Wednesday, June 22, 2011

 A portrait of the artist artists of the Hudson least all of those vying for a spot in this year's Hudson Valley Invitational exhibit at the Dorsky. 
On Saturday, June 25, the Samual Dorsky Museum in New Paltz, NY is opening this year's installment of it's annual Hudson Valley invitational exhibition.  The theme this year is BEAUTY!  In fact, the exhibit is named "Excercises in Unnecessary Beauty."    One might think that the nature of beauty is a bit of a passe subject, perhaps even Unnecessary as the title implies, but in reality, finding, creating moments of beauty in life....even that which might not fit with traditionally established notions of what beauty is is what it's all about. 

Dorsky curator Brian Wallace joined us on the Dead Hare Radio Hour for episode #4 (Apr 11, 2011) to talk about the Dorsky's history, the annual invitational, and the inherent challenges of curating (read approving and rejecting and navigating the angst that can come along with that rejection) local artists for an exhibit like the Hudson Valley Invitational.
This year, the artists who made the cut are: Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, Hannah Raine Brenner-Leonard, Karen Capobianco, Amy Cheng, Vincent Connelly, Timothy Englert, Charles Geiger, David Hebb, Jim Holl, Sue Horowitz, Roman Hrab, Charise Isis, Lynn Itzkowitz, Michael Joyce, Iain Machell, Tanya Marcuse, Gilbert Plantinga, Susan Sammis, Bill Shuck, Charles Stein, Scott Serrano, Paul G. Stewart, Joy Taylor, Harry Wilks.

If you're still wondering about beauty, this video meditation on the subject by Hennessy Youngman makes the case for why beauty is still relevant in art and in society.

The reception for Exercises in Unnecessary Beauty is happening from 5-7pm on Saturday June 25.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Benjamin, with Todd Spire at the art auction to benefit Grace Smith House back in 2005 at Spire Studios.

This week marks the end Benjamin Krevolin's tenure as prez of the Dutchess County Arts Council.  Benjamin served as the area's arts advocate in chief since 2002. 
Listen to Benjamin's "exit" interview on the Dead Hare Radio Hour earlier this week.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Angelika's addiction or the Language of Laughter

This week, a poll sampling folks from 15 countries found that Americans are considered the funniest of nationalities and the Germans are the least funny.  The Reuter's report on the poll quotes Mark Twain's saying that "a German joke is no laughing matter."  We'll, they may not make us laugh (intentionally), and it might seem that they are incapable of laughter themselves.  But there could be some exceptions.  Below is a video that has, of late, smitten and amused Angelika to no end.  I'm sharing it here to give you a wee indication of what I've been living with recently.  Every so often I hear the audio of this video wafting in from the other room joined with laughs and those "oh that's so cute" sort of sighs.  The German lady just can't seem to get enough of this.

This next video might serve as some evidence that Germans are indeed capable of eliciting laughter from others - simply by being themselves.  This news report is on a laughing club (lach club) in Germany, where there is a proscribed time and place for everything.  This video is in German.  That just makes it funnier.

Speaking of the German Language, Mark Twain's meditation on trying to learn the German tongue is entitled "The Awful German Language"
For my own purposes, I have no intention of really to speak German.  I'm just trying to hone my mimicry of any spoken moment of German I come across.  Also, my lack of knowledge and comprehension does nothing to prevent me from reciting any German text I find to Angelika.  I find this pastime enormously amusing. I believe she does too. Her amusement is manifested in a pretense of eye rolling incomprehension of  what she's just heard. 

 I will say that Angelika, being German and all, is not among the unfunniest of folks. I guess since she is also an American citizen, the balance of her national identities places her in the middle of the spectrum.....She's part of a hybrid group:  1/2 Kraut + 1/2 Yank = Krank

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Out of Noise, Let There Be Signal

...Or perhaps, let us gather our signals to produce a little noise.
 Or, more likely, that which we create and consider to be signal, may well be just noise for anyone else.

In any case, this week's Dead Hare Radio Hour episode marks our three month anniversary of producing the show.  If you've missed any of the shows, don't worry.  This week, we're playing all of the previous 11 show - simultaneously - so you can get caught up real quick.

If, by chance, you want to listen to any of the shows individually, you may do so on the Dead Hare Radio website, or download them via iTunes. You can also click on the title of this post to listen to the show.


Friday, June 03, 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Non Chala la lance

In the art world there are those individuals who knowingly strive to achieve the look of disaffected insouciance and naivete in their work.  There are also those who, though not ignorant of the art world, are untrained, and uninterested in, transmitting the coded language and signifiers of the the art world mechanisms in their artwork.  These folks, are labled "outsider", or "visionary" artists.  To those on the inside, these folks, revered as they are, are "other."  Then, of course, there are those who embarrassingly self identify as a visionary artist as a form of marketing hook, hoping to distinguish themselves and gain status on the inside.  (Aside:  it seems, in most cases, that to qualify as a visionary artist one, if a man, must sport long flowing locks - a rat tail or mullet earns bonus points - and some sort of mystical, wizardy facial hair.  Female visionary artists seem to need to take the form of a medieval wench or middle eastern harlot.

But for today's installment of ECF, we honor the true, the un-self conscious expression of the individual.
In this spirit of making the distinction between the construct of an affected look and the natural intuitive impulse that embodies a certain look, we present to you Accidental Chinese Hipsters, a newly started blog that examines the very definition of insouciance at work in its own environment.

 (photo by Andreas Vagelatos), via Accidental Chinese Hipsters

Wassaic Project @ Hudson Beach Glass through June 19

I have found myself, of late, pondering the satisying nature of unicorn poo.  A center made of a hefty dollup of cast cement, and an outer surface of soft sumptuous white fox fur.  The experience of passing this truffle must be a luxurious one for the unicorn.
It's enough to elicit a touch of envy from other species. And it is the wonder of art that ignites such flights of fanciful speculation on subjects never before imagined.

Jin Yu is the artist responsible for said Unicorn Poo.  She's one of the artists I spoke with for this week's Dead Hare Radio Hour. 

Unicorn Poo, 2008
Concrete, fox fur, gold leaf

Jing Yu is among the group of artists, all of whom are or will be artists in residence at the Wassaic Project this year and who are currently exhibiting work at Hudson Beach Glass through June 19th.   The exhibit is co-curated by John Gilvey and Jennifer Mackiewicz.  
I also spoke with Jennifer, and exhibiting artists Ben Bigelow and Amanda Lechner for the radio show.   Matthew Slaats made a trip up to Wassaic to take in the project's first Last Saturday event of the season and record an interview with Wassaic Project co-directors  Bowie Zunino, Eve Biddle and Jeff Barnett-Winsby.

Listen to the episode here, or download it via iTunes

Here are a few images from the Hudson Beach Glass exhibit.

Works on paper by Amanda Lechner.

Above and below:  collages by Ghost of a Dream.

Breanne Trammell's giant bookmarks.

Paintings by Karl LaRocca.