Monday, December 28, 2009

Forget Christmas in July. This is the Christmas in January Super Fine Art Giveaway!!


I was inspired by the packages of marshallow candies Meine Frau Noodle purchased to send off to family in Germany to use the discarded boxes as frames for small paintings.

 Ribbons & Stitches

I created a series of acrylic on masonite paintings (6"x9") that would be framed by the candy boxes. I liked the paintings, but wasn't crazy with what was going on with the interaction of paint and package. So I made another set using pieces of drywall on which I incised in places and painted with acrylic.

Reindeer Garland

I'm giving away seven of the eight paintings you see here by random drawing to fans of my Facebook Page.  (The candy cane piece at top is already going to my mom.)  There aren't that many fans of the page, so your chance of getting something is pretty darn good.  So if you'd like a chance to start the new year with a little reward, visit the page and become a fan by Jan 3, 2010.  I'll conduct the drawing and notify the lucky winners on Jan 4.

Green Zip

Think about it.  You deserve a treat.  Christmas is over, what do you have to look forward to now?.....A little sweet something arriving in the mail from yours truly, That's What!!

Marshmallow 1



Marshmallow 2

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh Christmas Thing 2009

Christmas decorating came early and inadvertently this year.  Shortly after my open studio in Sept, I did some shuffling here, a little shifting there and before I knew it, voila!, this year's Christmas Thing was very magically born.  It's a good thing too.  I knew after last year that I needed to step away from the crutch of garland and lights to formulate my annual yuletide alter of the mundane.  Although I adore the scent of real garland, and real Christmas trees, I needed to go deeper to formulate the emblems of my Christmases to come.  This year's specimen is a real contender in my mind.
As you can gather from this and previous years' Christmas Things, I don't necessarily strain myself in the fabrication of these yuletide alters. I'm no Clark Griswold. 
But as with any other expression of seasonal cheer, these pieces elevate some designated niche filled with any ordained collection of items to a position that is worthy of gazing upon and projecting upon, any personally held notions of peace, family, giving, or crass commercialization that one attributes to this festive season. 

These amalgamations and the spirit with which I view their creation are as dear to me as any of those memories of the natural or artificial, flocked or not Christmas trees, garlands, tangles of lights and copious amounts of baked goodness of my Christmases past.

There's much about the Christmas season from which I have worked to sequester myself, but those aspects that I do relish; the atmosphere (physical, ethereal, and nostalgic), the taint of expectation, the sense of specialness that is attributed to certain gestures be they grand or not are the things I respond to.  Those are the abstractions (the good things)  formed at the fringe of this massive stress-filled hustle-bustle, overindulged merchandised moment.  And for me, for this moment, these Ritz boxes, that flattened Miller Lite 6 pack carrier, that polka dot sunglass case I found on the street, that stack of cardboard pallet feet from the packaging of our Ikea sofa and that spiral of Astroturf scrap are all imbued with those wonderful notions that waft in on gentle holiday currents.

Meet yer Maykr: Jim White

While in Denver back in November, I paid a visit to Jim White in his studio to pick up his contribution to the kork Advent project.
While there, I shot some images of Jim's space and a bit of the nascent works of various forms he has in progress.

I met Jim in the late 90's at a group exhibit he was participating in at Revolucciones space in Denver.  I was struck by his facility for drawing and his compositional treatments.  I bought two paintings from that exhibit and we've been in and out of contact ever since.
As I'm writing this, I'm recalling an instant during an exhibit I had at EDGE gallery in 2002.  At the same time, Jim had a show up across the street at Pirate.   Having run over to check out Jim's show, I came away feeling very envious of his work.  I can't say now what it was in particular that drew that reaction out of me, and I can't actually remember what I saw - that portion of the memory has been drowned out by response to it.  It's the only time I can remember feeling that way toward someone elses work.  It was a short but sharp sensation.

A box of antique player piano rolls that Jim is starting to use in his collages, such as he did for his Dec 19 contribution to the kork Advent project.

A personalized valentine.

Jim said that he's just now returning to drawing and painting after a period in which he's been involved in creating small foamcore sculptures.  These table top sculpture sit somewhere in between misguided architectural models and a fanciful scheme for cultural merchandising.  Jim thinks of  to these as miniature monuments; each one a lilliputian ode to the heyday of macho plop art.

In time, these pieces will receive some form of paint treatment.  We began discussing possible applications of these for a future kork project....stay tuned for that later in 2010.

Some images of Jim's workspace:

 The two untitled works from (98, 99?) currently hanging in my bedroom.

You can view past Meet yer Maykr studio visits at

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In the neighborhood

There's a sculpture that suddenly appeared in the front yard of a house just up the block. I noticed it yesterday on my way to the gym. 
It's an alright piece;  One that I might notice if it were in a public park or civic setting, although it maybe a bit generic in that public sculpture kind of way.  But in this setting (complete with a plaque with artist name and sculpture title: Robert Giordano; First Gate) the work definitely has more of a charge.

Part of this charge comes from the surprising context of this work sitting on a residential front lawn.  It's a slight tangle in relation to the otherwise uprightness of the line of Victorian homes on the block.  Perhaps the only really odd thing about the presence of the sculpture here is that it is not festooned with Christmas lights.  And although the popularity of those inflatable Christmas lawn figures push the envelope of scale even further than this comparatively modest structure,  the other reason I think it works here is the relationship of the work's size to its setting. The sculpture dominates the square of lawn on which it sits in a wonderfully almost-claustrophobic manner.  Lawns are tedious, tiresome uses of space, but here that bit lawn has been deputized into an actual purpose of framing and supporting the sculpture.  The ratio of sculpture to grass here turns the normal sculpture to sculpture park relationship on its head - and it works really well in this situation....unlike this similarly but less successful tweaking of scale in a public work.

It gave me a lift to see it there.  It also reminded me of how uninterested I am in the bulk of sculpture in sited in natural settings, or conventional civic settings.

I'm intrigued by the thought of having a sculpture tour that takes place in the front lawns of residences, if only for the novelty and the potential for the absurd. 


I'm in the fourth day of what I'm considering my year-end, at-home residency.  I'm still in the mode of getting things set up and situating myself in preparation for full on studio time for the next couple of weeks.  Today was a good day.
Pictured here are a couple of small pastels that I've been kicking out in the past couple of months.  I'll be regularly posting the fruits of these coming two weeks at regular intervals...

The downside of today has been that I just discovered that in a recent zealousness to clear disk space, I inadvertently deleted an entire year's worth of Maykr photos.  Fortunately, all of the photos I uploaded to Maykr in the past year are archived there.  Although I was hoping to pull out a couple for a post I was planning here.....and they're gone.  It's the first time I've lost images like this...I generally have a dirth of copies on different drives...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A short night out for Second Saturday in Beacon

We made it out on a very cold Saturday night for Second Saturday.  It seems like it had been quite a while since we last ventured out.  We started out at Van Brunt to check out the Kathy Feighery, Sydney Cash exhibit. 

One of Kathy's larger pieces in the show.

Two of Sydney Cash's paintings.

Mission Church performing at bau, featuring Gary O'Connor wearing a cool hat on guitar.

Peter Iannarelli working his charms on Angelika and Elia Gurna at bau.

We then stopped into School of Jellyfish (my first time) enjoyed some very good gluwine with proprietors Lilly and Oliver and ended the evening at the the BCN/Beahive holiday party at the Beahive HQ.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

bau 60: Dec 12, 2009- Jan 3, 2010

bau is holding a reunion exhibit of most of the various member artists from the coop's 5 years.  
In the process of formulating my contribution to the show, my mind immediately tracked back to seeing the character of the space before it became bau.  Prior to our taking possession of the space, I photographed it through the storefront windows.  It was mess and the walls carried vestiges of previous lives as a record shop and as a bar.  Below are a few of those photos.  At the time I was intrigued by the amalgamation of textures, wall paper, florescent paint and posters that were subsequently covered by the gallery's walls.

My response for this exhibit harkens back to this introduction to the location.  I decided that I wanted to create a piece that would reveal some glimpse of that life lurking behind the drywall.  I was given the green light by Gary Jacketti (the sole remaining member of the original 6 artists that started the space) to go forth.
I knew there were interesting characteristics within the walls.  I didn't know what I would end up with once I started cutting into the wall.  As I sawed through the wallboard on Thursday night, I was thinking about how this piece is an expression of my compulsion for archiving and documenting some previous state of something. 

My plan was originally to continue the slice from ceiling to floor.  When I got to around the four foot level, I stopped.  I can't remember exactly why, but I didn't feel anything would be gained from going lower.  What can't be seen in the photos are lines drawn in pencil intended to guide my cutting.  The transition from open wall to an extension of the cuts to the pencil felt right and I guess that's primarily what made me step away.   

Another motivation for doing this piece is that I've been less than inspired by the nature of the work that's been rolling through bau over the past couple of years.  With a few exceptions, the work exhibited has been rather conventional and staid.  I'm not saying anything I do, or what was done in the first year of bau was particularly exceptional, but I do think that there was a willingness among the broader body of artists to take a chance and do something outside of the normal mode of operation for each person.  This sense of exploration may have been manifested in a material new to the artist, or a collaboration that resulted in something unexpected - uncalculated - but whatever it was, it seemed more more evident in the early days (to my perception).   I just don't sense a churning creative vibe coming off the joint that much anymore. As I said, there are exceptions that have been sprinkled throughout the past couple of years.  I particularly dug on the series Art/New York screenings hosted by bau early this year.  Of course it's a matter of personal taste. That being the case, I couldn't see myself simply choosing yet another painting or assemblage to tack on the wall.  It's just not interesting to me, and there wouldn't be anything I can add to a group show such as this that would distinguish it much. 
This piece is an excercise in cutting through the prim fussyness that has, on occasion, befallen the gallery .  It's a gentle jibe, framed in an undulating scallop of kitsch. In the end though, in a room filled with art it becomes, as with anything, just another thing on the wall.

Also participating in bau 60 are: Jane Blake, Michael Gaydos, Carla Goldberg, Tom Holmes, Peter Iannarelli, Gary Jacketti, Joann Klein, Tony Moore, Franc Palaia, Linda Richichi, Angelika Rinnhofer, Christopher Staples, Elizabeth Winchester, Grey Zeien, Lisa Zukowski.

The wall cut along with work by Tom Holmes, Lisa Zukowski and Tony Moore.

Peter Iannarelli's work on the floor between paintings by Linda Richichi and Joann Klein.

Angelika Rinnhofer's video.

Monday, December 07, 2009

kork Advent is in full effect

The collection of Advent works and accompanying texts on the board of kork.  
James Westwater's work from Dec 5 is visible here.

kork Advent is underway.  I'm now in the second week of sending out the daily emails that are part of the project.  The project is a calendar of sorts that lives both in physical form in the office of Bailey Browne CPA & Assoc. in Poughkeepsie, where each day the staff at the office advances the calendar to the next artwork, and as a daily email that arrives in the inbox of subscribers for the month of December.

Putting this thing together has had me thinking of our days and what they mean. 
A day is a wedge of infinity framed by goal posts.  At once an inconsequential, increment and momentous.  
A day can be alright.  Any given day can be your best, your worst, your first and your last.

But how many of us consider the days we pass through?  This one, the last one or the next?  Perhaps plenty do, for themselves, but each day is really a torrent of billions of days for those souls in this world which honor that unit of measure.  

Alastair Dewell's contribution for Dec. 7

Concurrent to my own, there are millions of other people's days.  Some hundreds of them rub up against my own - generally unreflected upon.
I heard Lawrence Weiner say in an interview, speaking about his manhole cover works, that his intent wasn't to fuck up someone's day.  He wanted to fuck up someone's life.  

Scores of page-a-day calendars are full of one line buttresses against a bad day.  Messages of empowerment, encouragement and bolster to face and, put a good face, on each day.  In a small way, I think some days in December may be fucked by the advent project.  The array of the artists' works and their accompanying texts demonstrate the abundance of wonderful, demoralizing, or heartening experiences each day holds.