Monday, October 30, 2006

Movies-To-See List...

I couldn't sleep tonight and the insomniac in me found my way to the computer. I went to the upcoming movies page and wasted away my sleepless hours. Here are a
couple of movies that are on my "Must See List." Some of them appeal to my more serious movie-watcher sensibilities and others just look like pure visual fun.

Here are some pictures, links to websites and trailers, and descriptions provided by Apple's Movie Trailers:

Following his breakthrough feature, SECRETARY, director Steven Shainberg creates a ravishing imaginary portrait of the visionary artist Diane Arbus in his new film, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. Much as an actual Arbus photo transports us into strange and unfamiliar worlds, FUR travels through the looking glass to explore the transformation of a shy woman into a powerfully original artist. Nicole Kidman stars as "Diane Arbus," a devoted wife and mother whose innate talents and dark obsessions are profoundly at odds with the conventional life she leads in 1958 New York.

Notes On A Scandal
When Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) joins St. George’s as the new art teacher, Barbara (Judi Dench) senses a kindred spirit. But Barbara is not the only one drawn to her. Sheba begins an illicit affair and Barbara becomes the keeper of her secret. NOTES ON A SCANDAL is a story of loneliness, loyalty, envy and love.

Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite.

Pan's Labyrinth
Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro delivers a unique, richly imagined epic with PAN’S LABYRINTH, a gothic fairytale set against the postwar repression of Franco’s Spain. Harnessing the formal characteristics of classic folklore to a 20th Century landscape, del Toro delivers a timeless tale of good and evil, bravery and sacrifice, love and loss.

Based on the Best Selling Novel, this is a story of how a young man with an extraordinarily heightened olfactory sense becomes a murderer in his quest for capturing the unique sublime beauty of young women.

The Fountain
An odyssey about one man’s thousand-year struggle to save the woman he loves. As a 16th century Conquistador, a modern-day scientist, and a 26th century astronaut, he searches for the secret to eternal life.

Based on the best-selling novel, this epic fantasy-adventure centers on a young man named Eragon whose destiny is revealed with the help of a dragon. Eragon, now a Dragon Rider, is swept into a world of magic and power, discovering that he alone has the power to save or destroy an Empire.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Studio Update 2...

Since I've been a little sick lately, I haven't been able to spend very much time in the studio. It's annoying because I'm working on some rather challenging projects which need my attention. But I know that if I keep pushing myself too hard, I'll get even sicker and will eventually lose out on more studio time.

So, I've made a few visits here or there to take care of the largest of the collages yet. I'm very excited about the process. It's very physically demanding making these larger pieces. Moving larger amounts of medium around and physically pulling things into place, while keeping perfectly balanced, so as to not rip the delicate wet papers. Very taxing.

Here are some images from my studio:

As it can be easily seen, the latest collage takes up a good portion of the studio's floor.

I've "recycled" some fairly new material, including this past week's submission for Illustration Friday.

The biggest concern at this point is storage and how I'll be able to keep such large works without damaging them. Since they are all works on paper, they have an inherent fragility that needs to be taken in account.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Here Is New York...

I had gone for a long walk earlier this evening after my class finished up. Even though I was still a little sick, I strolled the city streets with the cold stinging my face and the air whipping about my head.

When I returned home, I looked through a pile of papers. I found a few quotes scrawled on a piece of paper with the date 9/11/06 written on the top.

The paper included quotes from an E.B. White book, Here Is New York. It was written in 1947 and published in 1949.

"The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now; in the sounds of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest editions."

"All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation, in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm."

It's funny how these words, written over fifty years prior still ring true. Maybe it is the chill in the air that makes me think of such things. Or the way the wind howls and stings, marking this time of year.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Illustration Friday: Ghost...

This is my first submission for Illustration Friday in a long while. I've been ridiculously busy with school and work, but I couldn't pass up making something for this week's theme.

I started off applying gesso to several different sheets of large paper. I really like the way the paint takes to the surface when it's six or seven coats deep. I then did some drawings with colored pencils of a skull. I then put gesso over that, building up the surface even more and literally creating an "image ghost" from the drawing beneath. I then collaged that drawing/painting together with some figure drawings I had done earlier in the week. Later, I went back and painted the white stripes and adjusted the colors with some quick washes. This piece is roughly 3.5 feet by 4 feet.

Take It From Me...

Heather Wynn is in town for a bead show! It was so wonderful to see her and her mom. They have a booth up at the Whole Bead Show in Manhattan at the Hotel Pennsylvania. They make amazing polymer beads. Check out the Whole Bead Show site for more information. Click here.

After the show closed on Friday, a bunch of us went out to dinner. Even though Heather Wynn and I were both exhausted by our very hectic schedules, we decided to hang out a little and catch up! As always, it was delightful to see her again. I've missed her bunches and bunches.

Here are some of the pictures from the evening:

Here Heather Wynn is striking a model pose with her cell phone.

This is the two of us out at dinner. Again, she's posing for the camera. I believe she is in mid-wink. She says that she looks special in this picture.

Here we are again later in the evening. We found an Irish pub called The Limerick House in Chelesa that played Madonna and Gloria Gaynor and stopped in for a quick drink. It was frequented by quite a few people who were legally blind. Needless to say, it was an interesting evening!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Rescuer...

I like to think that when I find something on the street and take it home, that I'm saving it from an otherwise empty existence in a trash-heap somewhere. I like to think that I'm giving things homes again. I also have an uncanny knack for finding just what I'm looking for. Sure... what I find might need a little cleaning, or a coat of paint or a little creativity, but I think that it's apart of the joyous process of rescuing treasures.

You know what they say... "One man's trash, is another man's treasure."

I had wanted to find a chandelier... low and behold, I found one! I have an interesting idea of adding antique keys to it and replacing the faux candle fixtures with simple round bulb lights. Believe it or not, there is only one chip on the entire piece and it can be easily fixed without anyone being the wiser.

Project Runway Finale...

After I finished up at the studio, I got a few supplies for our viewing party. Chocolate, wine, and chips! Sheila met me at 'Wichcraft and we shared a fried egg sandwich before heading over to Ope's. We've been so busy these past couple of weeks that we haven't really been able to watch. But Ope has TiVo and we caught up on the last couple of episodes.

My friend Tommy also stopped by and joined in on the fun.

It was quite a lot of fun to watch the finale. I kept looking extra hard to see if we could see either Sheila or I on the show. We were lucky enough to attend the runway show a few weeks ago.

Our predictions were accurate, as we had thought that either Jeffery or Uli would win. Seeing their collections live really made you just "know" that Jeffery would take the prize.

Afterwards we watched Top Chef! I just adore that show to bits. Though this season is very raunchy and it's only the first episode. We're going to start up Top Chef nights and do a little cooking as well.

I stayed out so late and enjoyed myself so much that I ended up falling asleep on the train home and ended up like 12 stops past my own! Eek! But it was actually quite nice outside and the views were an unexpected treat. I should have thought to take some pictures, but alas... sometimes I get so swept up in the moment that I don't even think of such things.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Studio Update...

I've been working really hard in the studio lately. Dealing with the larger pieces has been a real challenge. It has been very rewarding, but I'm still tackling some issues.

This is another really large piece. I'm not sure of the exact size yet, as I'm still adding to it. So far, I've had to adjust the colors a couple different times. Before there were these HUGE yellow horizontal stripes. I then tried to slim them down and eventually did a dry-brush of red over them to sort of tone down the in your face feel.

In this picture, you can see me running into issues of storage. The other very large piece is rolled up and put in the corner. It's the only way that I can keep working large - constantly putting things away.

This is a rather strange picture. In it, you can see some strange light-form. I think it's from the reflection of the ceiling light and perhaps some combination with the flash. Who knows? Maybe it's a ghost of a former SVA student.

In the corner, I put up some Maplethrope pictures. I find the photographs of the flowers far more sensual and erotic than the nudes he took. They are an inspiration to my work, especially my earlier work where I painted orchids.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Tonight during our Monday Night Senior Workshop, Suzanne Anker (SVA's fine art chair and my "home-room professor") was out due to being in Berlin. No specific reason was given, so I'll have to do a little digging and find out later. Though who wouldn't want to go to the new up-and-coming hip art city? I've actually had thoughts of moving out to Berlin once I finish up my undergrad. It seems impossibly risky and like a substitution for the New York I've grown to love and hate... but who knows?

So, Suzanne was out and her substitute was none other than Amy Wilson. I wasn't familiar with her in person or her name at first, however, there's a picture of her up on my blog! I had snapped a couple of pictures at the ArtLab 23 launch and she was in a couple of the shots. Funny that. It's also kind of funny because I had seen her work and been to a couple of her shows before, and didn't connect the name with the face or the work with the face or name.

Here's another picture of her that I had previously deleted since it was (at the time) of this random stranger and just of her. I dug it up out of the trash file after I met with her earlier this evening and connected all the dots.

Her work can be seen on her website: Click here.

We had a really great conversation about my work and its relation with psychadelic art. She teaches a class here at SVA called, Under the Influence: Art History and Altered States of Consciousness, which deals with the creation of art in the relationship with drugs, alcohol, religion, and mental illness. I've heard only positive reviews of this class and wish that I could fit it into my schedule.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Everyday when I return home from work or school or the studio, I check the mail. Normally, I find an assortment of advertisements featuring the latest sales at the Associated Market or a collection of bills, but today I found a surprise!

Cynthia sent me my schedule and access sticker for school (that was sent to my old address is Asheville), but it came in a lovely envelope that she embelished with a picture of Baby-One. I miss that little girl SO MUCH!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

ArtLab 23...

Tonight I went to the launch party for the latest edition of ArtLab 23. ArtLab 23 is an online journal that was previously published through the art history department under the guidance of Suzanne Anker. Suzanne's work deals with the convergence of art and science and the interelation between the two. To learn more about Suzanne, you can visit her website and check out her work: Click here.

I can't find the link or the address to the latest issue of ArtLab 23, but the one from before can be found at:

The launch party took place at one of the SVA galleries where the current show up is called Portraits Reconsidered. The show includes some interesting work by students which examines not only the face as material and concrete subject matter, but also psychologically. So there is a great cross-section of photography, painting and wall sculpture that tries to peel back the layers of the surface and reveal something much more juicy.

Here are some pictures from the launch party:

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Video Intimacy...

The other day, I was walking down the hall on the 5th Floor in the 141 building and saw a sign up announcing Intimacy and Aesthetics: Video Artists in Conversation.

The press release states:

A unique series of conversations between artists about their aesthetic practices and preoccupations. These events offer and inside look at the creative processes of four New York City artists and invite dialogue from scholars, artists, and the public.

Cheryl Donegan and Terence Gower
Cheryl Donegan's preferred media are video and painting, and her recurrent points of refernce film, MTV video, modern decor, and the mass media. Terence Gower is a Canadian conceptual artist who has created numerous projects addressing the problem of display in galleries and museums.

I was very excited to attend as I had Cheryl for my foundation drawing class. I still consider that class to be one of the most pivitol in my development as an artist. It was where I first truly engaged collage and really examined modernist art and space. Even to this day, I still reflect back on our sections dealing with Cubism and how it has impacted my work to-date.

In the class, we rarely talked about her own work. I think she rightly feared that many young students would look at her work and then try to immitate it, latch on, and try to become little versions of her. She instead focused on our work and our development as artists, instead of her own ego. So it was nice to see her talk about her work.

Although the attendence was a bit sparce due to the rainy weather, the talk was very engaging. I normally have a nasty habit of nodding off during lectures and panel discussions. I don't think I've ever sat through one entire lecture without falling asleep. But this was the first where I stayed completely awake and alert the whole time.

The dynamic between the two artists was genuine and cultivated. It was easy to tell that they had a developed repoire with one another and that the ideas they were discussing were ones that were of relevance. This wasn't two strangers reading lines from prepared statements. This was a meeting of two artists, talking about art, their work and how they make what they do. It was indeed, very intimate.

I am also looking forward to the next talk they have scheduled with Tony Ousler and Constance DeJong On November 8th.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tomorrow's Artist Today...

Earlier this evening I had the privillege and pleasure of attending the opening for a show at the Visual Arts Gallery called Tomorrow's Artist Today.

Many of my former peers were in this show and it was wonderful to see them again. Most of them I haven't seen in over a year. It was really great to see what they've been working on and how it has changed and evolved.

Here is the link to the exhibition overview: Click here.

This is Kathy in front of her video installation in the back room. I think she is particularly brave for "rolling" and "rubbing" on the SVA studio floors. Her work has matured a lot over the years, and I think that particularly the usage of video and performance as a medium has been one of the main catalysts for this development.

Sarah DeWire's work has changed a lot since we were in class together. When we were in class together, she used a lot of drips and color relations to create very surface oriented abstractions. But formalist concerns aren't everyone's cup of tea and I don't think she was ever really satisfied with the direction her work was going. In fact, she told me later that she had a mini-break down with the art she was making and needed to reinvent herself. The new body incorporates very diaristic elements and nostaglic narrative-driven figuration. It should be interesting where she takes this.

I've had a lot of respect for Sadie's work over the years. In many ways, I think I was very hands-off when it came to talking with her about her work and her process. It wasn't because I didn't like her or her work, on the contrary. It was because I was interested to see what avenues she would take herself in dealing with many of the same problems that I was facing. Both of us have a very similiar aesthetic. We both use arabesques and words and deal with very formalist concerns. We also both share particular interests in Eastern art. Our work, I think, deals with an inherent spirituality and although it's not always overtly displayed, it is ever-present. She is just now starting to use silk-screen as a major mode of creation and I am very interested to see how this will effect the work.

This little trip to the opening was a much needed break and a welcomed opportunity to catch up with lots of folks I haven't seen for a while.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sick Day...

All this work has finally caught up with me!

I had to leave work early on Friday because I was throwing up. Apparently I'm much more delicate than I thought. I'm not quite as sturdy as I used to be. The stress of getting everything finished has taken a toll on me and I started getting migraines and tension headaches again.

I've been forced to rest up. Right now I'm working on a way to schedule my time better and give me breaks to relax.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Busy Bee Studio...

I have been busily working away in the studio. It is hard on me since I have a full class load as well as a full-time job, but I manage to squeeze time in when I can. I feel bad that I'm spending even less time with my friends and my sister than before. Sometimes I see Sheila early in the morning when I'm heading out the door. However, even though I'm exhausted, I feel productive and creative.

For a while now, I've been working on rather small pieces. These smaller works are ultra-personal and very intimate. The piece above is the largest I've worked on in the new studio. It's 5 feet by 8 feet. Needless to say, the scale issues were a struggle and it is a very formal work.

Above are a few of the newer small pieces. The imagery is becoming very fractured and any fragment of identifible iconography is being slowly obliterated.

I've been working to edit down the pieces for showing purposes. I have so many and it is often overwhelming for me... let alone the viewer, to see so many. So I'm testing out various grouping patterns. The pieces above have similiar structures with the stripes.

The group above is based on the biomorphic forms that I had worked with a few years ago. The shapes are more synthetic and a little less rigid.

This last grouping is of the pieces that include white stripes. I often times use the painted stripes as a way of distorting the imagery, as well as unifying it.

I will post new pictures of the work as it comes.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

New Baby...

After long consideration and a bit of saving, I am proud to announce the new addition to my life: the new 80GB iPod.

I started spending more time in the studio and I have some rather loud neighbors who make it hard to focus at times. My professors suggested that I get one. I was hesitant at first. Although I love listening to music, it is almost as though the iPod has become sort of like a cultural tend - one based in commodity. So I was reluctant at first.

However, after my busted old CD player gave way, I finally tossed a coin. And it landed in favor of the iPod. I am very excited about this new addition to my life, as it will change the way I walk down the street and, in a sense, the way I interact with people around me.

Monday, October 02, 2006


It is quite late, but I wanted to put a post in before I collapsed into bed.

Things here are busy as ever! I find that I am spending a lot of time at work, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I enjoy the fact that I get to meet a lot of different, new people and develop relationships with both my friendly co-workers and my regular customers. However, there are very tiring days that are long and topped off with unsavory events. For instance, when my shift was almost finished today, a rather foul-tempered bum ended up stealing our tip cup. After working all day and having that happen, it really put me in a negative disposition.

I have to try not to think about it. All it does is expend energy - energy I don't have to waste. It's petty and lame and karma will take care of it.

School has been fairly challenging as well. For the most part, I think I've got everything under control, however surprise deadlines and extra reading has been taking its toll on me. We were all surprised in my Wednesday Group this weekend to find out, the day before, that the first draft of our thesis papers were due. So I've been clicking away on the keyboard, non-stop.

Later tonight I have Monday Night Senior Workshop and I've been struggling in my studio. I've been hitting a lot of road blocks. I've been making work and have been challenging my process, but I think that something new and bigger has to happen. I have to really live up to my ambition, so to speak. I'm just going to have to spend even more time working in the studio. I think it's the only solution.

I've also been busy trying to put together my designs and the instructions for the next issue of Stringing. The newest copy comes out October 30th! Here is the website:

  • Other than all of that, I've been trying to have a healthy social-life. I sometimes feel guilty for not being able to spend more time with my friends. Hopefully though everything will settle down and I can work on having a more relaxed schedule.

    Sunday, October 01, 2006

    New Addition...

    Seth has been down from Boston, visiting Sheila. Earlier tonight we all were sitting down to dinner after a long day. We were talking about what we had been up to. Since I've been working so much, I haven't really seen either of them and was playing catch-up. He was talking about how he was having a difficult time finding an apartment here in New York. He and Sheila are dating now, and he was looking to move closer.

    Although I knew that their relationship was still new, I suggested that he move in with us. My sister is really happy with him, and I like Seth. I think that he's a good solid guy with a lot of potential. And most of all, they make a cute couple!

    After a little while of thinking about the logistics and deciding if it was indeed a good idea or merely the influence of beer, we all came to the conclusion that it was indeed a good idea. So I am very happy to welcome him into our home as our new roommate!