Friday, June 27, 2008

An artist just e-mailed about her sister diagnosed with breast cancer. She is seeking prayers and support so I couldn't help but think of photographer and artist, Matouschka. I recently added her web site link to the artist's links but it is this link and posted an announcement of her new book "Bag It". Today it is Matuschka Beauty out of Damage I post to share her spirit and courage.

She boldly faced her altered stake with courage most fierce. Let her be an inspiration to us all.

"Oscar Wilde said one can either make a masterpiece or be one. Artist, Matuschka has managed to do both."Linda Vaccariello - Cincinnati Magazine, Ohio

Beauty Out of Damage was shot with a Canon F1 on 35 mm color negative filmand printed by the artist in 1993. The photograph generated 12 awards (including a Pulitzer Prize Nomination) after appearing on the cover of the Sunday Magazine section of the New York Times on August 13, 1993. Subsequently The New York Times received an unusually high amount of letters to the editor, ranking it as one of the most controversial covers in its history. In addition to photography awards, the artist received numerous humanitarian awards including The Gilda Radner Award, Person of the Week (Peter Jennings WorldWide News) and Humanitarian of the Year Award. In the mid nineties Beauty Out of Damage became one of the most published pictures in the world appearing in hundreds of international publications, books, and on TV shows and documentaries. Ten years since Beauty Out of Damage's debut, the image is still in demand: often published in scholarly and academic journals related to sociological issues on health, medicine, beauty and body image. In 2003 LIFE Magazine include this photo in a special edition entitled "100 Pictures That Changed the World." Beauty Out of Damage has been collected by numerous museums internationally and continues to be showcased in many exhibitions worldwide. This image is copyrighted by the artist.Beauty Out of Damage was shot with a Canon F1 on 35 mm color negative filmand printed by the artist in 1993. The photograph generated 12 awards (including a Pulitzer Prize Nomination) after appearing on the cover of the Sunday Magazine section of the New York Times on August 13, 1993. Subsequently The New York Times received an unusually high amount of letters to the editor, ranking it as one of the most controversial covers in its history. In addition to photography awards, the artist received numerous humanitarian awards including The Gilda Radner Award, Person of the Week (Peter Jennings WorldWide News) and Humanitarian of the Year Award. In the mid nineties Beauty Out of Damage became one of the most published pictures in the world appearing in hundreds of international publications, books, and on TV shows and documentaries. Ten years since Beauty Out of Damage¹s debut, the image is still in demand: often published in scholarly and academic journals related to sociological issues on health, medicine, beauty and body image. In 2003 LIFE Magazine include this photo in a special edition entitled "100 Pictures That Changed the World." Beauty Out of Damage has been collected by numerous museums internationally and continues to be showcased in many exhibitions worldwide.Matoushka is represented by Carrie Haddad Phone:518.828.1915 carriehaddadgallery@verizon.net

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gazapxuli, Djemal Kukhalashvili
10 x 20 inches

Angelozebi, Djemal Kukhalashvili
20 x 24 inches, Oil on canvas

Djemal Kukhalashvili (b.1952) graduated the Tbilisi State Academy of Art. A member of the Union of Artists of the USSR. Works of the painter are presented in collections of the National Art gallery (Tbilisi, Georgia), the State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow, Russia), the Center of the Russian culture (Moscow, Russia), in private collections of many countries of the world.

His son, Otar Kukhalashvili [] is living in Bridgehampton, NY. He is seeking repesentation for his father in the United States.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My latest work with spray foam insulation and latex on canvas.
Cover it up and Lay it to Rest,
(blue chip giving way to new chip - a tribute to Steve Parrino), Lynn Dunham


Saturday, June 21, 2008

STEVEN PARRINO, Untitled, 1997
Enamel on canvas 60 x 60 inches (152.4 x 152.4 cm)
I'm not suggesting we all stop creating or kill ourselves. I'm just observing our time and reminding myself and all other artists to forge ahead and try to just produce meaniningful work in a time of apparent meaninglessness. Whether we are in the period of Consumerism ,Comercialism, or Postmortumism, it doesn't matter. What matters is the work is vital.

Steven Parrino mangled and reinvented his works after they hadn’t sold at exhibition (haven't we all done some form of this?) He now posthumously is getting the attention as a serious artist he deserved in life. (Note to Larry: Living Artists want to Live!)

“Call it the dawn of the Dead Artist. The message from the market is clear as it is macabre. In a quest for fresh material blue-chip contemporary-art dealers are finding a healthy source of revenue buried six feet under.”

An excerpt from today’s NY Times. Read page 26 (I'd have linked this if it was on line but it is not posted to the NYT site)- so go buy the times and read today’s Dorothy Spears Article in the Arts and Leisure section.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I recently posted a piece on the commercialism of the art market today. Perhaps Consummerism is a better "ism" to have usded. NY and Hamptons artist, Matuschka has just published a book of art on the topic which makes icons of shopping bags. Beautiful work!
Introduction to BAGIT
by Anthony Haden Guest

MATUSCHKA GOES SHOPPING The shopping bag pieces in Matuschka's series are artful in every sense of that slippery word. The materials she uses in "Bagit!" are just that, empty shopping bags, but she has plucked them from the worlds of shopping, branding and packaging and turned them to her own ends. Which pack a whammy. At first the viewer may feel that he or she is drifting through the familiar world of pure abstraction but then elements of the real tug at the attention ­ yes, that IS a blue but it is also Tiffany's trademarked blue and these white coils like albino serpents are the cords ­ so that the sweetness is cut, leaving a seductively bittersweet aftertaste. The relevant ism here is consumerism. That Pinging! sound you hear is shopping, shopping, shopping. CLick here for the complete Matuschka "BAGIT" essay

Matuschka has also been added to the artist's links in the right column.

Friday, June 13, 2008

James Kalm interview with Steve Cannon at A Gathering of the Tribes (aka) Tribes

Gregory Coates virtually introduced me to A Gathering of the Tribes (Tribes) which is an arts and cultural organization on the lower east side dedicated to excellence in the arts from a diverse perspective. Steve Cannon, poet, playwright, novelist, and retired professor from the City University of New York, converted a portion of his apartment into an informal salon in 1991 wher he has nurtured creative visual, performing and literary talent by encouraging an open exchange of alternative points of view traditionally overlooked by mainstream media. The ideas raised in the discussions in this underground artists' community have served as inspiration to the pieces published in A Gathering of the Tribes Magazine.

In 1993 Dora Espinoza, a Peruvian photographer launched Tribes Gallery. Since then, Tribes has evolved into a performance venue and meeting place for artists and audiences to come together across all artistic disciplines, all levels of complexity, and all definitions of difference. This pan-disciplinary, multi-cultural environment is a place wher artists exchange ideas, create peer relationships and find mentorship. Tribes’ publications offer readers a synthesis of literature, visual art, criticism and interviews with promising artists of all kinds. In an attempt to attract a wider audience for these artists, Tribes additionally organizes an annual outdoor event — Charlie Parker Jazz Festival— to engage members of the community who have seldom, if ever, attended literary or artistic events.

“IZM” Works by HiCoup Currently at A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery 285 East 3rd St., 2nd Floor, NYC curated by Justina Mejias June 19-July 31

Opening reception 6-9pm, Thurs. June 19, 2008

Racism. Sexism. Alcoholism. Hedonism. Opportunism. Nationalism…
Deconstructing the different “isms” that pervade society, hip-hop emcee and visual artist HiCoup (Kaiku) presents a mixed media abstract impressionist rendering of the societal influences that bombard us from conception forward. “IZM” is an artistic exploration of the landscape of humanity through it’s conditioning both conscious and subconscious.
The exhibit features both found items (Doors, specifically) as well as figurative works in more traditional manifestations echoing a microcosm of similar examination. Doors become the center-piece because of their three-dimensional ability to create the metaphoric body. Also chosen for their utilitarian, universal qualities, they evoke a personal relevance to those who stand before them. The viewer is invited to create their own narrative through the lens of their own “IZMS” as we are all casualties of society's influence. Combing graffiti art, cartoonist comic book-like drawings, with a suggestion of Basquiat/Pollock-like technique, the works display an array of color palates, displaced anatomy, random text, and variety of emotionally charged reckless and intentional “spatterings.”

HiCoup is a hip-hop emcee and visual artist hailing from New Jersey. He received a BFA in Art from Jersey City University with a concentration in Painting & Drawing. He has participated in both group and solo shows at many local galleries including the DBC Gallery in NYC and Iandor Fine Arts Gallery in Newark. An acclaimed emerging rapper, he has performed with such veterans as Ludacris, Dead Prez, Mos Def, Bootcamp Click, and Wu Tang Clan.

The Rap of Hicoup

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Joan Snyder, My Work, 1997
etching, woodcut - Paper Size: 22 x 25 1/4
Edition size: 15 $1,800
at DIANE VILLANI editions 285 Lafayette Street, NEW YORK, NY 10012
(212) 925-1075

In 2007 Artist, Joan Snyder recieved the prestigious MacArthur Award recognizing genius in her field.

Snyder is an abstract painter whose early work is characterized by strokes of paint set against grids penciled on to the canvas. The work has evolved to include elements of collage, including text, silk, burlap, juniper seeds, rusty nails, and Chinese herbs. This give her paintings texture, whic according to Snyder evokes feeling parallel to the repeated and layered notes in the composer Philip Glass' music compositions.
Snyder works in oils, acrylics, and organic and found materilas into her paintings. "It's probably one of the more exciting things that's happened in my life," she said. "I had a baby, and then there were 28 years in between, and then I got the MacArthur."

Snyder's painting may be seen at: Elaine Baker Gallery: The Gallery Center 608 Banyan Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33431

Monday, June 9, 2008

Parallel to my own work rooted in abstract expressionism is my unexplained obsession with this gravity less, chaotic, loud yet whispering large scale work by other artists. I have posted a link to Cvijanovic for a quick comparison to Truman Marquez. I say ... Painting lives to the Whitney Biennial 2010. I dare you!

Adam Cvijanovic

Belshazzar's Feast Adam Cvijanovic

Adam Cvijanovic’s
29 MAY- 3 JULY 2008

Adam Cvijanovic at Bellwether has been added right in the Artist's links column.

BELLWETHER is pleased to present ADAM CVIJANOVIC’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. Working in his favored medium of Flashe and latex paint on Tyvek, Cvijanovic will transform the main gallery into a stage set, surrounding viewers with theater flats depicting his interpretation of a scene from D.W. Griffith’s epic film, Intolerance, in which tens of thousands of Babylonians are overcome with the realization that they are about to be invaded by the Persians. Painted in a purple grisaille evocative of silent film, this gigantic painting installation explores themes of aspiration, ruin, cultural evolution, and the folly of creative hubris.

Cvijanovic’s inspiration for this exhibition is based upon the dramatic rise and fall of a cinematic pioneer. Fresh from the controversial success of The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith invested all of his wealth into a massive four-part narrative film called Intolerance. It was by far the most expensive cinematic undertaking of its time, due largely to the enormous, lavish set for its scenes of ancient Babylon. The film proved too challenging for audiences of the early 20th century and as a result Griffith succumbed to financial ruin, and the set of Babylon faced a similar fate, condemned to loom over downtown Hollywood for over a decade.

In this exhibition Cvijanovic conflates Griffith’s experience as a filmmaker and visionary with Los Angeles’s slow, entropic transformation from an untamed land full of promise to a city whose identity is defined by an increasingly commercial entertainment industry. In addition to the main painting installation the exhibition will contain two other components – a triptych painting of the rural, wild landscape of Hollywood as it was nearly a century ago, with Griffith’s set dominating the background, and a room of storyboard-style paintings on Mylar depicting everything from scenes from Intolerance to the gas stations and parking lots of contemporary Los Angeles. The overall effect is of a collapse in time, in which the dramatic deterioration of Griffith’s vision is aligned with the less spectacular, but more profound, societal transformation of Hollywood.

Cvijanovic’s decision to create a work of this scale and content – a contemporary historical
painting based upon a film whose imagery was itself derived from the history of painting – comes at an important moment in the discourse of art and politics. The theme of hubris that pervades this exhibition applies to a range of eras and subjects, from the artist’s struggle with his own ambitions and creative ego, to the present-day conflict in Iraq – the modern-day Babylon.

Similarly, Truman Marquez has been working on work colossal in size. "Jet Rain Drill Rig", and "Eleven" which are both large scale works created in response to modern society and "Horse Down" depicts the artist's own struggle and defeat. I have added a link to Truman Marquez and to Cvijanovic in the Artist's Links (see right) for a quick access to study comparatively.

Truman Marquez , Eleven (study)

Cvijanovic does not propose a reconciled solution to this issue, opting instead to meditate upon the complex emotional and political implications of our choices as people and as nations.
Adam Cvijanovic has exhibited extensively in the US and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. Notable group
exhibitions include Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes at the Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, USA Today at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Adam Cvijanovic and Peter Garfield: Unhinged at Mass MOCA, Massachusetts. Cvijanovic will also participate in the upcoming PROSPECT.1 Biennial in New Orleans, and the Liverpool Biennial at Tate Liverpool.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Putting The Hamptons in Perspective...
Grant Haffner “Napeague” Acrylic, Pencil on Wood 12 x12 inches, 2007
Line Drawings - LIPA Lines and Poles: A Bane for Some, a Muse for Others
By Susan M. Galardi

The season has begun in the Hamptons. There's an excitement, an energy, a buzz in the air - literally.
The buzz isn't news of P Diddy's next party in Landfall or the redwing blackbirds squawking from the bulrushes, although that's happening too. The buzz is coming from the new LIPA poles - literally. The poles themselves are buzzing. In the last several months, there's been much controversy, politicking, progress, wins and losses connected with the installation of new electrical lines and poles in Water Mill and East Hampton's Northwest Woods. LIPA recently agreed to bury lines in Water Mill along Scuttlehole Road, and just last week, they agreed to bury part of the line in Northwest. But not all of them. Most - 90% - are being replaced and while LIPA spokesperson Ed Dumas said, "It's my understanding that they're the same size and width" as the previous poles, the old poles seem to be a needle in the haystack compared to the monstrosities replacing them. Dumas said that the poles seem larger because, "when we change over our apparatus to new poles, we typically cut the head off the old pole." That head seems to be about 10 feet high, and for some reason, the new apparatus hasn't been placed at the same height as it was on the old poles.
And there's the buzz. Near the corner of Hands Creek and Alewive Brook Road, there's a pole that I call the Iron Giant. It looks like something from that animated sci-fi film and while it doesn't utter robot speak, it does emit a very loud buzz. According to Dumas, "That's a transformer - they should not be audible from the ground." On Friday, Dumas said he informed operations, and that they'd be "sending someone out to see if there's something wrong with the transformer."

Living in the Hamptons, and having lived in the city, there are things you can fight and things you must just accept. Right now in Northwest, that latter category includes inchworms, the buzz of the iron giant (for the moment) and the monster poles that look like they belong on an industrial site or superhighway. We East Enders like our views - bays, oceans, farmland, horse meadows - and we pay big money to keep them. Not to mention, before LIPA chose to bury the Scuttlehole lines, residents had planned to protest at the risk of being arrested.
All because we don't like seeing big poles and electrical wires muck up our sky view. But we do like sitting by the pool, working on our computers, connected to the Internet via Airport and having our cell and cordless phones ready at the draw. Considering that, sometimes I psych myself into believing that the tall poles are okay - after all, the apparatus is hidden higher in the tree line - at least until the leaves drop or the inch worms decimate them.
I'm not alone in my acceptance of the poles and lines. At least one other person, 28-year-old local artist Grant Haffner, not only likes them, but has built a career on them. "There is something so beautiful about the way the power lines dance along the side of the road," he said, "something so familiar because we are all aware of them."
Haffner grew up on the East End, the son of parents who were into the art scene, always doing "the wine and cheese thing at galleries," and they took him along. After a brief stint at SVA, he came home and started painting East End landscapes. When Haffner first began painting, he edited what he saw. But one day, he asked himself "Why don't I include the telephone poles?"
From then on, Haffner's landscapes have featured if not glorified the poles. His passion for them was a motivator to get involved in the Scuttlehole scuttlebutt - but in a different way.
"I admit that while the Scuttlehole power line debate was going on I took the liberty of photographing them, a lot," he said. "It's funny to me that it's such a huge debate, but I guess I am one of the few who thinks they are historically beautiful in design. I loved the way they looked. I think they're strong, romantic. They carry everything across the planet."
Haffner has his supporters, too. His fluorescent sunset painting of Route 27 east, where it intersects with Sagg Main, earned him the Best Landscape award this past spring at Guild Hall. The painting features the poles - totems to a society that once was and still is, for now, but not for long.

Recently, there's been talk about burying the lines in Montauk, where Haffner did much of his early landscape work. One wonders how this might affect the young artist's muse. "Burying the lines is a good thing," he said, "and I guess it's a new beginning for me as an artist. But there's nothing wrong with a new beginning. I love starting over. It will be a time to adapt and change how I look at things."

So as the debate to bury the lines or raise the stakes continues, Grant Haffner will continue to paint the skies as he, and we, see them. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Richmond Burton painting with light.

I met Richmond Burton through a classified add about housing. I'm changing my name to Serendipity because it seems to follow me where ever I go. Even when looking for a rental house, I find a great east end artist! Here is a recent video - Love it! and a Richmond Burton site link is also permanently added to the artist's links column (right)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The internet has become the virtual cedar tavern for "beat" enthusiasts. As an abstract expressionist with roots in process oriented painting, who believes the pop movement in art and music cut the beat artists, writers and musicians off at the knees, I am reassured everyday genuine artists still exist beneath the commercial bubble of factory manufactured art disguised as fine art.

Read Eric Ernst on East End Art Scene. This article about the current east end art scene gives emerging artists hope in a world of collectors seeking blue chip art of modern masters. He has encouraging words for the local art scene. I would expect nothing less of the decendant of Max and Jimmy Ernst.

Ernst is an artist as well a writer. He was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1956 into a family of some notoriety in the art world. Originally intent on avoiding any direct involvement in the arts himself, he graduated from George Washington University with a B.A. in Japanese Studies followed by an all-but-completed M.A. in the same subject from the University of Michigan (to this day he insists the actual writing of the master’s thesis should just be considered a minor formality).

In between these academic respites, he lived in Japan working as an apprentice to a Japanese woodblock artist, studied Zen meditation, and was employed as a disc jockey at a Tokyo radio station under the pseudonym of “Reckless Eric, The Mad Artist of the Airwaves”. More importantly, his studies there were to later imbue his work with varied elements of Japanese and Oriental aesthetics in terms of coloration and concepts of rhythm and asymmetry in design.
Further incorporating aspects highlighting the geometric purity of the Russian avant-garde and the later Bauhaus artists, he was also influenced by his father, Jimmy Ernst’s, approach to crisp, linear compositional structure. In addition, the works are also inspired by aspects of harmony and movement drawn from disparate musical sources such as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Igor Stravinsky, and Frank Zappa. Structurally arranging the works to be viewed as small scale architectonic spaces, Ernst recently has begun incorporating elements of representational imagery into his constructions. These serve to create an interaction of forms, shapes, and colors that, mixed with musical and harmonic elements, conjure a more immediate narrative and strive to transcend the limits of pure geometric abstraction.
Amy Ernst
My works are an extension of my hands emerging from the subjective dreams. Trying to coax the unconscious into reality, that reality seems to always remain a mystery. Like Andre Breton, author of the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, I believe in a Future Resolution of two states on mind, one is dream, and the other one is the reality. Although these states appear to be contradictory by nature, they merge and become an absolute. Amy Ernst

Eric's sister Amy Ernst is an accomplished painter as well. In an interview with she said, "My father listened to jazz or classical music while he worked, whereas, I listen to Indian or Renaissance music." It's interesting how many painters are moved by music.

I missed Amy at Truman Marquez' ConTemplate opening but saw she was there from the footage of the filmed performance. I'm working on a documentary with Marquez and will have it available soon. Amy, if you're looking, I'd love your comments on the performance!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Listen to WLIU Radio Interview with Gideon Stein and Lynn Dunham speaking with morning show host, Bonnie Grice about the Local Yield show in the Gideon Stein Gallery featuring a diverse exhibition of local east end artists. The interview is a few minutes into the archived tape after the segment on Bo Diddley.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"Plus, Minus, Plus Sharpie" is a direct response to the composition "Sketching Gestures" by my nephew, Zach Dunham. Like so many abstract expressionists, jazz has been an influence in my work. Although the introduction of television, The Beatles and commercialism steared the pop art movement of the sixties, my roots remain in the previous decade with the likes of Pollock, Kerouac, and Thelonious Monk. Pop music and art may have thwarted the progress of expressionism for some but it's alive and well in my studio.

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