Monday, July 28, 2008

between scylla and charybdis @ Hermitage.

A few images from Greg Slick's book signing/exhibition opening at Hermitage last Sat.

Jon Beacham as seen from the street.

Matthew Kinney looks on as Mr. Slick presents me with my signed copy.

Above and below: backs to the window, faces to the door.
Sort of a zero sum game, Feng Shui-wise.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tids & Bits

This afternoon at 6pm, Marc and Livia Straus are giving a gallery talk at HVCCA in Peekskill called "The Art Market: Making Art and Collecting Art in a New Globalized Economy"
Admission to the talk is: $5 Adults, $4 Seniors/Educators, $2 Students/Children, Free to HVCCA Members. This is also the last chance to see Size Matters: XXL – recent large-scale paintings which is closing on July 27th. There's a Caroll Dunham piece in that show that I really dig.

Via a new Beacon community website, the Beacon Citizens Network, I learned that the Beacon Art Supply is for sale, and it is currently having a close out sale going on. If the business does not find a buyer it and it's conjoined neighbor, Burlock is scheduled to close; Burlock on Aug. 31 and BAS on Sept. 30. Good luck to Jeff and Nicole on their future endeavors.

A post on Yorktown photographer Rob Penner's blog says that he is planning on open a photo gallery in Beacon in September. Details forthcoming. Here's a link to Rob's main website.

Greg Slick book signing and exhibit at Hermitage

"Trend 2" acrylic on canvas 2008

Hermitage will be hosting a book release/signing tomorrow, July 26 for the new monograph on the work of Greg Slick, Between Scylla and Charybdis. An exhibit of Greg's new work will also be on exhibit.

The signing/reception will take place from 6-9pm at Hermitage. The exhibit will run through August 17th.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Submission deadline for Film Flam Film Fest nearing

The Beacon Art Salon and Fovea Exhibitions Gallery Beacon are sponsoring a film festival in September. Deadlines for film submissions and vendor registration are coming up. Here are the details:
The Beacon Art Salon & Fovea Exhibitions presents
The Beacon Film Flam
An arts-crafts-puppet village & outdoor film festival
Saturday, September 13, 2008, Noon – 10:00 pm
At the lot on Main Street’s West End at Cross Street
Arts Village: Noon – 6pm Film Festival: 7pm (dusk) – 10 pm
Fine arts and crafts vendors will sell their wares throughout the day. Music performances, puppet shows and film showings are free to the public. Featured fine arts include photography, painting, art gifts, ceramics and more.
The film festival will include a video presentation by Fovea Exhibitions (tba), followed by a screening of selected short films by both emerging and established filmmakers. Featured films will include art films, animation, comedy, drama, docu-drama and student work.
The Beacon Film Flam is September 13, 2008

Deadline Reminders:
Artist-Vendors Registration = Friday, July 25th
Film Submissions = Wednesday, July 30th.

If you are an artist interested in selling your art or craft during at the Beacon Film Flam arts village, the deadline to receive your registration is Friday, July 25th.
Print out a registration form here:
If you are a film maker and would like to submit a short film (30min & under) or a short short film (10 min & under), the FINAL deadline to receive your submission is Wednesday, July 30th.
Print out a submission/info forms here:

For more information visit or contact Stacey Ward Kelly at 845-401-8798.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Learning from losing and moving in tribes

It was a largely out of town audience that benefited from the Howland Center's refreshingly cool geothermic climate control for Sunday evening's screening of Beautiful Losers. The film was presented by Open Space and follows the circle of artists embodying the DIY ethic (one to which I fully subscribe) who congregated at the Alleged Gallery in NY's East Village in the early 1990's.

The film traces the history of the group through to the development of the exhibit of the same name that travelled about the country in 2004-05.

The film is fun, interesting and for me, as Kalene Rivers said in her pre-screening introduction, inspiring.

In casting about on the net for Beautiful Losers info, I discovered that Beautiful Losers is also the title of a novel from the '60's by Leonard Cohen. From the book's listing on Amazon:
One of the best-known experimental novels of the 1960s, Beautiful Losers is
Cohen’s most defiant and uninhibited work. The novel centres upon the hapless
members of a love triangle united by their sexual obsessions and by their
fascination with Catherine Tekakwitha, the 17th-century Mohawk saint.
By turns vulgar, rhapsodic, and viciously witty, Beautiful Losers explores
each character’s attainment of a state of self-abandonment, in which the
sensualist cannot be distinguished from the saint.

Although I'm not sure about the whole love triangle bit (although you know what happens with close knit circles of creative types, or any types for that matter), the last sentence could easily apply the youngish artists depicted in the film. The manner in which their work is carved from and wallpapered onto every surface of their physical and psychic environment and, consequently, ours blurs the borders of high and low, real and fake, random act and polished intention. Much of this is done in the public domain, as it were, whether it's obvious or not, and irritating a desire for Asserting their vision on the street scape, and vice-versa are utterly immersed.A wonderful aspect of this genre of street art is its marriage of personal expression and personal preservation in that it is both out on the fringe in method, but it's also enveloped in a raw form of marketing and merchandising necessary for the survival of the young, impoverished artist. It's a way of life, and at least at some level, it doesn't carry so much of the stigma of selling out one's vision for financial gain, as in other corners of the art world, because it's not based on a pretense of higher purpose. I know this is not absolute, and that there are rifts along this line within this world, which is discussed by Barry McGee in the film, but there is an inherent relationship between creating and consuming a form of culture of one's choosing which is not being provided elsewhere which translates easily to commerce as that is a form cultural missionary work. How else are you going to remake the world in your vision, if the world is not providing you with what you want to see, wear and represent. That's a pretty central tenet of the whole street art phenom. Eventually, homemade becomes prefab. Mike Mills discusses this in the film when he says that these artists and their peers have reached the upper levels of art departments in advertising and merchandising firms, and have thereby influenced the tone in which the rest of society is entreated to consume. Where once they defiled the billboards, some are now designing them - awaiting defilement from a new generation. It's a beautiful circle of life.
Waiting for the film to begin, Keith Zahra was telling me of upcoming plans at the gallery., Keith said that he's continually learning something new from the exhibits that have been coming through the space, including the current exhibit. The Native American Lowbrow exhibit on view now with work by Chris Pappan includes, in addition to the painted portraits of Native American porn stars, several drawings on ledger paper. The significance of these ledger drawings goes far beyond one artist utilizing available material, but invokes a tradition that hearkens back to the Plains Indians attaining paper in the Nineteenth Century, in the form of ledger books carried by soldiers, missionaries and traders. The presence of this newly available material influenced the manner Native Americans transmitted their visual culture:

In the mid-nineteenth century, warrior-artists developed a new genre of
figurative arts using bound ledger books and paper to depict heraldic images of
life on the Plains-both before and during this tumultuous period of history.
While these nineteenth century warrior-artists documented the impact of
conflict, captivity, and cultural domination in their ledger drawings, their
twentieth century descendants continued to use visual narratives on paper as a
stepping stone into mainstream American fine arts practices. Today, many
contemporary artists look back to the ledger drawings of their forefathers to
create art that critiques America's contested histories while also reconciling
themselves with the cultural genocide of a past that has left severe scars in
the lives and memories of many Plains peoples.

Excerpt from wall text in the exhibit Picturing Change: The Impact of Ledger Drawings on Native American Art at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2004

Fast forward 150 years and still flowing is that current of of creative inventiveness, continually forging fresh means in which to transpose visual expression, piggy-back like, onto the hulk of society's continual walk to work.

One Final Note, Dan Weise, of Open Space has been down in the Dominican Republic teaching a class on street art, murals, and, it seems, a bit of web/graphic design. Check out the diary of his trip here.
So, imagine a case where a lowered brow, constricting the aperture through which knowledge and ideas are received by the consciousness, increases the pressure of that flow to the level of a powerful jet, thereby severely expanding the mind. And permanently so.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Natural Science: Habitat for Artists update

Flash cards synchronously found on the lawn of Spire Studios speak to
undercurrents touched on by HFA.

Recent addition: Simon Draper's own tarp draped space.

Here's a little peek into the goings on at the Habitat for Artists enclave at Spire Studios over the past couple of months. More HFA on maykr
Beth Wilson included HFA in her coverage of area art projects that examine issues of land use and real estate in her Lucid Dreaming piece from the June 08 issue of Chronogram. HFA was also included in Sharon Butler's June Brooklyn Rail article about the broadening utilization of alternatives to the romantized giant industrial artist loft studio. Sharon has been chronicling her studio experience in her habitat at her blog Two Coats of Paint.

Peeking through Marnie Hillsley's window.

Above and below: residue of recent time spent in my habitat.

An aspect of the habitats will be represented in
Windows On Main St, in the windows of Exit Drake Realty next month. The boundaries of HFA will be spreading as artists from the New Paltz area will be constructing additional habitats which will appear at COTA which will be happening in New Paltz on Sept. 27.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Openings tonight at Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon and for Collaborative Concepts in Peekskill

If you're out and about today, there are a few openings happening today.
From 6-9pm tonight here in Beacon, Van Brunt is hosting a reception for the new exhibits of work by Barbara Friedman and Susan English.

Down in Peekskill, Collaborative Concepts is christening the Art Lot with an exhibit of exterior work by Jo-Ann Brody, Jodi Carlson, Ludwig (Doc) Dochterman, Joseph Kleinmann, Jim Lloyd, Michael Anthony Natiello. An opening reception will be held from 5-8pm tonight.
The Art lot is located between the Bear Mountain Parkway and the Hat Factory, which is at 1000 Division St., and it's on the West side of Division St.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Richard Bruce at LTMH Gallery

Richard Bruce has work included in a group exhibit called Splash, which opened last night at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery. Here is a links to images from the opening reception. Splash will be on exhibit through August 21, 2008. The gallery is located at 39 East 78th Street, Suite 301 in Manhattan.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Second Saturday in pictures, July 12, 2008

Post-opening at the Piggy Bank: Joe Millar has pork on his mind. Karlos Carcamo is ready for a frooty colored beverage.
Above: Sculptures by Mark Beltchenko and paintings by Sue Foss at Mt. Beacon Fine Art. Below, paintings by Jen Bradford at the upstairs gallery at Hudson Beach Glass.

Above and below: Tom Holmes at bau.

The variety of Beacon-themed shirts has just grown: The grand opening of Mixture.

The soon-to-be-opening? wine bar window sporting a display of photography from
River Winds Gallery.

Above and below: Michael X. Rose at Go North Gallery.

Above and below: Chris Pappan's Native American Low Brow at Zahra's studio.
TC on guitar, above

Girls at Open Space. Above: Caroline Huang. Below: Erica Hauser, Knitta, Tina Darling

Beautiful Losers screening at Howland Center, July 20, 6pm

Marc Schriebman pities all of the less-than-beautiful losers of the world.
*Note that Marc's only affiliation with the film is that he was standing next
to this flyer when I came upon him on the street.

Open Space is hosting a screening of the film Beautiful Losers at the Howland Cultural Center on Sunday, July 20 starting at 6pm.

Beautiful Losers Synopsis:
Beautiful Losers celebrates the spirit behind one of the most influential
cultural movements of a generation. In the early 1990's a loose-knit group of
likeminded outsiders found common ground at a little NYC storefront gallery.
Rooted in the DIY (do-it-yourself) subcultures of skateboarding, surf, punk, hip
hop & graffiti, they made art that reflected the lifestyles they led.
Developing their craft with almost no influence from the "establishment" art
world, this group, and the subcultures they sprang from, have now become a
movement that has been transforming pop culture. Starring a selection of artists
who are considered leaders within this culture, Beautiful Losers focuses on the
telling of personal stories...speaking to themes of what happens when the
outside becomes "in" as it explores the creative ethos connecting these artists
and today's youth.
Seating is limited. Tickets are $8 and you can purchase them Here.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: old yet still relevant

Holland Cotter travelled to the Dunhuang Caves for the NY Times. Located between Mongolia and Tibet the complex of caves is the subject of an experiment to preserve the caves from the damaging effects of tourist visits, yet still maintain accessibility through a form of remote viewing. The Times website features a slide show of the lyrically expressive sculpture and mural works in the caves. My impression is that so complete is the refinement and sophistication of this grotto "project space", it might be akin to experiencing a Matthew Barney ride at Universal Studios if such were ever to exist.

Next on our tour of the aesthetically progressive past, the Met just opened the exhibit Radiance from the Rain Forest: Feather work in Ancient Peru. I've not yet seen this exhibit, but I'm looking forward to it. When I've seen this variety of work in the past, I've been enthralled by the strength and simplicity of the compositions and the color sense demonstrated by the maykrs in their use of these highly keyed colors. Many of these pieces feel far more vibrant, immediate and relevant than some current work I've seen by artists working in the abstract/color field manner today.

Following up on this topic of looking back for the now, my wish list is topped by Phaidon's 30,000 Years of Art History. Published last year this massive brick of world visual culture traces art history chronologically, and picking examples of work created worldwide along that timeline. As so much of contemporary art is about shifting contexts, this global overview of art history thrusts centuries of activity under a contemporary lens, re contextualizing our view of art history in a more sensual, objective fashion. Each page is devoted to a single object, which is generally set next to a piece from the previous or proceeding vintage, of an entirely different cultural aesthetic. This chronological buffet approach emphasizes and distinguishes the eclectic nuanced modes of expression from one civilization to another. This is a gorgeous book in its presentation and it's full of discovery. I don't know why I haven't bought it yet, as it is very reasonable, particularly if you look at it at a cost/heft ratio, coming in at 1064 pages and 1,000 illustrations. You can pick it up at the Beacon Art Supply .

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Second Saturday in Beacon, NY, July 12, 2008

Here's a rundown of openings on Saturday:

Go North is hosting an exhibit by Michael X. Rose called “Resurrection Insurrection” or Son of Morpheus. The exhibit will run through Aug 3 and the reception is happening from 6-9pm on Saturday. You can access the exhibit's press release at Go North's
website. (Michael X. Rose will also be having an exhibit at GAS in Poughkeepsie from July 19-Aug. 10.)
Jen Bradford will be exhibiting new paintings in the upstairs gallery at Hudson Beach Glass. The opening reception will take place from 6-8pm and the exhibit will be on view through Sept. 7.

Zahra's Studio is hosting The Native American Low Brow Art of Chris Pappan. The reception is happening from 6-10pm. I'm anxious to see this work in person.

Open Space is having a group show called Girls including work by
Tina Darling
Caroline Hwang,
Erica Hauser
Fernanda Cohen
Iminent Disaster
The reception: 6-9pm. The exhibit runs through Aug. 9

Over at
Van Brunt Gallery, you can catch exhibits by Barbara Friedman and Susan English. These exhibits will be run through Aug 4. The exhibits will be opening on the 12th, but the reception will be held on July 19 from 6-9pm.

bau will be showing bau 43: Proposal of the Drunken Poet, stone and steel sculpture and iceworks photographs by Tom Holmes. The reception is from 6-9pm and the exhibit runs through Aug 3.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Steven Evans at Spiegeltent Friday, July 11, 10pm

Steven Evans will be spinning under the big top at Spiegeltent at Bard College this Friday, July 11 beginning at 10pm. All things David Bowie will be the on the program for Steven's project called DJ.
Or as it's described in the email:

A Project by Steven Evans
related to
Mr. David Bowie

DJ is happening as part of the SpiegelClub portion of Spiegeltent which offers a late-night bar with music and dancing and no cover. Check the link above for other scheduled performances. Spiegeltent will be taking place through Aug. 17
Here are your directions to Bard College.

Kirsten Kucer in Ellenville

Kirsten Kucer is representing Beacon in this year's 10x10x10 exhibit in Ellenville. The storefront exibit featuring ten artists from ten Hudson Valley communities opened on June 29 and will continue through October 5.

Pictured here, Kirsten's piece is titled 008.30. The piece is located at 162 Canal St next to the kosher butcher

Curated by Judy Sigunick, the 2008 line up includes: John Battaglino, Warwick, Jean Bayrak, Pearl River, Ada Pilar Cruz, Peekskill, Judy Hoyt, New Paltz, Lorrie Fredette, Saugerties, Kirsten Kucer, Beacon, Leonie Lacouette, Gardiner, Keith Long, Manhattan, Group of 4, including Laura Moriarty, Rosendale, Ryan Sullivan, Poughkeepsie.
In addition to 10x10x10, there is another exhibit called AWE- Artists in the Windows of Ellenville which has 2-D and 3-D work of another 25 artists in empty storefronts around town.
Here's a link to the press release.
Our cub photographer Karlos was on hand at the opening, so we'll be able to pass along other images from the exhibit sometime soon.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Naughty bits, and the "damage" done by art

Addendum to last week's Eye Candy Friday post:
I dig Jerry Saltz caught by James Kalm's LB vid at the Gugg flashing a sign of Satan almost a la Ronnie James Dio.
Viewing and Ruminating on the content of the Art Boobs blog, I began thinking of the role of nudity in art, whether inherently salacious or having that salaciousness thrust upon it, and our society's sensitivity to the undraped human. I recall the spate of cases of odd art nudity controversies that flared up in 2006, like the Texas art teacher fired after students were exposed to depictions of nudity at an art museum, or locally, the Middletown, NY high school art teacher, suspended for offering nude figure drawing classes to some students. Then there was the the 2006 story on religion in the Raleigh, NC newspaper, The News & Observer which featured an image of Michelangelo's creation of Adam from his fresco ceiling in the Cistine Chapel, and accompanied by this front page warning: "Advisory to Readers: Today’s Life, etc. section includes a photo of a famous fresco by Michelangelo that includes nudity."
Sometime later, AC Snow reflected on the subject in an editorial in the News & Observer, and related the result of an impromptu poll he had taken:
The day the photo ran, I polled five friends, all women and younger than I, to see if they found the art offensive. All five did, in varying degrees. So, even in our sexually oriented culture, a lot of people still have a problem separating art from pornography.
image courtesy of

This leads me to a behind the scenes episode of Rick Steves Travel I saw recently where Rick alludes to the sensitivity with which he and his producers must craft certain segments of the show that include European art treasures from centuries past as they might offend the eyes of 21C Americans & the FCC. Rick expostulates on the subject in this essay on his website. Beth Wilson included a couple of the above instances in here take on the subject from a Nov, 2006 column in Chronogram.
All of these issues were made timely for me this weekend by two synchronis happenings. One being the death of Jesse Helms who railed against public funding of objectionable art, and the other was watching " What Remains", a 2006 Steven Cantor documentary on Sally Mann. The documentary traces Mann's career from her Immediate Family series that raised a stink in certain circles for the inclusion of her own, often nude, children in the photos, through here more recent work depicting death and the wearing effects of life and time. She's to be admired for her unflinching and really gorgeous examination of her life and surroundings. Included in the extra materials on the dvd is a thirty minute documentary from the early 90's, also made by Cantor, called "Blood Ties" which chronicles the development of her In the family series and the vilification of her by some as an abusive mother and kiddie porn peddlar. Blood Ties includes interviews with Mann, her husband and children, supporters and detractors of the work weighing in in praise or in derision of her work. Charges of the damage done to her children by the production and dissemination of the artwork is countered effectively by the children's own words, and it opens the broader question of what can be considered damaging to children. In this case, the charges themselves posed more of a threat as they imposed the burden of the moral of shame that we as a culture drag over our shoulder.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Resource: New York Art

File this one under Long Overdue
I sat next to
Aneta Glinkowski at the Artbloggers panel talk back in March. She told me about an endeavor she was a part of that was soon to launch on the web: NYArt Beat is part of the network that was kicked off with Tokyo Art Beat in 2004. is a catch all chronicling the various art events in NY. There's an emphasis on reader participation and interaction giving site visitors opportunities to share their input by reviewing and recommending events, adding to the content generated by staff bloggers.
The site launched at the end of April, and I've not been able to spend much time on it, although I have created a profile, and I'll be playing around on it this week. There is a lot of utility built into the site, and it seems very friendly to use, particularly so, I imagine, for someone visiting NY, wanting to plan an efficient art viewing trip. When you are viewing the details of an event item, to the side are listings of other exhibits within walking distance of that event and the estimated travel time. Events and exhibits are cross indexed according to venue, type of event, medium. There are also smart lists available for subscription by RSS grouped in categories of most popular, opening soon, closing soon, just opened, free admission, etc., and every listing gives you a constant countdown of the number of days that you still have to see the exhibit. Another great feature is that the listing of events are available by rss, so really, there's no excuse for not knowing what's going on down in the city.
As I said, I'll be diving in more in the coming months, but I definitely recommend checking it out.

Electric Windows on Cool

Cool is a site that culls together all that is cool in the realms of art, design architecture, cuisine and more. In the form of blog posts and short nicely produced videos, Cool Hunting shares work being created by many visionary folks. I have long subscribed to the video podcast feed via itunes, and consider it a treat when the new weekly installment arrives. The most recent video posted today highlights the Electric Windows event from this past May. I've embedded the video here, but I definitely suggest visiting the site, and subscribing to the videos. It's a nugget of goodness delivered straight to your computer. I don't doubt that I'll be pulling some Eye Candy Friday material from Cool Hunting at some point.

On another Electric Windows note, I spent a little time over at Beacon High School this past semester, speaking with some of the art students about the other windows based art project in Beacon, Windows on Main St. Two of the windows in the WOMS project in August will be created by two teams of students. On one of my visits shortly after the Electric Windows ocurred, I was informed by the art teacher, Diane Mikula, that the students were abuzz about the event and that of all the different art events that have taken place around town, this one more than any other really resonated with the students.

So, congratulations to Jeff and Nicole at Beacon Art Supply and Dan and Kalene at Open Space as well as Bill Erlich and Beacon Terminals Associates for making this happen.

Friday, July 04, 2008

This weekend at Dia:Beacon

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company will be back at Dia:Beacon this weekend wrapping up the company's series of performances among the museum's galleries. This weekend's performance will engage the Torqued Ellipses by Serra. Avant Turntablist, Maria Chavez will be among the audio collaborators for the performance. She has posted on her blog a few images she snapped earlier this week as preparations were being made. It seems as if each of the sculptures will house at least some of the sound elements.
All three performances this weekend are most certainly sold out. Other related happenings at the museum include a nature walk and birding tour to George Trakas's Beacon Point on Saturday at 10:30 am. The museum will be hosting a Family Day at noon. Reservations are suggested for both events, so if you're lucky there might be some space left. 845.440.0100 x33

Eye Candy Friday: Art's special purpose & I want to be LB when my bones begin to loose their mass

For your holiday weekend viewing pleasure, we have a preview of the Louise Bourgeois retrospective that opened last week at the Guggenheim. James Kalm has posted a two part walk through of the retrospective and it's gotten me super jazzed to see it. Enjoy
Part 1:

Here is part 2 of James Kalm's LB at the Gugg.

The Bourgeois exhibit, in form, ties in nicely with what would have been my selection for Eye Candy Friday last week, had I had time to pass it along:
Art Boobs. Art Boobs is a blog that chronicles the various depictions of the boob(ie) in art through the ages, and it comes to us via C-Monster, which is itself/herself a tireless form of eye candy everyday - and an informative one at that. Thanks to C-Monster, I learned that those weren't really christmas trees Santa was cradling. I spoke briefly with C-M at the ArtBloggers talk in April about the brilliance of Paul McCarthy's work which isn't just use of sheep butt plugs and other "dirty" forms but it is in his direction of a conversation among conservators and academics around the nuances of butt plugs as they work diligently to classify and preserve our cultural heritage.
Now, It seems that I still tend to have a Candide-like view of the world, but not until I read about the butt plug conservation panel as relayed by C-M did I have any idea that those things were anything but trees. I saw them as a more streamlined form of tree; a gesture of a tree, if you will. So I take comfort in the knowledge that I can still learn much about all the wonderous things I have yet to come to comprehend in this wonderous world.
Happy Birthday America! and Happy Eye Candy Friday!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Public art on primetime

For your evening tv viewing pleasure, the Sunday Arts program on WNET will be airing an episode tonight at 8pm on public art in NYC and featuring Olafur Eliasson's Waterfalls that are on view now through the fall, Chris Burden's erector set at Rockefeller Center, and David Byrne's giant instrument. (thanks to MAN for the flickr links)
If you miss it tonight, the program will also be shown on July 6 at 1:30pm and July 12 at 2:00am