Saturday, December 16, 2006

Holiday Stuffing.

While housesitting for my friend Cynthia in Seacliff NY for the week of Thanksgiving, I worked on several small pieces I brought with me. These images are of a few of the things I toyed with while I was waiting for paint to dry on my slough paintings.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Come Gather Round at Unison

Here are some images from the opening and exhibit at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz in which I'm involved in with Peter Iannarelli, and Angelika. The gist of the show revolved around stories and the things we are told when we're young.

Angelika photographed images of the of us enacting scenes from Rapunzel and Hansel and Gretel. The images were projected and traced on paper creating large coloring sheets of the scenes.

Peter approached the nature of stories like the three little pigs with a couple of text pieces.

My contribution to the show consisted of a couple of groupings some drawings and paintings, both old and new and some recent wall based sculptures that recall the impact of hearing of prophesies in the book of revelations explained to me by my grandfather.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Clean sweep

I received a phone call last week from Todd Spire informing me of the closing of the restaurant, OII. It seems that although the joint was packed on weekends, it was quiet for the rest of the week, and apparantly, the rent wasn't paid. A group of my paintings had been hanging in the restaurant for a good part of this past year. My days have been full installing work for the new inaugural exhibit at the Hessel Museum at Bard College that is opening on Nov. 12, but fortunately, I had a free afternoon and access to a box truck, and I was able to sweep the paintings out of there in short order before anything happened to them.
OII was a great addition to Beacon, unfortunately there just isn't the saturation of clientele to counter the inflated rents being charged.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Recombinant rtna

In wondering what I would contribute to Phyllis Lerud's Annual garden party/art show in Denver earlier this month, I dug out some small paintings on masonite from several years ago and joined them together with some of the materials I've been most interested in of late: masonite panelling, and "cast" latex paint. These new diptychs/assemblages are still small, most are under 10" in dimension.

The art of business

Several weeks ago, I was struck by the unusual blue glow coming from the sign from one of Beacon's Main St gas stations. It turns out the station owners switched fuel suppliers, and this tarp was up for a week or two until a new sign was installed. The effect on the street soft and easy on the eyes, not like the harsh glare one becomes accostumed to.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Much of my attention has been absorbed by the Beacon Windows on Main St project that just concluded this past week. Putting the show together had me feeling burnt out days before it actually opened. Then there was controversy relating to one of the pieces created by Elia Gurna for the library. Details on this can be found at - check the link in the sidebar.

I was in Miami this past weekend for Angelika's opening at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery. It was a quick 36 hrs in Miami. The week prior to that I was in DC for a job for several days. I was able to catch the Keifer show at the Hirshorn with Matt Kinney. I wish we had opted to see the Venetian Painting exhibit at the National Gallery instead.

It's felt like eons since I've been able to spend any substantial time in the studio. I've been able to squeeze out moments over the past week, prepping things to jump into. I'm ready for it.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The wall is dead. Long live the wall

Blesse III
latex paint, joint compound

I had wanted to create a new wall piece in this new series of work "Blesse", but before that I had to remove two pieces and prep the wall. I was finally able to take the other two pieces down, and begin work on the third when I was in the studio two weeks ago. Below are images from the removal of the two pieces. The excercise with this work has been to create a form that seamlessly emerges as some abnormality from the wall.
I found that I enjoyed the deconstructed elements that were added to the pieces as I carved into the wall to remove them. This may be another direction to take with this work. The images below trace the removal of Blesse I and II.

Blesse I deconstruct

Blesse I shadow

Blesse II deconstruct

Blesse II shadow

Monday, August 14, 2006

back into it

A major portion of the past two weeks was taken up with final preparations for the Windows On Main St. project in Beacon, which opened this past Saturday. While not an extremely grand event in and of itself, it took an amazing amount of time, and thought communicating with artists, businesses, and trying to create related materials, like maps, lables, a marketing material on time. At times grueling, I felt I had surely burnt myself out this time.
But the project opened this weekend, with only minor technical difficulties, and the result is exciting. 29 storefronts along Beacon's Main St. currently sport artwork or an installation by an artist. I'm pleased with the variety of work both in treatment, size, and complexity, but also in style.
For me this project stands less importantly as an event (which it is as a way to promote Beacon as a place to visit, and as an event, it was realized by the help and support of the Beacon Art Community Assoc, and the Dutchess County Arts Council,) as an opportunity for artists to use the city as a lab for experimenting with ideas, and teasing out new possibilities for themselves by creating a composition out of the fabric of public life. I look at this as an opportunity to share ideas about place and space, let the public get a glimpse into the varied manner in which many artists approach an uncommon common problem, and hopefully tweak just a bit the way the public experiences its daily visual life for a time. The goal of this for me is not to create a selection of polished resolved works of art, which is what some in the community might expect, but to alter the visible landscape of our routine, invigorating a bit how we experience a familiar place. I think we've been able to do this in this second year of the project more than the first, and while last week I was swearing off organizing any future endeavors, I'm excited by the possibilities of next year. One of the aspects of this that has been most gratifying has been the feedback from some artists for whom this process was a very positive experience, and allowed them to explore a new vein of thought or manner of working, and now may be able to take some of this experience back into the studio to see how it may inform their ongoing work. This is why I do these things I do, and it makes me glad that I can do them. Now I'm exceedingly glad that I can return to my studio, and fully jump into something new.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Windows on Main St, Bannerman Commuter Project

The Poughkeepsie journal has a story today on the Bannerman Commuter Project. I'm seeking photos of Bannerman Island taken from riders on the Metronorth and Amtrak trains. I will create some form a window installation with the images at the Bannerman Island Gallery at 150 Main St in Beacon. More info on the Windows on Main St, which I'm organizing with Karlos Carcamo and Greg Slick.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Work schedule, events and trying to keep somewhat up to date on maykr have led me to neglect this blog as of late. I was fortunate to spend an amazingly full day in the studio last Saturday, and a good amount of time on Sunday as well. I'll be posting a few images from my activities on those days.

We are in the final stages of organizing the 2006 installment of Windows on Main St in Beacon.

The Dutchess County Arts Council has done an artist profile on me this week which is featured on their website, and in Benjamin Krevolin's weekly column in the Taconic Weekend.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Catching Up

Loads of obligations had me running from the end of May through the entire month of June. A painting gig, and a couple of gigs installing exhibitions at ICP, and the CCS at Bard College were all jammed together.
I'm now just getting a chance to take stock.

So we opened the Change of Altitude show at Spire on June 23. This is the one half of an exhibit exchange between various artists of Beacon, and the artist members of EDGE Gallery in Denver. There are nearly 20 artists from each group participating in the shows. The exhibit of Beacon art is called New York Expansion. Both exhibits will be on view through July 16. The main gist of the shows was to create work that can fit, and be shipped in USPS Flat Rate Priority boxes, and then expand when installed.
I'll be posting a couple of images of both exhibits here shortly. There will also be images posted at

This is my contribution to the NY Expansion show, Flat Rate Valise. I used the priority box as the container, and the structure for the piece. The elements were glued to the box, which was sliced open, and unfolded after arriving in Denver.

Now my attention has shifted to preparations for the Windows on Main St project here in Beacon. This is the 2nd year for the project, and we are a little ahead of where we were last year, but not as far as I was hoping we'd be. I'm excited to see this project grow in the coming years. Basically, artists are creating installations in storefront windows along Main St. Eventually, I'd like to see this become sort of a non-event - meaning that instances like this simply occur as a matter of course in town, and they don't have to stand as some unique event.

With a break in work, I've been able to reestablish a studio schedule within the last 10 days. I'm really feeling the potential of small things, and enjoying a sense of open ended exploration with the melange of items that I've stockpiled in the studio. The way that I'm currently feeling in the studio is much like my feelings of last year as I was preparing for my bau 6 show. This sensation is exciting, and a bit of a trip, and rare for me. I really hit a zone last year preparing for that show. The exhibit was a great impetus, and set the conditions for the kind of exploration that I was doing, but ultimately, the pressure of "finishing" work, and setting up the exhibit cut the momentum off at the knees. Essentially, if you cast off the mechanations of this past year, it's almost like the momentum has not been lost, and I'm picking up where I left of.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Below is my Munny after my intervention. I cast his head in a cement cube, nixed the arms, extended his legs and slathered them with plaster.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Reception in Peekskill, June 11 12-3 pm

I'll be having a reception on June 11 from 12-3 pm at the Coulter Young Gallery at Division St Grill in Peekskill NY. The Division St Grill is located at 26 North Division St.

The yearly Open Studio tour event in Peekskill will be happening both Saturday and Sunday, so there will much to see in Peekskill this coming weekend.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Munny Show - Denver June 9-July 14

My Munny will be in the Munny Show at Capsule Gallery in Denver, CO from June 9-July 14. This Munny show is a collaboration between Capsule, and Plastic Chapel, a store for designer toys in Denver owned by my pals Dea and Dave (they have some very cool stuff. Ray Young Chu has images of the store/gallery.) The show will consist of manipulated munnies manipulations created by a bunch of folks. The Munnies will be sold via an ebay auction.

Below are a couple before images of my Munny. Shortly, I will post the after image.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Artma 2006 update

Several weeks ago I received the recap of the Artma auction held in Denver in February. The event raised over $100,000 with $80,000 directly coming from the sale of artwork.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More images of Garden Variety

A few images of Garden Variety in situ at Maxwell Fine Arts

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Garden Variety in 9 Parts

This is an image of Garden Variety in my studio. This is the piece that I have installed in the sculpture garden at Maxwell Fine Arts in Peekskill NY for the "Unexpected Visitors" group exhibit. The piece consists of 9 16x16" cement pavers with plaster and latex paint elements imbedded.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Unexpected Visitors at Maxwell Fine Arts in Peekskill NY

I have a sculpture in a group show at Maxwell Fine Arts in Peekskill NY. The show is called "Unexpected Visitors" and features work from many artists from around the Hudson Valley. My piece is in the sculpture garden of the gallery.

The show runs from April 21 - July 2.

The opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 22 from 3-6pm.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Reception at OII Restaurant

Thanks to everyone that came out last night to have some drinks and share some tapas. And thanks to OII for providing the great food and atmosphere.

I appreciate it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The good the great and the utterly imbecilic

There is an ever growing population of public throughout the Denver metro area. It can be hit and miss, but I think the overall direction of the quality of the work is improving. The one major exception to this trend is Jonathan Borofsky's "Let's Dance." The approximately $1.5M sculpture stands at about 60 feet high, has an audio component of music composed by the artist emanating from its base, and represents part of the legacy of Denver's previous bloated mayor and his wife.
Borofsky's Let's Dance

The parcel of land was intended to a garden for permanent and temporary installations of sculpture. Unfortunately, the self-indulgent scale and lack of nuance of the Borofsky piece precludes the ability to effectively share the grounds with any other sculpture. Lest anyone believe that bad art is a wholly benign phenomenon, a traveling group of Bernar Venet sculptures were place in the garden along with the Borofsky dancers with unfortunate results for the distinct, graceful Venet forms. The difference in scale, and the insipid silliness of the Borofsky undercut the integrity of the Venets, making them feel like the detritus of party favors strewn underfoot of the goofy dancers. (I wish I had taken an image of this)
Certainly, Borofsky's work doesn't hold much interest for me, save for his series of sketched records of his dreams. I can certainly understand the potential mass appeal of his work, however, to say that Borofsky mailed it in when he developed this piece would overstate the level of creative investment the artist made in the conception of the project. In a radio interview in 2003, Borofsky cited the white snow capped Rockies and the white roof of Denver International Airport as having an impact on him and alluded to a linkage with the white of the sculpture. Perhaps he couldn't be bothered to mail it in himself, and got a neighborhood kid to do it.
As much as I disliked the sculpture when it first went up, I allowed for the possibility that it would at some point grow on me. It hasn't.

Bernar Venet's Indeterminate line

Half a block away, and a bargain at $600,000 is a large Bernar Venet titled "Indeterminate line" that is a solid, elegant demonstration of public sculpture.

Two Venet sculptures that were a part of a traveling exhibit in the yard at Ironton Studios where they came for repair after falling off a truck.

Let it not be said that I prefer my public sculpture without humor. My favorite piece is by Lawrence Argent (I can't find the title) sited on a median of South Broadway.

Lawrence Argent sculpture

The intense color and weirdness of this piece struck me immediately, and positively so. This sculpture is the greenest bit of landscaping you'll see anywhere in Denver, as natural grasses planted around it's base shows. The sculpture relates to the madness for the green carpet of lawn that obsesses so many and stands as a testament to the fact that no amount of water or effort can really turn this semi arid desert into a lush oasis. I feel this piece is also riffing on the rise of the formal aesthetic that is architecturalizing the landscape of such medians, gated communities and city boundaries that has been a trend here for several years. Another Argent piece was recently erected in Downtown Denver last fall, and I saw it for the first time on this trip. "I see what you mean" is a 40-foot tall blue bear that is peeking into the glass atrium of the Convention Center. Here's a picture. This sculpture seems very popular with folks, and it is entertaining. I don't know exactly how I feel about it. Certainly it is big, and fun. (as opposed to big and stupid; see Borofsky above.) I like the way the piece interacts with the building, and engages the audience. I just wonder if we are stepping into the realm of theme park art with giant infantalized sculptures that tickle everyone pink. An initial thought I had when I first saw the sculpture was that the blue bear reminded me strongly to the logo of the SCFD (Scientific & Cultural Facilities District) which is the public funding organization for cultural events, and has a bear as its mascot.

I expect there will be future public projects by Argent, and I'm looking forward to seeing whatever he comes up with next.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

DAM addition, and the Clyfford Still Museum site

On Sunday March 19, I headed down to my old neighborhood to photograph the current state of the Daniel Libeskind addition to the Denver Art Museum. As I stated in the previous post, over the past couple of years, I managed not to have my camera on hand to photograph. Seeing the progress of this building as I've returned periodically has been fascinating. The time when the skeletal structure was being constructed was the most striking period, and one when I wish I had snapped some images. The array girders and beams, each one unique and set on extreme on an extreme angle looked like the giant spawn of the smaller DiSuvero piece in the adjacent plaza. Such is the nature of the bones of this building, that at the time I felt disapointmented that the structure would need to be sheathed. The building is dramatic as it reaches over 13th, toward the exsisiting DAM tower designed by Gio Ponti. I was sceptical of this plan when the drawings were first released, but upon seeing a model of the building at a presentation Libeskind held for neighborhood residents, I saw that, in relation to the exsisting museum, and the Micheal Graves designed Library, the new addition could create a dynamic, and surpising presence that would further unite the other two structures.

Michael Paglia of Westword has written extensively and insightfully on the progress of the building over the years. If you're interested, I suggest doing a search in his archived articles for more on the development of the building. I understand the Fredric C.Hamilton building is scheduled for completion in the coming fall.

View from the North. Denver Public Library on the left, the Museum Cafe and entrance in foreground right.

Close up view with Mark DiSuvero's Lao Tzu.

View from East on 13th Ave

View from East

View from South. Though less dramatic than the north elevation, I think this is my favorite viewpoint of the museum.

Two Views of the location chosen for the Clyfford Still Museum:

The Gio Ponti designed portion of the DAM is on the far left side, with the new Libeskind addition in the background and right. In the Foreground are (I believe) the three parcels that are to be claimed for the Still Museum. On the left is a parking lot currently being used for DAM construction. In the center, an office building, and on the right, set back from the street is a minisitry organization.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Third Friday in Denver

I have made a point of making sure I have my camera with me as I head around Denver. On several occasions over the past couple of years, I have wanted to photograph the various stages of progress on the new wing of the Denver Art Museum, but simply never did. Alas, I did manage to head downtown last Sunday morning, camera in hand and took several images of the addition, which is set to officially open in the fall. I will be posting those images as soon as possible.

Photographs, video by Emily Von Swearingen

Narrative projection by Emily Von Swearingen

Poetry, photo installation by Jake Adam York

On the previous Friday, March 17, I went over to an opening for "Between Words" an exhibit of photographs, and projections by Emily Von Swearingen and poetry by Jake Adam York at Ironton Studios. Ironton is located north and east of downtown, and it is a part of the newly branded arts district called RiNo. Still predominantly an industrial area, there have been various studios, and galleries migrating here for a couple of years.

I left Ironton, to catch an event at El Museo de Las Americas on Santa Fe. On the third Friday of each month during the current exhibit, "Never Leaving Aztlan," the museum hosts Lucha Libre. Meant to be a debate between two artists in a cage match atmosphere, the evening is divided into five "rounds" that allow the participants to discuss and show their own work, and field questions from the emcee and the audience on topics related to art, culture, and ethnicity. The concept of the series is good, and could prove to be entertaining and engaging. In practice, however, the participants of this evening were neither entertaining, engaging, or enlightening. This is really a performance, and for it to work, the participants must be prepared to perform. Instead they were a bit awkward, which could be understandable, but they could not stay on topic or keep their orations short. The evening was a bit painful, and even more boring. I was intrigued by the event, as it sounded somewhat similar to an idea I have been mulling over for a while back in Beacon. Sort of a friday night fights, pitting artists against one another with the prize being an exhibit of some form. Kind of like a match of creative King of the Hill. I left at the beginning of the fifth and final round, and headed up to the Highlands to check out the offerings at EDGE, and Pirate.

EDGE benefit exhibit

EDGE was presenting expressionistic abstract collage paintings by Susan Berkley in the first room, a benefit auction in the second room, and an airy installation of eggshells labled with text relating to entities of main stream culture by Hans Wolfe in the back room.

Sometime last fall, Pirate had contracted spatially, and donned a new store front entrance. Since then, an new coop called Next has opened on the corner, occupying space relinquished by Pirate. The face lift of the building lacks the edgy character it once had, and though not fully gentrified in appearance, it feels a bit tamed now. Pirate seemed to be having an opening that night, although it was somewhat quiet compared to past openings. Next door at Next, it seemed there was an open entry, or juried show that felt completely random. My impression was that this was their first or second show, and in the spirit of a housewarming they opened the door for participation to anyone who chose to do so. Fortunately, EDGE still carries its perpetual solid look of an indifferent fortress across the street from its neutered neighbors. The drawback to EDGE's appearance is that to the untrained eye, it can be difficult to discern whether it is open or not.

The first Friday of the month is the night that carries the most punch, currently, with crowded openings in the galleries lining Santa Fe Blvd. The crowd here is large, and young, and it's a definite scene. The Santa Fe district has been in assention since the late 90's whenI had my studio in the neighboring Golden Triangle district and they were just beginning to get organized. Since then a number of galleries and some studios have moved in, including Core and Spark, two long running co-ops that have moved in together in the space vacated some two years ago by Fresh Art. Being that it was not the first, but the third friday, there was not much going on save the match of wills over at the museo. The Santa Fe scene is definitely a big draw and it has diverted some attention from the likes of EDGE and Pirate which have been in their present location for a very long time now and are a bit like the old men on the hill. The challenge for Pirate, EDGE, along with Next, Zip 37, and the neighboring Bug theater is to convey a fresh currency when other young trendy scenes continue popping up in different parts of town.