Monday, December 30, 2013

Conversions

An artist goes on a long path to nowhere
stubbing his toe along the way
strong wind musters up as much evil as a cross could bear
but light can be seen afar

Towers crash and people burn
She eats her fill to start a new millennium
There are tired souls immersed in empty formlessness
but cold water shocks them

After chaos makes its mark
the artist leaves Babylon
enters a world of white mastery
Golden Buddha and Ganesha there to remove obstacles

From this the synthesis is born
Good and Evil as two poles in cosmic equilibrium
we must fight to get peace
the artist just laughs

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Heroic Modernism of High Technology and the Mystical Union of Art and Life in the Tower

Like the Two Towers of Tolkien, polar antagonism is the result of good and evil forces seeking dominance over the other.  Which will prevail determines the color of an age.  As the (evil) wizard Saruman says, "The World is changing. Who now has the strength to stand against the armies of Isengard and Mordor? To stand against the might of Sauron and Saruman ... and the union of the two towers? Together, my Lord Sauron ... we shall rule this Middle-Earth."  We have come out of a particularly dark period, where towers have risen and fallen.  The Twin Towers hang like phantasms around a rather sober looking single tower taking their place in New York City.  In essence, the two have become one.  It is arguable that from an architectural standpoint, the Freedom Tower is deficient in design to make New York City nothing other than like Paris before the end of WWII.  Examples of more prevalent visionary ideas are exemplified in towers like the Burj Khalifa or the Petronas Towers. The fact that Antonin Gaudi's Grand Hotel for New York was supposed to be built at the World Trade Center site is also interesting.  That is another aspect of this conversation however.

Paul Laffoley defines the Bahauroque as more or less a fusion of both "the heroic modernism of the German 'Bauhaus,' with its aspiration toward a technological utopia, and the exalted theatricality of the Italian baroque, in which an exuberance of form and illusion serve to express the mystical union of art and life."  I think he means a resolution of opposites, perhaps resolved in the destruction of the Twin Towers, and being rebuilt both physically and spiritually in one symbolic tower representing the age of technological advancement which is happening at high speed.  Perhaps these opposites were not so diametrically opposed after all, and their fusion promises a great future of aesthetic potential.  Reconstruction takes place out of postmodern ideas of absence in the sculptural field, like Rachel Whiteread's creations demonstrate.  As with Humpty Dumpty, the broken entity is pieced back together again.  The nature of design will naturally change in lieu of this reality based on a new aesthetic perspective and paradigm.  

The oppositional resolution is not in some highly intellectualized, decentralized way like in Postmodernism, but in a new way that has a mystical foundation in form.  Art and architecture may be able to speak their own psychic language again and we can envision formality in a way that is dedicated toward beauty in order to bring about a higher dimensional reality.  

This is the heroic modernism of high technology, building on ingenious creations of great engineering potential, like for example the work of Antonin Gaudi, and in some respects the Deconstructionists.  It is also mystical, yoking together realities that have become divorced from each other as a result of the cold intellectualism needed initially to usher in this technological age.  Now the shift in consciousness is possible and the understanding transformative.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Future of Art and Technology

The future of art and technology is an interesting subject and impossible to broach over in a few sentences.  It is incredibly complex.  First of all, we are witnessing several aspects in the technological age.  Post-Neitszche, God is Dead.  It seems that technology is God.  Google is God (at least for now).  The Darwinists are increasingly moving towards a model of man as machine.  Postmodernism did the same...as in Deleuze and Guattari's "desiring production" and materialist psychiatry.  Richard Dawkins refers to man as "gene machines".  Daniel Dennett's opposition to Searle's Chinese Room as a refutation of the possibility of Strong AI, points in the direction of Asimov's I Robot.  The matter is the more material we become, the more we seek out material answers to our problems.  The divorce of science and religion has its roots in the Age of Enlightenment.  Despite a few resurgences of romantic elements in art, poetry and music, the mystical has been reduced down to a "Game of Life" where automatons are the true motivators of action in time and space.

This is what I see.  Art will become irrelevant in this respect.  How or why would a machine need art?  Art is the subject that brings mankind to unknowns in ways that differ from science.  In one sense, art and science are two sides of the same coin.  But, I would say, art deals more with unknowns in terms of feelings, intuition and other things that go outside of pure reason.  For this reason, it seems that art will have no room in a world guided by materialistic principles devoid of any sense of spirituality.

If we are simply machines, creating machines which will become human like, then it appears to be one big feedback loop.  I do not see progress there, with the exception of the extension of life, if that is the end game.  Art then would be possible, if a machine can become conscious, self-aware, searching and not just automatically reproducing what has been programmed.  I do realize that we ourselves could be seen as simply acting out our destinies based on unconscious urges and not having the free will postulated by so many religions.  Either way, this is an important crux in the relationship of art and science, and important for artists to consider in this changing world.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Intuition Pumps

Intuition Pumps are Dan Dennett's term for thought experiments.  The basic idea is that they appeal to a person's philosophical intuition and not entirely to reason.  They can be useful logical tools, but they can also be misleading, implying that their analogy is complete in itself, leaving out other logical possibilities.

It seems that anymore, any expression or idea that has "feeling" somehow imbued within it, is no longer sound.  I admit, logic carries us a long way.  It has taken us to the moon, allowed incredible advances in medicine, politics and society, and in general, science is founded upon it.

However, the very act of hypothesis is itself intuitive until it becomes solidified in factual results.  The Latin "intuitio" means "to look at, consider".  Not that art cannot be logical, but so many aspects of inspiration, at least seem to come from outside of the walls of reason.  This is regardless of whether or not they can be formally expressed.  If everything can simply be reduced down to something biochemical, etc. then we become rote and entirely predictable more or less. I do not doubt Dan Dennett's idea, however, it seems that we must become machines in order to reach "perfection" as logical beings.  Perhaps this is a reductio ad absurdum, but this is what my intuition tells me.  ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Gemma Ward Magic




Friday, November 8, 2013

Rebecca Morgan


I love this artist named Rebecca Morgan.  Her work is some of the freshest and more poignant work in painting/drawing I have seen in a long time.  There is so much here...she critiques so many dimensions and expresses them in an incredibly beautiful, talented hand.  Currently, I believe she is represented by Asya Geisberg, an old schoolmate of mine.

What I see foremost is her incredibly interesting portrayal of femininity.  She does it in a visceral way that seems uncanny and not hackneyed like so many feminist artists of the past.  There is a mixture of comedy, horror and beauty that seems to yearn for resolutions between the contrived urban world, and the sublimely Utopian world of nature.  Of course, woman in a traditional sense is nature and ancient myths conveyed this through elaborate symbol systems.

I think many artists can relate to this symbology, regardless of their gender.  The detachment and ennui felt while living in New York City and pursuing an art "career" are daunting and relentless.  I think too that the place of the feminine in this world has become detached from itself, ironically through years of trying to achieve liberation.  Perhaps there is an unconscious yearning to go back to some perceived ideal?  Perhaps too Rebecca masterfully portrays the odd inability of such ideals, as they can only exist conceptually.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Atheism is a Religion

More and more...I am starting to form the position that Atheism is in fact a religion.  Of course, this very idea is abhorrent to Atheists, who mistakenly believe that not believing in God or the supernatural is equitable with not believing in anything.  Furthermore, another mistake made in this case is that being an atheist is equitable with being more rational and intelligent.  There are so many hypocrisies lurking here that it is disturbing.  Atheism and Science go hand and hand.  Although Atheism is not dependent on science per se to exist, most and many modern atheists are Darwinists and/or Naturalists.  Dan Dennett is an example.   Being probably agnostic myself, Dan Dennett is an atheist and philosopher I enjoy learning from, as he most definitely presents challenging and intelligent information about our world.  Being intellectual, I try to entertain as many ideas as possible, so as to keep an open mind.  Life after all is some infinitely open book of knowledge as far as I am concerned.

So, back to the issue of Atheism being a religion.  There are several more traditional examples, especially Buddhism, which many atheists understand to be atheistic, but still hold on to the idea that Buddhism posits the supernatural into its philosophy.  The Four Noble Truths are very basic, grounded ideas and have nothing to do with the supernatural at all.  Tibetan Buddhism is another thing altogether.  Atheistic Quakers exist and if one has a more complex understanding, Hinduism and Jainism for example, offer up negative theologies as well.  The absence of God in religion is not a new thing.

Another thing of interest is "The Sunday Assembly", an atheistic church.  Ninian Smart's 7 Dimensions of Religion do apply to something of this nature.  The very fact that atheism is itself a belief system, since the existence of God or the supernatural cannot be proven, sets it up for religiosity.  Religion as defined is more open for me and going to the root of the word, is more of a reliance on an idea, creed or belief as to how one lives one's life.

For me it does not matter either way...I do not however find salvation in Atheism.

Good luck in trying to do so...


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Death

Death is the singular, pervasive, equalizing reality for all humanity.  We are no better than any living thing in this respect.  In fact, stones were revered because they "outlive" humans.  Stonehenge exemplifies the reality of human hands that only have their trace in a monument.  We see the monument today, but can only imagine the individuals who put it there.  In the end, we all become phantasms of the mind.

I think about our society as a whole and how it is psychologically crafted around the issue of death.  Everything from beer, to food, to disinfectants and clothes, all of these products they sell us try to convince us somehow we are eternal in this world.  However, all around us we see people dying.  It is no big deal in the end, without death, there would be no life.  But, in the end it is death that brings us all together as one, not life.  In life, everything is separate, can be described and criticized, but in death, no one can take anything with them.  We still don't even know what happens when we die in truth.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Melissa Brown


Melissa Brown is an artist who shows with Kansas and is associated with artists like Brian Belott and CANADA gallery.  I have been familiar with her work for a long time, but recently had the chance to meet her personally.  I asked her about her use of landscapes and she appreciated that question.  It made me think more formally about painting in particular.  Again, here is an artist fusing multiple dimensions into something that presents itself in a challenging way.  First glimpse might miss the whole reality.  Her work is more than abstract, architectonic, geological, paradoxical, formal, colorful, etc, more than just a pretty picture.  Of course, that is a part of it as well.  However, all of these aspects are elements that form a larger, "Dadaesque", perhaps quantum reality that in my view is inter-dimensional.

Of course an artist like Melissa is concerned with formal elements, like color and space.  She has the education and art knowledge for such things.  However, there is a quirkiness and eccentricity that is not contrived.  Her playful nature comes through and it is refreshing to see.  She seems to always be seeking out some transformative viewpoint, a new lens of consciousness about painting and art.  I know that she has worked with games like the lottery as a high concept, as well as mail art in the vein of Ray Johnson.  This painting, entitled "Grassy Waves" was in the Dadarhea show at CANADA in 2011.  If you are interested in seeing more of her work you can visit her website at www.melissabrown.tv/‎.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Double D


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Kitsch is Now, Probably Dead or Dying

One thing that seems to be prevalent today in fine art is kitsch.  At first, there was some kind of an ironic play rooted in postmodern academicism going back to the 80's (perhaps earlier) and beyond.  Many artists started to turn to kitsch as a conceptual, tongue in cheek, "I know this is kitsch, but I am doing it consciously, therefore it is high art" kind of way.  Now, this is so pervasive, that bad art and kitsch are hallmarks for what seems to be an entire generation.  One look at the art of today and it becomes obvious that being bad is the only way to be "good".

The referencing of kitsch is no longer about popular culture or bad, unconscious art, it is about fine art itself.  There are a multitude of styles and genres being generated, especially in painting and it is all bad in one way or another.  I think we have all become accustomed to this reality and no longer question it.  It connects to most culture today, especially Internet culture, like motherboards and Internet memes, which seem to favor "low-techism" as a pathway to self-expression.  It is an aesthetic of choice, founded upon increasingly tiring notions that progress was bad as a modernist ideal.

Nothing should become too comfortable in art.  Art is and should remain a way of searching out possible new paradigms, shifting consciousness in new directions, offering potential revelations, being aware, but not to the point of redundancy.  Either art, fine art that is, is dying before our eyes, or we are going to have to find something else to draw upon to plant seeds for a new generation to come.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Matt Jones


I'll give this one a go...outer space magnets for magnitudes.  Deep, dark, darky occult musings on the wonder of spatial emptiness.  All of this is tied together with a quiet, but burgeoning rage in the machine.  The matrix hums as paint renders forth the magic of time as space, etc.

Matt Jones is a strong painter with a different take on abstraction.  He is a very talented draughtsman as well.  This painting is an older example of his space paintings.  He also has paintings that incorporate Black Flag iconography.  I think the use of appropriate forms and imagery is absolutely correct today or at least representative of what is happening.  Behind the scenes it feels like an alien is doing the artwork.

Matt might let us in on that one...


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Untitled (Head Morph)


Donald Baechler


Last night I was talking with the Master contemporary artist Donald Baechler.  Donald has a studio that works similar to Warhol's factory.  Many of the past and present assistants in his studio are worthy and emerging contemporary artists in the field.  Brian Belott, Lance de Los Reyes, Brendan Cass, Wes Lang and many others are all associated with Donald.  I think this is what makes Donald a continuing vital presence in the contemporary art scene.  Not only is his work tremendously influential, as is seen in the work of someone like Masaki Kawai, whose opening was last night at The Hole gallery at 312 Bowery, he is very physically present in the scene.  This is something that you just don't see with other artists of his generation.  It is clear that Donald cares about what is going on and is a guiding spirit in the background of it all.  In other words, there is an indication that Donald is not smug or comfortable with the fact that he is well established.  Meaning, as an artist he is continuing to stay in touch with current ideas as they relate to his own work.  Very interesting indeed.

The influence he has had on so many contemporary artists is without question and the fact that he continues to make vital work is something all artists should strive for.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Misaki Kawai


Misaki Kawai is a Japanese artist living in New York City.  Her work is done in a naive style.  Perhaps she has a relationship with an artist like Yoshitomo Nara, but her work looks closer to me in many ways to Donald Baechler.  I have seen her work with Donald's at Cheim and Read.

Misaki has traveled extensively and her work is influenced by her travels.  Her work is fun, symbolic and playful.  It reminds you to be a kid again.  Art is not necessarily so serious an endeavor, we make things because crafting ideas is like child's play; innocent, yet rich with imagination.

I particularly like this piece which is more abstract, looks like a star cross or something else.

She has a show coming up at The Hole, Kathy Grayson's gallery this month.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

George Condo



One of my all time favorite artists is George Condo.  When I first moved to New York, I was searching deeply within and without myself.  With heavy graffiti influence, I started to want to moved away from that and fine my own way.  One day, probably in 1998 or 1999, I picked up a magazine with George Condo's "Interchangeable Reality" painting.  From that point on, the odyssey began for me.  I think as artists we all have one or two, but definitely more artists that are sort of like over souls for us.  Whether alive or dead, they represent psychically what we also would like to become.  Influence is a good thing, because it communicates ideas and memes through the ether into a cultural connection forming neologisms.  I finally met George and showed him how the Art card in the Tarot mystically connects to his "Interchangeable Reality" painting.  Interestingly enough, the zodiac sign that rules the art card is Sagittarius and that is George's sun sign.  I gave him one of my alien drawings back then...I hope he still has it.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kadar Brock


Abstraction has never left us.  In fact, it is even stronger today.  As a part of some type of post-post conceptual approach to painting, there are painters making interesting abstractions in spite of its regurgitated redundancy.  Mary Heilmann comes to mind, as well as Laura Owens.  It seems there has to be an intention in making this type of space anymore, because quite frankly, it gets boring.  One of those painters is Kadar Brock from the Hole NYC.  Personally, as an artist, I think his art is his name.  He does not even need paintings, because he is his art.  That is a good thing for an artist.  His persona as well is what he seems to encapsulate in these cerebral zones of street like histories.  The surfaces of these particular paintings are reminiscent of the city walls covered over with detritus and graffiti, and then worn away.  Although a lot of craft goes into these pictures I am sure, they seem to tell of story of self production.  It is as if they happened over a long period of time due to weather or other outside forces, non-human forces.  

Kadar does other abstractions as well that use letters or look similar to late Frank Stella or even Trudy Benson.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Downtown Alien 2013


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Borf 7


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Choli Poem

I'll pick the wick
and stack the jack
flip the zip
and wrack the snack

I'll pom the jom
and wim the wom
pole the troll
and fill the trill

I'll take the wake
and crick the snick
jail the whale
and chan the ban

I'll trip the snip
and kill the bill
soul the cajole
and bake the snake


Saturday, August 31, 2013

In the Head


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Templar Grid Flower of Life Man


Trudy Benson


I really dig this abstract artist named Trudy Benson.  Her work stands out from the myriad of abstract redundancy that pervades painting these days.  Although I am not entirely sure of her technique, it seems like she uses computer based imagery as her starting point.  They look like simple doodles in Microsoft Paint, then transposed onto canvas.  What I love is the seamless relationship between the two realms, creating a dialogue between both analog and digital world views.  Also, the colors, lines and formations she comes up with so whimsically are fresh and fun to look at.  I see a pedigree of Jonathan Lasker in this work, whose work I also like to look at.  I would call this kind of art "Abstract Intentionism".  They are the type of abstractionists who are deliberate in their conceptualizations almost down to the most minute detail, which perhaps represents some kind of conceptual inversion. 

I am not sure of the title of this piece, but I really love it.  Anyway, I had to put her up here in the ole bloggy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Liminality



I often think that this whole creative process if just one large liminal rite of passage.  That is, every time we approach ourselves and the creative process, we are at the threshold of what was and what will be.  I think most artists can relate to the idea that often the end result is far different from the original concept, with exceptions of course.  Also, there are unknowns in regard to both the past and the future in terms of understanding.  Things have a tendency to change and depending on endogenous and exogenous factors, the variables are perhaps limitless.

There is always a sense of mystery for me with art.  When I paint, I feel like I am engaged in a religious act of some sort, minus the institutional and political connotations of that word.  "Spiritual" might be more politically correct, but in the sense that "relegare" means to "bind fast", that is just it.  Every time we engage in a creative act, we bind ourselves fast to the infinite potential in all things as we connect to them both macrocosmically and microcosmically.

So, liminality underlies creativity because like the trickster, we never really know what it is.  Even after all the exegeses that go on, there is never a definite understanding of a work of art.  Even more so today, with so many styles, derivatives, shapes, forms, concepts in the art world, we might say we swim in a creative sea of liminality, sailing through the threshold of what was and what will be.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Factory Farm


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Keep it Conspiratorial

I often find myself becoming too intellectual about art.  There is a tendency to do so due to ever increasing needs in the marketplace to stand out.  I find it all interesting, but after a while, I come back to my own esoteric, mystical, psychopomp view of the creative process.

No matter how we try to use science to decipher the creative process, we end up trying to remove the proverbial needle in the haystack.  At its core, the creative process in whatever form is a mysterious reality that lies beyond the total ability of human consciousness to understand it.  If that were not so, there would be no conscious evolution of sorts.  I think that is the one thing that keeps people going, that they have this Darwinian view of all things and in doing so, believe they are making progress.

However, this is all becoming rote and hackneyed.  I find most contemporary art, even mine at times, to be very trite.  It just feels stupid and inane.  Not to mention, if you go to galleries and exhibitions in New York, the pile of $hiT that presents itself as the so called avant garde.

Well, I can complain if I want and there are many souls who would claim that I have sour grapes, but whatever, I might be dead in the near future, so I don't give a F%@k.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Painting is Virtual

I recently read an interesting essay regarding painting and its referencing (indexicality) to its author as its supposed link to authenticity.  Based in pragmatics, the idea comes from Charles Sanders Pierce, the great logician who is famous for his trichotomy: icon, index and symbol.  This also has connections to structuralist ideas of Signifier and Signified, something that has been dealt with in different ways by the post-structuralists who came after.  

However, the idea that painting is a simple reference to the painter and that somehow is what legitimizes its presence is difficult for me to understand.  The reason has to do with the philosophical concepts of multiplicity and virtuality.  Henri Bergson expressed the effects of multiplicity and suggested intuition as a means for understanding creative works.  As I have stated before, the multiple, discursive universe of the contemporary visual art field, marks perhaps many things, but one thing is for sure, it marks its movement towards perhaps greater unknowns in its creative flow.  There is no conceptual ground on which to stand and beyond personalities and excessively rendered labels of identification, it appears meaningless.  In fact, the only thing I can see is a baroque nature to all of this and that perhaps this is its aesthetic substantiation.

Therefore, this brings up the question regarding arts legitimacy.  The problem lies in the fact that if there is no progressive logic to something, then its history is undetermined.  However, I personally do not see this as a problem per se, but recognize its superficial dilemma.  In fact, that might be a liberating actualization of the end production of years of institutional hegemony and conceptual schizophrenia.  

Multiplicity and virtuality, which were examined so well by Gilles Deleuze, are aspects of anything and its relation to what made it.  The problem with painting is that there is no direct reference in reality to its author and this is certainly true even in the personal effects left on its surface as a result of mark making or whatever in its production.  The reason is that once a painting is completed, whatever has been left is a virtual representation in an objective form.  The traces left also cannot necessarily be directly determined to belong to an individual, etc.  A good example would be Tibetan Sand Painting, where the identity of an individual is actually avoided with intention.  So many things are affecting the artist upon creation, that there is no consistent evidence to the contrary.  Hence, in my opinion, this is the reason for the repetitive, complacent style making of so many artists today.  The idea seems to be get a style and become recognized for it, because lets face it, it is about marketing and selling (standing out from the morass of ideas, personalities and images).  

A painting is not much different than looking at an image on a computer.  Its actuality does depend on an objective interaction, but its reality is there regardless...as it lives in a virtual realm.  Increasingly, the flow of information is becoming self-referential and the author is becoming anonymous in time and space.  All of this is a result of the virtuality of our existence in cyberspace and this is having a direct impact on the nature of painting and its relationship to culture at large.  Perhaps there is a feedback loop between the techonology and its effects on the nature of visual art in general?  These are complex issues and questions.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Conversations with Dan Asher

Lately I've been thinking about an old friend Dan Asher.  He was someone a lot of art world people knew, but did not like to admit it.  I met him at the Russian Baths in the East Village and he became a sort of avuncular figure to me.  Quickly I picked up on the fact that people like Jerry Saltz avoided him as he passed on Chelsea streets.  Dan's admitted frustrations with the art world were rooted in the fact that he witnessed things like the avaricious nature of a major gallerist's vampiric consumption of Basquiat (a story about selling his jazz records without telling him) and still harbored emotions about it, since Jean Michel was his friend.   This was countered by the fact that any artist in NYC faces, the need for money.  This all too often makes selling out to individuals that one would not normally deal with.  Watching Dan do his daily dance of selling his work to people on the margins of the art world and/or borrow money from friends to pay a phone bill was somewhat amusing, but equally distressing.

I think what impressed me about Dan, outside of his high level of intelligence, honesty and intense nature that felt like a pressure cooker waiting at any moment to blow, was the passion he clearly had for his work.  Integrity was something deeply important to him.

Before I  had to leave NYC myself, Dan gave me a bunch of small original photos.  I wanted to return them, but he wouldn't answer those attempts.  I think he must have wanted me to have them.  I am proud of those pictures and even though my art collection is much smaller than I would like, having those makes up for that ten fold.

I was disappointed to find out when I did that he had passed.  I had been living outside the country and there was no way to go to the city.  Either way...RIP to a real artist who actually gave a FCUK beyond some bull$hit complacency of towing the line all the way to the corporate art market.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Starving Artist


Joshua Abelow, Self Portrait, 2007


A year or two ago I came across this painter in my internet travels.  I am not physically present in the art world these days, so I limit my access to what I can dig up in the virtual.

Out of the majority of the art I have seen that is contemporary, this guy stuck out at me.  In general, he does the tongue in cheek thing like saying, "Ha, Ha, I have turned art over on its head and it will sell"!  Sort of like an internet troll, who purposefully throws out erroneous information to start a reaction.  I would compare him to Brian Belott, whom I know from past days at CANADA exhibitions.  

I would say that like in this image, Joshua Abelow is turning Picasso over, particularly late, "bad" Picasso.  In general, the "bad" in painting has become a sort of timestamp for the culture.  Perhaps because we have become so inundated with images, we react in such a way as to take what was normally ignored as bad taste and re-contextualize it?  You be the judge.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Day Man


UFO for Bar at Custom Tire


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Mural "SEA DREAM" painted today


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Retrofitted


Sunday, May 19, 2013

NDEWQ


Saturday, May 18, 2013

High and Mighty


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Artist= 1 Part Crazy, 2 parts Heart Sea


People want to entertain the insanely genius, eccentric, bizarre creative inspiration that artists live at least in fantasy.  Sherlock Holmes, Van Gogh tours or some bad rendering of Leonardo DaVinci on cable television for example, satisfy the banal attempt at living vicariously through the insanity of lone creative genius.  However, they do not want this on their doorstep or in their daughter's bed.  God forbid they actually have to deal with it in reality.  No, they just flip quickly to the "American Babylonian Idol" and get their dose of sublime mediocrity.  You see, all is a game.  The system, the money, the fame and on and on and on, and only an artist is willing to flip the card over to reveal the true chaos of it all.  That is why artists are 1 Part Crazy and 2 Parts Heart Sea.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Easter Monday 2008


Things got out of control for me at one point in my life and I had some kind of nervous breakdown.  Life's pressures will cave in and suck you in like a sinkhole.  Art has always been my anchor through life.  No matter where I go or what I do, I always have art to keep me inspired and moving forward through life's multiple circumstances.  This piece is special to me, because it was done at a time when I was going through some rough stuff.  Now I have this and other pieces to look back on with a reflective mind.

MasterDMT $ Earsnot 1997-98


I met Earsnot in 1997 when I was a student at SVA.  He stood out then as the smartest kid graffiti writer on the scene.  I knew he was headed for something great.  He came up to my studio and we did a couple quick jams on paper.  I still have this one.  He did the funny green man on the right.  He was clearly a genius and did not need any instruction about what to do and how to be culturally effective.  I'm glad to see he is so successful today.  He worked for it.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Agata Olek



Agata Olek is a very interesting artist based in NYC.  She does crochet and covers the world with it.  It seems to me to be a cross between graffiti ideas, Mike Kelley and Christo.  What is nice about it is that it takes so many conceptual ingredients and spins them out in a fresh way.  It doesn't seem to be overly concerned with galleries, like graffiti, but at the same time, it belongs within the framework of formal discussion.

The messages that are on many of the works are like memes that are reminiscent of Barbara Kruger.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Veiled Transformer Spirit


Friday, March 29, 2013

"You can't even trust the artists!"

This is a quote from my father.  My father is a cleric.  He has a lot of intelligent insights on things.  We were discussing the advent of smaller tech like Pebble and the future of cyborgism, human factors and ergonomics, etc.

We discussed as well the future of surveillance, drones over the USA, facial recognition technology, immediate access to one's data, etc.

My father said, "There will be always be a Neo.  You can't even trust the artists to be truly individual."

I think that says it all.

Think about it.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ancient Warrior 3


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tagging, Clouds, Virtual Graffiti, Semantic Web, Metaverses

About five years ago or so I wrote an essay about "Virtual Graffiti".  I talked about contemporary graffiti artists etc. and how the commodifying of graffiti by nature transformed its cultural value and meaning.  I also talked about the visual and conceptual components of graffiti culture and their relationship to Internet, information technology and virtual worlds in general.  All of this created by a computer, I imagined that graffiti would leave the streets and the general physicality of it, and enter a virtual world completely free of these restraints.  I am not down on graffiti at all, I love the art form, but I am interested in seeing where it might be going and what this will mean.  Also, in my understanding that it is not literal, it is anticipated to be something completely transformed and other.  The concept of graffiti is a starting point that is about getting memes out in the public eye rapidly and effectively.  Shepard Fairey's "OBEY" represented the conceptual crossover (from literal to conceptual hive mind) in the streets starting a whole wave of copycats.  He was beyond a name or a crew, and prognosticating anonymity in the web.  Now the wall is a web page and a cloud.  Avoiding literal interpretations it remains new, as in neologism new, in spite of the ever increasing attempt to create a data structure that is more fluid, defined and intelligent.

My opinion is that this has happened.  I am not saying I predicted it, but perhaps in my own naive way had a sense of what was going to happen.  I think that hash tagging and tag clouds are an expression of this idea.  With W3C Semantic Web this is going to get even more translated in its virtuality by hyperlinking, data and ideational expressions with greater speed, relativity and revelatory presence.  Hacktivism too is its own version of graffiti mind, seeing the internet as a way to get information out quickly to the largest audience possible.

Street tagging aesthetically has been sort of prescient of the tag clouds that would eventually make their way onto web pages.  You might think it is not the same thing, but as we virtualize and cloud our collective consciousness through computing, we might not even be living in the "natural world" as it were.  I'm thinking something like Logan's Run,  in the sense that our hive mind will take us into another dimension through computing.  Therefore, the modes of expression, both legal and illegal will follow to these realms.  I do not know anything and I am not saying I know what it is, but this is what I see.  How we use it, will decide the next steps in our evolution as creators of metaverses.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Source Robot


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ZZ


Chad Dugas, Alchemical Spectre



Trips to the quantum cosmic supermarket feeding back loops and twirls of consciousness spraying off the Christened waves of Oversoul.  Back flips through candy cane mind gardens and free falls into dark, twirling vortexes of Scorpion lairs.

My friend, brother, cohort, colleague, collaborator, co-inspirator, infinite jester on the checkerboard of life...Chad Dugas.  I don't know if you can call him an artist, a fool, a genius, an idiot savant, anarchic yogi or what?  I have never met anyone like him.  I would call him a Wizard Alchemist who dabbles in all of the above when it suits his fancy or he is conjuring up his tutelary spirits.  Either way, we started in the rave scene back to the old traditional college days to later years in Gotham, hashing it out in the bat cave.  Blessings brother from here to there.

Monday, February 25, 2013

UFO and Wondermountains


Friday, February 15, 2013

Montauk Alien


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Plex Needs Cheese


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Con $ Piracy






There is a dark side that seeks to control through manipulative means.  It lives within each and everyone of us, as well as without.  When we engage the world, we are in a conspiracy.  Con-Spirare.  Spirits living and breathing together.  The more light we become, the more aware we become of our psychic power.  We can use this to cut through the dark and shed light on an occult world.  There is nothing to really fear, but since we all have to pay a price, death awaits.  Make use of your time, fight the dark with peace, be creative, share your talents and ideas with others and bring something of true value to this world.

The forces that seek to control us are ultimately extensions of ourselves.  When we become more integrated and spiritual, we will watch these aspects fade away with time.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Universal Transformer Clown


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Exits of the Heart

No stones left for the elders
I exit stages from the heart
a new beginning sets me free
from old chains of past woes
Once again children rain down to eternal shores
Linear places of solar bliss
no judgment comes from the One
only time and space
to contain you
like we have seen
again and again
our destiny is
time forgotten in
the shake of a tremoring
world

Friday, January 4, 2013

Montauk Project


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Me in my studio at SVA 1997


Tommy Lanigan-Schmidt

Tommy in his apartment in Hell's Kitchen.  Tommy was my teacher at SVA.  I think he is a true artist.  Not a pedant per se, but someone who "walks the walk".  There were so many @$$wholes at SVA, but Tommy had the voice that said, "do it your own way!".  Not that any artist needs anyone to tell them that, but institutions are full of them and more and more the method is about total conformity.  The other extreme are people who quit and rebel and think it makes them somehow more "real".  SVA for me was a way to get into NYC.  Otherwise, I would have had to live on the street.  I was still trying to carve it out as a graffiti artist then, but I discovered early on, as much as I was influenced by graffiti, I did not want to just be another graffiti artist. 

Tommy was a protege of Jack Smith.


Meta Aranoidicus-Paul Laffoley


I talk about Paul pretty much all of the time in one way or another.  I have never met another artist like him.  For me, Paul is perhaps the greatest artistic genius I have ever met.  I think of him as a friend as well.  I have had at least the  pleasure of being in his studio and talking with him from time to time.  I have the highest respect for him and his influence is without question.

This is a design that for me takes Gaudi's spiritual leanings and brings to a scientifically visionary form of completion.  Paul is possibly our Leonardo da Vinci.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Virtual Baroque and World Wide Web

I am realizing more and more that this baroque nature in the arts is a "Virtual Baroque", because it is a reference to the pluralism in styles evident in the visual field and is deeply connected to technological orgy which supports it virtually.  The World Wide Web is a "virtual galaxy gallery" and assemblage of ideas and visual creations.

Very simply it is a feedback loop as well, as in the concept put forth by Cybernetics, which simultaneously creates a virtual realm that flowers and grows rhythmically.  However, it is loops within loops, all dispersed, interconnected like wires in some Brazilian favela.  It works somehow, but there is no way to decipher the "how".  I see a multitude of art/visual cultural galaxies, each one independent, yet connect to a larger picture.  There is always an interplay of dualities, however they forge chaos and order in such a way that the play-doh quality allows all potential formations.

Just go the mall today (in any suburban town for that matter) and look around you at the globalism that jumps out into your face.

There are so many styles, ideas and realities coming together, brands being melded, identities being forged, cultures "clashing".

It is a tessellated, fractalized field of sociocultural experience.

There is no beginning or end, only change.

It is evident that there would naturally be some psychosis developing as a result of this schizoid experience, but yet, it is being held together by technological bliss, the tap of texting or the next Twitter feed.

I sit back and watch and keep on drawing.