Monday, July 25, 2011

James Westwater - and me at Beacon NY's Beacon Theatre

A few shots from the hanging of paintings at the Beacon Theatre in Beacon, NY.  The theatre is going through a major renovation, during which, the lobby will be used for performances and events.   Recent works by myself and James Westwater face off with each other from opposite walls of the lobby in this first exhibit organized by Jennifer Mackiewicz.  

I snapped a few photos as we were hanging the paintings last weekend.  There will be reception held on Saturday, August 13th....probably starting around 6pm.
I'll be taking some better photos here shortly.

In the two images above are three recent paintings of mine, all finished in 2011.

Below are James' three works created using giant pieces of "driftwood" material gathered from the Hudson river shore in Beacon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In the Studio

It's like a fort of paintings splayed aroung the space this week.  I've got larger paintings leaning - against walls, furniture and each other - all over the place like the first floor of a house of cards.  Here are three of them - as seen from my place of repose on the couch.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Eye Candy Friday: Priming One's Appetite


Well, it's been all Cy Twombly all the time here at Kamp Maykr for the past few days.  Since the artist's death on Tuesday, I've been prowling through the internet, following wormholes of information and personal reflections on the man's work and taking measure of my own feelings about his work.  I had the thought today that I'd gladly agree to submit to some experimental scan of my brain to determine what goes on in there when I see a work by Twombly, be it a painting, drawing, sculpture.  His photographs are knockout images their beautiful, rich in a dizzy worn out way.  They embody a fair amount impact.  But I receive them in a slightly different manner than the other works.  Angellika, who's in Berlin at the moment emailed the image above (and another less clear detail image) to me today just after her trip to the Hamburger Bahnhof (she was graced with the luck last week to see an exhibit of 120 of his photographs at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich).  Upon simply clicking to enlarge the detail jpg I discerned an immediate increase in the amount of saliva in my mouth.  Pavlovian, for sure.  I don't remember when I first discovered Twombly.  I do know that I was first introduced to his "chalkboard" paintings and I was immediately drawn in by them.  There's some sort of hard wiring in my reaction when presented with the majority of his works.  I must say that it has taken longer for me to warm up to some of the large ginormous flower works in recent years.  One thing that was clear to me from early when viewing his works is the recognition that  I was and am utterly incapable of creating paintings such paintings. I'm so grateful that he's been able to make such paintings.  I think his work has been instrumental in getting me to make the work that I do make now.  (I'll let you, Dear reader, determine what that says about me....or him).  It's heartening to see the volume of personal statements of appreciations that have bloomed on the web in recent days. 
Some roses at Museum Brandhorst in Munich.

 Some of this scrambling around online has been prompted by trying to rouse some content and chase down interviewees for the Dead Hare Radio episode devoted to Twombly we'll be airing on WVKR on Tuesday at 5pm (don't forget it's archived as a podcast too).  I admire journalists who do this kind of work regularly.  Pressures of a deadline, cramming in as much research and reading as possible while reaching out to possible interview subjects, hoping they'll respond in a timely manner is all interesting but wearing, and that just gets you to the point of starting the difficult part: interviewing.    I find it nerve racking.  It can be very rewarding, but I have certain anxiety issues that seem to respond robustly to the prospect of speaking with a knowledgeable stranger and trying to render myself an utter rhube.  A bottle of cold beer has joined my recording equipment as requisite implements in my interview toolkit.  I realized this afternoon that an interview can at times be exactly like a blind date.  I was on a blind date once where I somehow felt comfortable talking about my (minor - and since passed) fascination with cannibalism.  I won't go into details.  It seemed to be going well, yet when that second date just never materialized after repeated attempts to make it happen, I could only think it might have been that cannibalism talk sealed that particular bit of my fate.

The reward of pushing through that personally held anxiety (and this has been true of much of our 4 months of making Dead Hare) is being able to be witness to the insights of some very intelligent and thoughtful folks.  For this Twombly episode, I've been privileged to speak about Twombly with David A Ross, Tyler Green and John Waters.  Their willingness to share their time is greatly appreciated.

I'll just say there's much too much more reading and exploring to do; so much information related to Twombly that I haven't been able to do much more than cursory perusing before bookmarking for a follow up.  And that's just online.  I still have yet to make my way through most of the GIANT volume of writings on Twombly that's sitting here next to me.  It's a good chance for reverie.
In case you are new to Twombly, there is even a 5 step instructional lesson on How to Spot a Painting by Cy Twombly on  This task is rated moderately easy.

Ok, so for a little candy:
This post on pairing paintings by Twombly and runway designs by Dian Von Furstenberg features some amusing rhymes.

And talk about Candy.  There's nothing sweeter than the classic series of photos taken of Twombly and his home by Horst in 1966 for Vogue.  The Holler and Saunders blog has the most complete set of these images online that I've seen yet.

There's much much more out there to see....not just candy, but a full meal of visual pleasure.  Try to do it in person, though, if you can.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


I've been reflecting on Cy Twombly's work since I heard of his death yesterday.  There's a lot to unpack and rummage through for me here, and I'm working it out for a post in the near future.

I'm thinking that next week's episode of the Dead Hare Radio Hour may focus on Twombly's work.

We're taking Twombly related comments on the Dead Hare Hotline:

(480) 442-7311

Leave a message about Twombly, his work, and your experience of it.  I'll likely use whatever I get on the show...

Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm so Rock and Roll

...And then maybe not so much.
Of course, I was sure in the sense that Rock and Roll (I appreciated the ancient turn of phrase, as opposed to just Rock) were indeed the two major constituents of my very being when, just over a week ago the promise of temporary bachelorhood and a vacancy of work which would afford some old timey studio indulgence (provided the anxiety could be held in check).

This image of a note left for me by Angelika could have been enough to indicate that rockin' and rollin' had left the building.  Needing a note....and yes, I need such a indicate what I should eat, when to prevent total food loss due to negligence and rot.  Even the note has not proven full proof.  The cantaloupe, pineapple AND tomato AND lettuce all succumbed to the white death of mold cultures.  There's still hope for the smidge of yogurt left...(and I tried microwaving those hamburger buns...I ate them, but they did not soften up...Also the house seems devoid of mouse activity.  Perhaps it's right to think of the necessity of such a note, reminding me of the basics human existence is so NOT Rock and Roll.  Some might even find it remedial - particularly for a dude that's recently stepped into the on deck circle for entering his 5th decade.  Of course, I read it as, "yeah, I'm rock and roll....destined to live with abandon for the next 3-4 weeks fruit and veggies be damned."  What is Rock and Roll if not a life laced with remedial, adolescent tendencies?  Who has time to check on the perishables when there's art to be made - madly.  Hell, this alone was a ticket that validated my insouciance and harkened back to a time when the only veggies I stocked in the kitchen were the canned variety - No brainer food.
Of course, I'm not immune to the realization that I am so far from Rock and Roll. Living the single life is hard, having no one around to signal when a reasonable (and appropriate) hour to go to bed has arrived.

When alone,  I'll sit and zone - before the tv or not until some unkind, numb-making  hour of the night, which initiates an uncontrollable slide. .

Maybe I am still Rock and Roll, if Rock and Roll is defined as being irresponsible, unproductive, lazy in terms of doing laundry and the dishes.  Although, as a sort of middle aged guy, this roll lacks some of the gusto it might otherwise have for a twenty year old...I know I'm not alone in embodying the trending topic of the flacidification of one's juju.   I've seen documented reports of some sad sots who strike out in the initial moments of a revisited bachelorhood (temporary as it is) by buying dish towels.  So this is what becomes of the world?

I guess I was wrongly trying to redefine Rock and Roll as being on task, focused, productive and sharply creative...Maybe that's something else.  Maybe whatever that is, I'll be it next week, after I've acclimated more to my condition...And I'll be listening to more Rock and Roll....and audiobooks on the Spartans! .

I'm not talking about stepping out and carousing.  I'm just talking about stepping out of the comfortable couch-based routine that my life has joined my life at the hip in recent years.

Yes, I choose to consider having someone suggest what I should eat, and do in her absence via illustrated list as a license to free my mind of such things for to more directly make mayhem in the studio - that is pretty rock and roll...I just have to play the part.

I've faced the promise of rock and roll tonight.  Staring down a large painting, judging myself by my actions and reactions to the various state changes I take it through;  pushing through the moments of resistance.  It's different than my modus operandi of the recent past; coming up to a point of resistance and side step it by stepping away for another time, another moment of convenience.  Will this garner a positive result?  I'm not sure, we'll see.  Over the last few years I've developed a laid back mode of working in the studio; one of convenience.  But also one that is unfussed, unthinking, automatic and I appreciate the places it's taken me, dipping in when it is convenient, dipping back out when the discomfort of progress threatens to become inconvenient.
Of course, I'll give a progress report on this process.