Tuesday, December 30, 2008

auld lang syne

When I lived in Denver, my apt/studio was very near one of the city's drunk tanks. The facility sat behind my place, in the same block and offered no shortage of amusements in my six years there. When I first moved in I was puzzled by the human sized dog catcher's truck that constantly pulled into the alley adjacent to my building. Eventually, the truck was upgraded to one that had six or eight individual cells in the cargo box, each with its own private door. In the early days of my residency, there were still relatively few folks who called the neighborhood home, and given its proximity to downtown, the coming of evening saw a mini exodus of peoples from the area. There were nights (particulary Fridays) when the scene took on the semblance of a zombie flick with inebriants making there way from points unknown to this central point as if called by some unknown beacon. One of my initial vivid memories of the area came on a walk to the nearby grocery store. One individual, propped up by a no parking sign had a very apocolyptic character. Bent at the waist (almost at 90 degrees), the top of his shoulder met the sign in such away that body and pole took on the appearance of a lower case 'h'. His arms hung straight to the ground. It was so weird. So very "Dawn of the Dead." He was one of the undead - on his way, but he needed just a wee rest before making it those last two blocks.
Those were good times, there on 11th Ave.
The photo above is from that time and I found it recently, thinking it a suitable New Year's Eve missive. I imagine the dumpster belonged to another apartment building on the block - which in and of itself would seem an excessive amount of beer boxes (not that the dumpster is completely full of Corona boxes. The fact that this dumpster sat in very close proximity to the drunk tank's back door put the scene over the top.
I have not explanation for this occurance. Perhaps it wasn't from some frat house apt, but an assertive hair of the dog treatment for the dt'ers.
Good Times. Happy New Year.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Art" as poor imitation of life

I'm currently wrapping up my Christmas sojourn in great plains country. Making my way out here last week, I was struck by the proliferation of windmill turbines in western Iowa. I find their presence to be elegant. These turbines were not moving when I passed by. The pairings of these towers share certain characteristics with Jonathan Borofsky's dancers sculpture in Denver; they're towering, slender and white. The shared qualities, however, end with those basic elements. The self concious artsy-ness of Borofsky's representation of dance/movement renders the work lame while the stately and graceful turbines, even when still, speak to the potential of motion, implicating the whole of the Earth's invisible breath in their raison d'etre. These fine, utilitarian forms demonstrate what the Borofsky might have been: strong, rythmic, and profound in their presence.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Oh Christmas Thing 2008

The Christmas season is waning. Though not at home right now, before leaving I snapped a few photos of this year's version of the Christmas Thing(s).
Not particularly adventurous, these quick contraptions were destined for more development......which never happened......exhibit the ad hoc sloppiness inherint in so much of the Christmas aesthetic. I fully expect next year's Christmas Thing to be distinguished in its removal from the typical seasonal look. Studio 360 solicited a proposal for a redesign of xmas which illuminated some of my original, and has me thinking of a much more concious and provocative offering for next year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Website redux

If you've been directed here looking for my main website, , www.christopheralbert.com, I'm trying out a new platform for it and I expect to have the in-progress site back up later this week.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Weather Report

We received the first significant snow of the season this weekend. Matt Hereford's Cairn/barometer indicates the presence of snow.
My crappy nature painting takes on a quaint flocking making it merry.
Peter's sculpture in the present climate above, and back in July when the
lilies made their response.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Synchronous found sculpture

I had to make a quick run into the city on Sunday morning to pick up some paintings, and I found this little cardboard and packing tape 'sculpture' on the street. It didn't smell like urine, so I thought it was good to go. The tape has a funky yellow hue that was just odd enough to catch my eye. It seemed a fortuitous find as for several days prior, I was laminating a stack of cardboard for use in a piece. My laminated stack is sitting in the background.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

PS 122 Gallery Benefit Exhibit

Genesis 29, 2007.

Genesis 29 is my contribution to PS 122 Gallery's annual benefit exhibition which opens on December 13. All the work in the exhibit - 150 artists worth - is priced at $122. This should prove to be a
a great opportunity to pick up some artwork and a ridiculously low price. The proceeds will, of course, benefit PS 122 Gallery, which is located at 150 First Ave in NYC.
There will an opening reception on the 13th from 5-7, and the exhbit will be on view for one week, through Dec. 21.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dander Drawings


For me, some of the more endearing images evoked by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan's biography of DeKooning come from the passages that relate the artist's habit of working on small drawings as he watched TV every night. I love the thought of this guy who steadily worked in the studio all day in a physically demanding manner finding comfort and relaxation by continuing to create on a small scale in his down time.
I'd like to fit in more bits of work into my lazing about in the evening. Generally when I settle down to relax in my chair, I'm nailed down by Eurydice whose persistent and insistent presence in my lap makes it difficult to do much. Today, on this Thanksgiving holiday, I decided make like the pilgrims and Indians and take advantage of the bounty provided by my surroundings.
I started a series of ephemeral fur drawings by combing and parting the cat's fur into different formations. She's an extremely steady surface, and each work is easily erased in anticipation of the next. It's a collaborative process really.

I am available to do commissioned work. Pay me to come sit in your easy chair and collaborate with your pet or hairy relative.

Everything and including

I enjoyed a visit last weekend from Dianne Axtell, a friend and former neighbor back in Denver. Catching up with her prompted me to recall moments when I was actively engaged in forcing my creative impulse into the nooks and crevices of my personal environment - something that I've been thinking more of lately with my recent projects like Kamp Maykr, kork - and even WOMS from which I have unofficially retired as organizer.
Intermittently, over the course of a handful of years, I hosted an open studio event at my live/work space in Denver. The first open studio was held as a going away party for Sara Wolfe in June 1998. Sara's friend David Corell created the post card for the event, and I believe it was he that christened the event Kitchen Sink - and it stuck. The KS happened steadily for a while, then intermittently after 2001 encompassing areas both inside and outside and on the roof of my space, my neighbor Cole's joint next door, where the music would usually happen, and at times portions of the insurance agency's office two doors down. The final event was held in October of 2002 as I began preparing to move to Beacon.
I wanted to provide an alternative happening along with the other offerings of the monthly First Friday art walk in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, and I wanted to avoid the boring, unchanging open studio routine I'd seen other artists do. I wanted to mix things up, make it not about me, and get an eclectic energy rolling. I think we succeeded in doing that. Each event was different, with very different character.
The main constant in all of the KS's was the effort it took to clear out two of the three rooms in my apt/studio. Each time, as piled everything into my bedroom, I questioned why I was doing it, and after each event, I was already looking forward to the next installment (this M.O. has not varied much over the years).
Michael Dahl,
Lisa Townley, Marc Willhite, Dianne Axtell, Chad Smith & Max Smith, Barbara Deeter, Phyllis Lerud, Desiree Stavry, Chris Nelson, Elizabeth Nelson, Cynthia Boteler, Sara Wolfe, Dean Yoder, Nancy Rossen, Marina Tito, Thad Jacobs, Mike Thamert, Julie Greason, Terry Womble, Angela Beloian, Angelika Rinnhofer, Phuong-Lan Nguyen, Mary Rosenberg And many others were among the artists that participated. There were many more who took part by designing the postcards, spinning, performing and bringing food for the potluck... At the moment, I don't have all of the information about each KS and everyone that participated, but in the coming months I will be collecting and documentation and archiving it all on my website.

A view of an installation that included work of mine, and Nancy Rosen and Desiree Stavry.

A kitchen sink in Lake Dillon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Outside the Box Inside, at Hudson Beach Glass

Für Clairesy, 2008 used paint roller covers

I'll be participating in a group show in the gallery at
Hudson Beach Glass (162 Main St.) in Beacon. The exhibit which opens this coming Friday, Nov 21 is called Outside the box inside. It's a box-themed show.
There will be an opening reception of Friday, the 21st from 6-8pm. The exhibit runs through January 15, 2009..
Above is my contribution to the exhibit. I really love these paint rollers. They refer to colorful plushy toys, but they're actually stiff, crusty, and a wee bit decrepit.
Other participating artists include: Emil Alzamora, Nan & Bill Bolstad, Jen Bradford, Joy Brown
Grace Gunning & Paul Butler, Rieko Fujinami, Steven B Levine, Susan Magnus, Margaret McDuffie, Kathy Moss, Alison Palmer, Elisa Pritzker, Kazumi Tanaka, Ted Timmer, Connie Verrusio, Catherine Welshman, James Westwater.

Monday, November 10, 2008

opening walls - closing windows

We started dismantling the Habitats for Artists located at Spire Studios last week. Above are images that bookend the existence of my hab. Below are images of the dismantling of the structure. Matthew Slaats helped me take it down. Interacting with Simon on this project has been rewarding. Time spent in my hab was less that I'd hoped, but it did provide some quality secluded time, and conveniently so. It has brought to the fore thoughts on the true essentials for my artmaking experience, as well as the nature of space, and ownership of space, both financial, and aesthetic. Also of paramount importance for me was the reflection on impermanence, as so much thought in life- and in art- is given to the importance of permanence. Permanence is simply an indeterminate impermanence, after all, and much of what is sold, including art, is accompanied by the illusion of permanence. I struggle with my own reliance on the security that permanence provides, but I feel it ever more important to me in my practice to strip away this crutch. If you buy something, you want your money's worth and you want it to last. If you spend your life in an endeavor [art], you want it to account for something, you want it to endure. Would it not be for nought if nothing comes of all this effort? Get over it. Nothing is, nor should be a precious as this very moment - except the one immediately following it. As I'm writing this I'm that this is one of the lessons of my time in my habitat over this Summer, and I think those lessons are present in the depletion drawings I made inside the space.

This first Summer at Spire was really the preamble to the project. As new habs are formed out of the recycled materials from this first group, and new artists are thrown into the mix in future incarnations (we delivered a reconstituted hab to The Fields Sculpture Park at Art Omi, where it will stay for two years, and another will be going to the Scenic Hudson site - Poet's Walk in the coming week.) will deepen and become more exciting visually, and conceptually as a vehicle for exchange between artists and communities. The structures themselves will embody the six degrees of separation paradigm in an unplugged facebook for artists, linked through the transitory experience in an ever changing space.

Video Memento from the hab that was.

As a sort of farewell to my habitat, I recorded some of the surfaces within and without the structure.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My interview on Globatron.org

I recently did an interview with Globatron.org, an art website based out of Jacksonville Fla. Over at maykr, I've posted details about the struggle that Globatron founder Byron King is facing, and the effort to lend a hand.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Art in the office of Bailey Browne CPA and Assoc. and launch of kork

A current installation of work by Michael Pilon (l&r) and my own in the center.

Over the past several years, I've installed various selections of artists' work in the offices of Bailey Browne CPA & Associates. Deborah Bailey Browne, the firms principal has been very supportive of our efforts to tinker with the context of art in an office.

Deborah and her firm is a recipient of the 2008 Dutchess County Executive Art Award for a business or corporation that has shown leadership in supporting the arts.
Here is a link to images from the second iteration in 2006.

2007: above, a Peter Acheson painting in the conference room. below, Michael Pilon paintings.

2007: a painting by Jen Bradford, audio piece by einlab, both on the wall to the left, and on the ceiling, a portion of a work by Peter Iannarelli.

2007: a sculpture by Matthew Kinney.

kork, featuring Angelika's postcards as installed by Deborah Bailey Browne.

The most recent endeavor, kork, grew out of an idea Angelika had for a possible piece. She had wanted to work with the format of a bulletin board, which would be expected in an office, but using it in a way that may not be so obvious. Eager as I am to ever to marry artwork to its environment for specific periods, I co-opted the idea and have created a project space within the parameters of the cork bulletin board hanging above the photocopier. Angelika's postcard sized prints on which she wrote messages to Deborah and mailed to the office from NY and LA, then arranged on the board by Deborah, constitute the first kork project and it will be on view through the end of October. Every two months another artist will move into kork, and will see what shakes out. Up next on the board is Elia Gurna, followed by Marc Willhite. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with these projects, and the reaction that the staff will have to it. As I'm thinking of it, some artists will work directly on the bulletin board, but for other artists more distant from the office, mode of conveying and applying the artwork the board will become more important, and perhaps more collaborative with the office staff.

Above and below, my work currently installed.

While kork will be rolling on in two month rotations, the office wide installations of work will proceed at about one or two change ups per year. The artists that have participated thus far in the three or four iterations are mostly usual suspects if you follow the events around Beacon NY, ie.; Simon Draper, Marnie Hillsley, Alexis Elton, Peter Iannarelli, Michael Pilon, Peter Acheson, Angelika Rinnhofer, einlab, Claire Lofrese, Jen Bradford and Matthew Kinney, and going forward, the roster will be expanding. I congratulate Deborah on her award, and I thank her and the staff at the firm for allowing us to tweak their space.

2007: A daily dose of art when the mail arrives courtesy of Peter Acheson.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sailed away.

Untitled, 2008, cardboard, puzzle box 
I'm in Denver for 10 days. I think I'm on day 3. The other night I met up with Marc Willhite. We went over to see the "Above average show" at the Lab at Belmar, then over to Pirate to see Marc's show in the associates' space. Below are a few images. A few of the pieces were in last year's SOTT exhibit. A few others are extended explorations of work he began for that previous show.

Here are a few images of his show. It's on view through this weekend:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My first parade

The Spirit of Beacon Parade was held this past Sunday. I participated with the Beacon Artists At Large to create large scale reproductions of drawings made by children in the Beacon Community Center's after school program depicting what each child wants to be when he/she grows up.
I don't know what vocation my chosen drawing was intended to depict. Perhaps it's simply a projected desire to be much larger than his is now. And larger it is. The figure stands at about six feet (before attaching the carrying stick), and as I carried the piece over my shoulder down to the parade starting point, I understand it looked like I was enacting the stages of the cross. Aside from one guy who yelled out a window "what kind of dinosaur is that," The other comments were fairly Jesus-centric. Wanting to subvert any possible allegations of sacrilige as the parade got underway, I made certain to not rest it on my shoulder, but to manuever the structure in a jaunty fashion to appear as if he was walking in a spirited way and not languishing on a pair of crossed timbers.
I've posted a few additional images from the group's creations at

This image gives a better sense of scale.my source drawing, created by Joseph.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seared into the peripheral

There's a construction site on East 53rd St in Midtown Manhattan that has a covered pedestrian walkway plastered with vertigo inducing banners representing renderings of the finished structure.
I passed by there a couple of weeks back on my way to Rich's for dinner. From the corner of my eye I was instantly and viscerally stunned by a caught glimpse, recognizable by way of the hard wired memory of a vision that is still so disturbing, so powerful. The thought of those conditions that precipitated the unimaginable choice made by so many is still terrifying.
The power of an image: an illusion set forth for the mind to complete, and the mind completes it unsparingly, and convincingly that for that second I believed that what I saw in two dimensions was real and it was happening at that very moment.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In the Promised Land

Above: Dar Williams performing at her CD Release party on Sept 9 at Spire Studios for her new album Promised Land. There are more images of the evening at maykr, and on the maykr flickr page. Below is the the cd liner notes page featuring the reproduction of Vantage.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Dar Williams CD Release Party at Spire Studios


My oil on canvas triptych 'Vantage', from 1998, is among the artwork that is included in the liner notes of Dar Williams' forthcoming CD 'Promised Land.
Dar, who as her own writing shed located at Spire Studios as part of the Habitat for Artists project will be having a CD Release Party at Spire Studios on Tuesday, Sept 9 from 6-9pm
Beside myself, the other artists, many of whom are also involved with HFA, whose work included in the cd booklet are Maureen Beck, Richard Bruce, Sharon L. Butler, Val Clark, Aidan Draper, Kathy Feighery, Marnie Hillsley, Matthew Kinney, Grey Zeien and Simon Draper.
The party at Spire will include an exhibit of the artists' work, and most certainly, a sampling from the new album performed by Dar.