even though I had classes with them and shared a floor with them, I unfortunately haven't had an opportunity to hang out with them much. So it was really nice to chat a bit.


Ha! There I am with Sam and Caroline. Caroline likes to eat mangos.


Sassy Jen Tong takes a sip, while I grab my chin.

Left: Jess, rocking out a skeleton t-shirt. Right: Lara, one of my muses and fellow artists from a summer residency program we were in together two or three years ago, strikes a pose with me.


Here I am with Lorra Jackson, who I also met at a summer residency program.


Marilyn Palmeri, my Children's Literature professor who is an amazing teacher and a talented artist, dropped by. She brought me almonds!


Left: Kristin and I. Right: Anne Clarke, who has always been so helpful and wonderful in the fine arts office stopped by to say hello.


Francesca, Natalia, and I. Natalia just had a show up at Go Fish Gallery.


Sam, me, Tommy (in the back), Caroline, Jess, and Jen.


A random group shot.


I used to work with Heather Eagle, years and years ago. It was great that she stopped by.


Aurea came. She brought me a bottle of wine and some cups and saved the day!


Charles and his friend Dennia came by to check out the work.


The very talented Amy Morris (CHINA!) came by to see the new work. Here show will be up at Jonathon Shorr gallery for the next couple of weeks.

Jennifer Sarkilahti of Odette: New York came down to check out the new work. She is currently featured in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Jane Magazine.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Amy Morris...

I invited my friend Amy Morris, who I met at an SVA summer residency program to the Open Studios event. She sent me back a invitation card for a solo show she's in at the Jonathan Shorr gallery. I'm so very proud of China! Meow!

Luckily the opening was one stop away from Melissa's opening, which meant that I could hit both of them and still have time to go to the studio to install the rest of my show.


Here Amy is with a couple of flowers I picked up for her.


An outside picture, looking into the gallery. In the window, Brooke Larsen is talking with Amy's boyfriend. In the background, you can see a hint or two of her paintings.

Black and White...


Even though I was pressed for time to install the rest of my show, I dropped by a couple of openings of friends former professors. One of the openings was at the Drawing Center and featured Melissa Meyer who usually shows with Elizabeth Harris gallery in Chelsea.

The show was comprised of works done by Melissa only in black and white. It's funny to look at these works in relation to what is normally presented by Melissa, as she usually shows work that is very vibrant in high-chroma color. A lot of the work that is being shown is from the late 80's and the early 90's. Each of the pieces play with various warmths, tones and shades of black and white.


Melissa Meyer and I at her opening.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pre-Show Treat...

Everytime I have a show, I like to reward myself for working so hard to get ready. Often times these are some of the most intimate and personal experiences in preparation, as they are the calm before the storm and everything seems heightened. These moments are usually the only ones that I have outside of the studio or space that I'm installing what I'm working on.

For this pre-show treat, I went to TWO places! They are both some of my favorite dessert places in New York City, Rice to Riches and Veniero's.


Rice to Riches is a really great place that only serves rice pudding. They have a wide selection of really tasty flavors. My favorite flavor is the cheesecake flavor.


Veniero is one of the best pastery places in New York. This entire block is full of really great places to get yummy delights.

Countdown...

This past Monday was my BFA review and I had to pull a couple of all-nighters to get everything ready for it. Friday though is the Open Studio event and I've still got miles and miles to go before everything is finished. Eek!

Needless to say, considering my time constraints, this post is already TOO LONG!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Odette NY Trunk Show...


Jennifer Sarkilahti, an amazing artist and friend of mine, is going to be representing her company, Odette New York, at a Holiday Trunk Show and Cocktail Party at Phurniture Wednesday, December 13th, 2006.

Even though I'm busier than a firework stand on the Fourth of July, I'm definitely going to try and make it out to show my support and see her and her new work.

Drop by. It'd be a great opportunity to meet Sarkilahti and check out her new line of cast whimiscal wares. It'll also be a great place to pick up some holiday gifts, as many of the items will be marked off 20-30%.

And who can pass up a free drink?

Open Studios FALL 2006...



Come see my current work!

The School of Visual Arts is holding it's bi-annual BFA Open Studios.


December 15th, 2006
5PM to 9PM
141 West 21st Street (Between 6th and 7th Ave.)
4th Floor

Light to Unite...


As many of you know, World AIDS Day was a week ago. Don't let the awareness and understanding stop there. Help fight HIV/AIDS! Bristol-Myers Squibb is donating a dollar to the National AIDS Fund for every candle that is lit with a match on the website.

Click HERE to light a candle.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Food Poisoning...

These past couple of days have been really hectic. I haven't had much time to cook at home since I've been either at work, in the studio, in class, or preparing my materials for my upcoming website. Due to this rush, rush, rush schedule, I've been eating out a lot more than I usually do. This has led to some surprises... some good, some as you'll read - REALLY BAD!

If I didn't have enough to worry about with my BFA Reviews, finals, thesis papers due, work, my Open Studio on December 15th, it was all added to with a case of food poisoning. So since late last night, I've been puking up my guts and on the toilet cursing Wong Foo and their sesame chicken of doom! It's like a scene out of The Bell Jar, only with Chinese food.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Evolution of a Painting...

I've been working on this large scale piece for quite some time now. Throughout the process, I've documented most of the major steps, tracking its evolution and progression. The piece started out with a grid system. However, when I attempted to hang the piece up to work on it, small rips formed. These rips made me pretty upset, so I ended up tearing the piece apart. From the torn pieces, a new work developed.

It is tentatively titled, The World Undone.

I was thinking a lot about Chaos Theory. Hence the butterflies. I have also been reading some poetry by Francis Thompson, who's work seems to be early Chaos Theory. Particularly a line that goes:

"Thou canst not stir a flower without troubling of a star."






























Here is the piece in its latest incarnation. I've still got some work yet to do on it, but I like the direction in which it is taking.