Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Unconsidered, Dashed-off, and Weak

Hey kids.  So its been a little while.  The Brewery Art Walk is this weekend, and us here at Raid Projects will have our doors open from 11 – 6 both days.  The walls have been painted, and the art is hung.  It will be a little group showing of work from yours truly, and roommates Max Presneil and Terri Thomas.  Do come won’t you?  There’s a free beer with your name on it. 

And in other news:

-- Daybreak – 2250 AD by Andre Norton was kind of ‘ehn’.  Pretty typical sci-fi paperback fare.  Methinks there are better seminal post-apocalyptic tales out there, as this one sort of just bumbled along confusingly.  Still, it’s supposedly the first.  My favorite character was Lura, the slightly telepathic mountain lion.

-- BRD Trilogy by Fassbinder – Well we can’t all aspire to make 35 films before we die of coke and sleeping pills at 37, fuck everything that moves (male or female), and generally be a total badass, but we can watch the fantastic work of someone that did.  And that someone, of course, is another one of my dead heroes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder.  Near the end he made the BRD Trilogy – The Marriage of Maria Braun, Veronika Voss, and Lola.  Together they comprise everything one needs to know about cinematography and acting, separately they provide a compelling portrait of three women dealing with Fassbinder’s motherland of Germany, after WWII.  I confess to being more drawn to his earlier work (Fear of Fear, Chinese Roulette, Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant), but the BRD trilogy shows the final polish of an experienced filmmaker taking bold formal risks and ambitious structuring with the confidence that only being prolific allows. 

I am struck by a comparison between him and fellow German artist Martin Kippenberger, whose big show at MOCA left me a bit underwhelmed.  Both German, both monstrously prolific, both drunken badasses, both died prematurely.  Perhaps its because my exposure to painting is more involved than with film, but I am not completely bowled over my Kippenberger’s output.  Much of it seems unconsidered, dashed-off, and weak.  Much of it is truly inspired.  Upon first viewing the show, the sheer volume of work was amazing.  But after a second look, it seemed that he tried his hand at several different conceptual strategies that had already been established.  Furthermore, I found myself taking issue with the celebration of the Pollock-esque behavior he seemed to embody. Perhaps it is because I am painter myself looking down the barrel of some lifestyle clich├ęs that I question the tired stereotype of the alcoholic asshole painter.  At least with Fassbinder there is the issue of his, shall we say, “advanced” sexuality that breaks him free of any real stereotypes. 

I see Kippenberger as a character foil to the other force of nature in modern German painting – Gerhard Richter (a non-dead hero).  It seems that, in a way Kipp (my little name for him) was trying to be in many ways the kind of artist Richter was not.  Unfortunately, one of the things Richter didn’t do was die young.

-- Louise Bourgeois at MOCA.  That's what I'm sayin'.  I'll hit that up next week, probably Friday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


So I heard that Paul McCarthy is writing a book about the history of chili-cheeseburgers.  Its what I heard.

So this Tuesday, the 14th of October, at 7:30 pm. me, along with Janne Larsen, Robert Arieas & Ryan Ross will be giving a little artist's talk about the show we just opened, "Neosapian".  Its at the Cal State LA Fine Art Gallery.  5151 State​ Unive​rsity​ Dr. Los Angel​es CA 90032​ (​323)​ 343-​3000

Cal State​ LA campu​s map: 
http:​/​/​www.​ calst​atela​.​ edu/​univ/​maps/​cslam​ap.​ php

Should be groovy.  And now for your viewing pleasure, here's some drawings that wern't in the installation for the afomentioned show because I forgot to bring them --

And for your amusement, new pics of Santa's Little Workshop™ -- 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Strategy of Intimacy

So, Neosapian is on display at the Cal State LA Fine Art Gallery until October 18th, if you just can't live without seeing my drawings. Good turnout at the opening and all that, nice of everyone who dropped by to drop by. There's a little talk-slash-discussion-slash-q&a with me and some of the other artists planned for the 14th there at Cal State LA, I'll be more specific as the time draws nigh...

Other than that, I managed to witness one of my most favorite movies of all time, Night of the Living Dead, in glorious, grainy 35 mm on the big screen for the first time at the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax last night. I walked in, handed them my ticket and was handed a Tecate in return. In between the double feature (Day of the Dead followed) there was free wine and hanging out, and the clink and clank of sneaked booze was heard throughout the house. When the lights went up, it looked like Animal House inside. It was beautiful. As many of you know, I have a particular obsession with NOTLD. Much of that is evidenced by my YouTube page, where my efforts at making video art invloving the appropriation of that public domain classic is there for all to see. As a child that movie seemed to slowly follow me around, and I gave in to it at the onset of grad school, and began to let it devour me. It began with paintings, and then a series of re-edits and re-mixes of the film (something which is being done all over the world since, I have found), in an effort to maximize the intimacy I desired with this amazing work.

My intentions with all of the NOTLD based works I produce, as far as I can tell, is two-fold: One, I crave a closeness and intimacy with it that goes beyond conventional expression. The idea of intimacy is something that has helped me describe much of my work, in as much as provides me an excuse to become closer with the images and ideas I have an attraction to. I want my involvement with NOTLD to cause a confusion/blurring/disintegration of the boundries that define who I am and what that film is. The next project I have in mind for it I hope escalates this desire -- beyond conventional expression. Why I am attracted to this film so much has something to do with witnessing it as a child and being struck by its subversive and radical form and content, despite not having the ability to comprehend or articulate ideas of subversion or radicalism at that young age. I fancy trying to negotiate the positive trauma of that experience with this film for the rest of my life, ideally escalating the level of involement each time.

The second reason has to do with an ontological obsession with the film. At its core, what are the essential components to the meaning of NOTLD, and, if those components are taken out of context, changed, or removed what then becomes of it? This is ultimately a strategy of intimacy, but it is the results of this strategy that become the work. Basic conceptual moves are employed (subtraction, compression, isolation, repetition, visual abstraction) and the ideas that seem to be subsequently conveyed reveal further nuance and complexity to Romero's film.

So the next work involving 'Night' is going to be the most involved yet. I'm hoping to have it complete by this time next year. Without letting the cat out of the bag, let me just say I have quite a bit of rehearsing to do.