Sunday, February 17, 2019

Felix LA Art-Fair

So, Art-Fairs.  I didn’t go to this one but I kind of wish I did because it seemed different.  I did read about it in ArtNews though.  The article; “‘Everything Feels MoreIntimate’: Felix LA Brings New Life to Art-Fair Circuit” by Janelle Zara, posted on February 15, 2019.  You should read Ms. Zara’s article because it is interesting and I’m not going to redo what she did in my post.  This is what I learned for me though – you can buy t-shirts (art t-shirts or really t-shirts with art on them) at Art-Fairs.  Which means to me, I can sell art t-shirts.  Also, this Art-Fair was held in a hotel, not a convention center or the like.  Galleries set up in rooms in the hotel.  The hotel was the Roosevelt Hotel and, from what I read, the place has a lot of history.  The article had a lot of discussions on the feel of this Art-Fair compared to the big box type of Art-Fairs.  But what I gleamed that seemed most important to me was the price ranges some of the galleries were selling art at.  For me – because I’m trying to sell work – that is useful information.  Along with that part regarding t-shirts.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Diante Yarber, Stephon Clark, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland, and Trayvon Martin

This was originally a post from my old blog site that I have since closed.  I decided to redo the post here because it was Trayvon Martin birthday on February 5th and Sandra Bland’s on February 7th.  If you read any of this blog in the past you know that most of the time I blog about my art, photography and inconsequential stuff.  Nothing too heavy.  But sometimes things just hurt too much and, though they were not killed by the police, Trayvon Martin’s and Sandra Bland’s birthdays made me think about how the police murder us – people of color – African Americans – black people.  And the sentencing hearing this past December of the police officer, Van Dyke, who murdered Laquan McDonald on Oct. 20, 2014 in Chicago, brought more things back to mind.  Van Dyke was sentenced a month or so ago to only six years and some months for the murder of Laquan McDonald.  His sentence only reinforces things we already know.

Diante Yarber was killed by the police on April 5, 2018, in Barstow, CA.  That’s just up the road from where I live in Victorville – a 30-minute ride at best.  You can read about it.  I did.  That young man was murdered.  Like Stephon Clark was murdered on March 18, 2018, in Sacramento, CA.  These stories get a day or two then are gone but the coverage on the orange guy never ends – the circus act is none stop.  These murders bring to mind that video by Childish Gambino, “This Is America”.  That video is so on point.  Much like Marvin Gaye’s album, “What’s Going On” was on point for the 70’s.  Well, Marvin Gaye’s album, “What’s Going On”, is still on point today too.  I know there are a lot of things that we need to be focused on – a dwindling supply of fresh water, climate change, reaching the point where our population growth will exceed our ability to feed everyone, etc.  But the orange guy or sports or entertainment dominates our lives.  We need our news feeds to be focused on the pressing issues that matter.  And we need to keep those names fresh in our thoughts – Diante Yarber, Stephon Clark, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland and Trayvon Martin.  With the exception of Trayvon Martin, they were murdered by the police.  With the exception of Sandra Bland, whom they said committed suicide while in jail in Waller County, Texas, on July 13, 2015.  Sandra Bland was wrongfully arrested and would probably be alive today if that did not happen.  Law enforcement officers are those who are supposed to “protect and server” us.  But, as usual, the murders of these human beings only reinforce things we already know.  So, we need to say their names, every name, so that we do not forget what happened to them.  We need to say them all to help motivate us to change things for the better.  We need to do something to make our world a better place for us, for our children – because our lives, black lives, do matter just as much as any other lives.  I think I’ll listen to the Roots, “Rising Down”, as I list a small fraction of the names of those who were murdered by police officers:

Michael Brown Jr. (Aug. 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.)
Terence Crutcher (Sept. 16, 2016, in Tulsa)
Philando Castile (July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, Minn.)
Tamir Rice (Nov. 22, 2014, in Cleveland)
Alton Sterling (July 5, 2016, in Baton Rouge)
Walter Scott (April 4, 2015, in North Charleston, S.C.)
Aiyana Jones (May 16, 2010, Detroit, Michigan)
Eric Harris (April 2, 2015, in Tulsa)
Rekia Boyd (March 21, 2012, in Chicago)
Tony Robinson (March 6, 2015, in Madison, Wis.)
Rumain Brisbon (Dec. 2, 2014, in Phoenix)
Eric Garner (July 17, 2014, in New York City)
Jordan Edwards (April 29, 2017, in Balch Springs, TX)
Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015, Baltimore, MA)
Oscar Grant III (Jan. 1, 2009, Oakland, CA)
John Crawford III (August 5, 2014, Beavercreek, Ohio)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Photo LA – 2019

Yesterday, I went to PhotoL.A. – 2019, at the historic Barker Hangar, in Santa Monica.  It was raining.  Not a light shower or drizzle, it was raining.  You can still see the art fair today up until 4pm, (I believe but check the link above to be sure) but the earlier you go today (opens at 11:00am) the better chance you have of not being rained on.

For me, it was a good photography art fair.  I liked the old location in Los Angeles better but this this still worked.  I saw a lot of really good work and I saw work that made me feel good about the work I’m doing with my images. My website shows a lot what I’m doing except my Motion Project – it’s not ready to go on the site yet.  But this might have been my last Photo L.A.  You know when you get that feeling that something is out of sorts – something is not quite working.  The last time I went to this art fair was 3 years ago and I got that same kind of feeling then too.  I have experienced that “feeling” in different setting and places from here to the other side do the world – and I have had these “feeling” since I was a child.  No one said or did anything to me nor did I see something along those lines.  But there is non-verbal communication going on all the time – I have learned to be cognizant of it.  But this is a great event for photographic art lovers.

I even met Ms. SusanSpiritus at her gallery’s booth, G05.  That was cool but I was really awkward – there went my first impression.  And I met the artist Ms. Hui Yi, who was with the SoPhoto Gallery out of Beijing.  Yes, all the way from China to participate in this art fair.  That’s cool and she was nice – she briefly explained her work to me too.  Photo L.A. is really a great chance to see some exceptional photographic art.  If you can make it today, you should go.  It’s not free but you’ll see some amazing work.

 This is what I drove through to get to Photo LA.

 It doesn't say it on the label but this is from the Susan Spiritus Gallery.
And this is one of Ms. Hui Yi's images I took of her post card.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Essence of Art

I read an article on The Washington Free Beacon website titled, “Finding the Essence of Art
Review: ConstantinBrancusi Sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art”, by Emily Ferguson.  I bit and clicked on the article because of the title, “Finding the Essence of Art”.  Well, I’m always on the hunt to find a way to be showing my work in galleries and museums.  As I see it, of course knowing the essence of art will help me do that.  And this guy, Constantin Brancusi, had some cool pieces too – I remembered a couple from when I was an undergrad (work we discussed in a class).  I loved the very first sentence in the article, “Watching two people argue about art is like watching two people try to ice-skate uphill.”  I was like, “yup”.  The rest of the article was good but more review than finding essence really.  A good review though – better than the stuff I write and call a review.  But I did revisit some since of what has been bugging me ever since I changed majors back in 2012 to become an art major rather than a finance major.  I’m not on a quest to get rich – it’s why the finance major became a business minor.  All I really want to do is make a good living (like make what I make now in my non-art job) being an artist.  That’s all.  So, what’s been bugging me is selling my work or rather me not selling my work – this doesn’t go the way I want it to unless I’m selling my work.  Ok, you’re like, “what does this have to do with the article you read?”  You should read the article and gleam that for yourself.  It was interesting but this is not about that.  This is about art (pause) work.  I need to move the needle on sales so I can get to where I want to go with my art work.  Maybe chasing the gallery thing may not be for me.  I need my own customer list.  I need to control the promotion of my work.  I need to be in charge of the operation, the business, that I am pursuing. I need to figure out the essence of my grind, my hustle – how I should be putting in work.  I’m moving into a world where perceived value is viewed as actual value and I need to understand that and adjust accordingly.

I’m still doing the portfolio review at the Palm Springs Photo Festival in May though.  I’m just saying.

This is an example of AP print of the Window Pain series (yes, pain not pane), part of the Victor Valley Project.  It is a 13” x 13” chromogenic print, cross processed, medium format, matted in a 16” x 23” frame.  This will be for sell soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A Review of the Exhibition, “In the Sunshine of Neglect”

The show runs from January 19 through April 28, 2019.

Last night, Saturday, January 19th, Jane and I went to the Riverside Art Museum (RAM) and UCR Arts’ California Museum of Photography (CMP) for the opening of “In the Sunshine of Neglect: Defining Photographs and Radical Experiments in Inland Southern California, 1950 to the Present”. We haven’t had a date night in a while, and we love looking at art, so the opportunity was perfect.  And I would get a chance at maybe seeing some art friends which is always nice.  Both RAM and CMP websites have a good write up about what to expect at the photographic exhibition (the same write up, actually) so I don’t need to do that.  But you should go see this show if you can, especially if you live, work or go to school in the Inland Empire – or you just love photographic art.  I haven’t been to a lot of openings, but this opening reception night was probably the biggest that I have ever experienced – there was a gang of folks out at both venues.  But it was fun and worth the price of admission – oh, that was $0.00.  But you do have to pay at the CMP on normal viewing times - $6.00 or less (students, seniors, etc.)  There is a lot of great art being shown at this exhibition and I plan on going back to better take it all in, but it was especially nice seeing those friends/CSUSB alumni though.  Like Katie, Andrew and Sant (who is also a former professor of mine).  That was really cool.  Go see the show.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

United States Army Retired

After twenty years in the Army, you get a few token things to remind you of the odyssey. The tie pin is one of those things many toss in a drawer, if that, never to be seen again. I guess because it's an odd thing, this retired Army tie pin. Still, it is a reminder that you put in 20 years, or more, in uniform getting your boots dirty around the world. It says you made it pass go and got to collect $200.  But what do you do with it if you don’t wear ties?  Do retired women get one too?  I think they should replace the tie pin with a “Retired Army” coffee cup (one of the nick names, in the Army, for coffee was ‘lifer juice’ – alluding to those who were in for the long haul) or a “Retired Army” shot glass, that way we ‘lifers’ could get better use out of the ‘gift’. It's been 13 years since I was given this tie pin. It seems a lot longer than that; it seems a lot farther away. Well, I'm on a different journey now. My goal is to be a working artist. That is to say, I earn my living from being an artist; you know, my ‘day job’ is being an artist. I hope I stressed ‘artist’ enough. The tie pin is a good reminder that this present goal is achievable too, but it takes time. And it reminds me to have fun with the adventure as well, like I did with my Army adventure (it wasn’t fun all of the time but there were a lot of fun moments). And having things to remind me is good because sometimes I forget to have fun every now and then – really.

Oh, the image.  The retired Army tie pin is a part of this photomontage.  If you need to see it by itself, it’s on my Instagram.  The link is over there on the right.  Like I said, artist.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Baltimore Museum of Art

Do you follow art news or the website artnet?  I have recently started to follow art news – it’s like a break from stories dominated by an orange dude who…  Like I said, a break from other kind of news.  I read this story about how the Baltimore Museum of Art sold some of their top dollar artwork by white guys (Andy Warhol, Franz Kline, and Robert Rauschenberg, for example) so that they could acquire some top dollar artwork by people of color and women (Jack Whitten, Amy Sherald [the artist who painted Michelle Obama's official portrait], Wangechi Mutu, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, and a bunch of others).  The personally sad thing about this was that I did not know who these, people of color and women, artist were – and I’m a studio art major.  Hell, I graduated with honors on top of that.  I felt like a dumbass and I know I’m not dumb.  I know it goes without saying but I did know of all the white guys they mentioned in the article.  So, I had to look up a few of these artists whom I did not know.  I was really flabbergasted by one artist in particular – Isaac Julien.  This dude…  Wow!  Well his website says that he is a “filmmaker and installation artist”.  But he makes photographic prints too.  And “Julien was awarded the title Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s birthday honors, 2017.”  So like yeah.  Well, you never stop learning.  I need to hurry up and get my stuff out there.

The images below are some early work from 2014.  I have a lot more newer images that I need to finish up the post production on but the preoccupied state of subjects in these two makes them still very relevant today.  And I like them.