Thursday, February 25, 2010

Now You Know A Little Something About Me

Some people go to church. Some people go to drugs. I go to art museums. Like I’m sure the former believe about their vices, I believe the same about mine. Art is the most important thing in the universe, ever. This little piece isn’t about explaining why. If you don’t understand why it’s important, or don’t think it’s important, quite frankly, with all due respect, I don’t care right now. You’re wrong. You live in darkness. If you don’t understand what is great triumphing over what is mediocre, love triumphing over fear, what our gut tells us from the beginning triumphing over our second thoughts and hesitations, then you don’t understand. Sorry. But like I said, this isn’t what this is about. I go to art museums because it reaffirms my life, and all of the choices that life entails. I see the end products of individuals who took the time and the effort, not out of mere survival, not for some immediately practical end, but in the boldest defiance of it. To create something that is a nominee for eternity. To create something that compels us to that greatest of Sisyphean tasks humanity has ever known, to try and make something last forever. It’s impossible, impractical, foolhardy, irresponsible, and it is the saving grace of humanity. I will never take for granted that I live in a culture that creates giant beautiful cathedrals to showcase these attempts at the impossible, where they are cared for, exhibited and discussed. And that’s why I go. Today, at MOCA, in my home of Los Angeles, I briefly reacquainted myself with some of those attempts that I had seen many times before. Sometimes I saw them alone. Sometimes I was with others. I still feel lucky, I still feel in awe. I want to make a stroke like Kline. I want images to flow through me like Rauschenberg. I have a little overly-optimistic thing I like to say when I want to seem intelligent and cute at the same time that relates to what I’m talking about. I tell people that there’s a finite amount of matter in the universe, and all art is made from this matter, so, really we’re slowly converting the entire universe into art. And what do we do with great art? We take care of it, preserve it, and try to make it last forever. Even though we really can’t. If everything got turned into art, that’s how we’d treat everything. Like maybe were supposed to. Isn’t that nice?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kill The Brain

Ok, first things first. Durden and Ray. This is who I'm with in LA, they're a fine group of guys and dolls. We're having a little thing in Long Beach starting this weekend. If you're in town for the TED Conference you best stop by. We'll be maintaining regular gallery hours until the end of February. I have two paintings in the show. You know them, you love them. This one below is not one of them:

The Answer To All My Questions
oil on canvas
40" x 40"

If I may continue to shamelessly plug a bit more, D n' R is producing a book, which will be available online soon. It's a catalog of the current roster. I've seen some preview images. It's a thing of beauty.

I got a book in the mail called Painting Today. It's a giant tome that reiterates my assertion that, like the undead, the only way to kill painting is to kill the brain.

On my bookshelf is one of the nifty-est looking copies of Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan I have ever had the pleasure of perusing through. I got it years ago when I lived in Texas from an Amazon marketplace seller; it couldn't have been more than two dollars. Its got underlining and notes and shit in it, all from a fellow named Fred Woerner. I know this because he signed and dated his copy – December, 1966 – as well as stamped his address on it. He lived in LA. If I go to the address today, what should I do when I get there?

I have completely fallen down a rabbit hole because of my obsession with the Legion of Super-Heroes. I've started to read some of the original Adventure Comics stories, starting with the Jim Shooter written issues. The first one, #346, from July 1966 (the same year Fred inscribed his copy of Understanding Media...curious) has a particularly delightful moment during the introduction of potential Legionnaire candidate Princess Projectra: