Sunday, May 31, 2009

John Brodie on KBOO

John Brodie has organized Store for a Month, which opens June 3rd. Brodie takes his concept from Claes Oldenburg’s “Store” of 1961, inviting artists to make works on the spot and sell them too. One of the works offered is the piece above, Cloud Painting 1 by Arcy Douglass. Over 60 artists are participating. John Brodie will join me on KBOO this Tuesday and tell us all about the store.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jerry Saltz on Facebook

Some people think Facebook is a timesuck, but it can be the place where you repeat and investigate your obsessions. We may have stated something once or twice or far too many times in our blogs or website. But we can REALLY hash it out on this other gabbier site.

Jerry Saltz has posted at least five posts, all short observations, on the paltry numbers of women artists showing at the MOMA. He’s had to post his views so many times because literally hundreds of responses follow and his page nearly sets itself on fire.

I just had to mention it because more than one person has alluded to gender bias in the art world as tediously “my thing.” But this thing, which is so boring to many, is still a hot topic to others. I was surprised and encouraged – not by the sad statistics of course but by the willingness of so many to be that unfashionable. I think you’ve got to be Jerry’s “friend” to see all these posts, but he’s already got thousands and seems to be pretty generous about that….

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Emily Chenoweth on W+K Radio

Tomorrow my guest at W+K is Emily Chenoweth, who has a new novel out called Hello Goodbye. Previously Chenoweth published a short story in an anthology called The Friend Who Got Away. This novel picks up from that story.

I am right now in the thick of reading the book, which is an interesting place to be when heading into an interview. Some people have raised their eyebrows, as if I haven’t done my homework, but I kind of like it this way. I’m fully engaged and curious and besides, the interview isn’t about spoilers anyway.

The book is based on true life and in another time, another year, might have been a memoir instead. It is also especially meaningful to anyone who lost a parent when young - which I did, and so did Emily Chenoweth. The sweetness of youth is eclipsed by illness and death and things are never the same. Chenoweth has this immense gift for graphically recounting the visual as well as emotional details.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Myles Haselhorst of Ampersand Vintage

This Tuesday I will have Myles Haselhorst as my guest on KBOO's Art Focus. He owns Ampersand Vintage on Alberta, which functions successfully as both a shop and a gallery - and that’s no small feat. Often a space works best one way or another, but Ampersand feels serious about its product, its design as a store as well as what they have on the walls. You could get lost for hours – great art books and ephemera – found images, books, postcards and all kinds of photography.

Ampersand also keeps an interesting blog filled with images and old found graphics. I found the warning about not altering images pretty funny though. Of course they did not make them or generate them in any way but now claim ownership so extensively that they state right in the blog: “You may not alter material or build upon it in the creation of new works.” This is a topic for Collage Clearinghouse indeed! We’ll also talk about their upcoming exhibition of mixed-media paintings by Graham Fracha (see image above) and the kinds of exhibitions they produce.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Katherine Dunn interview on W+K Radio

Katherine Dunn has a new book out: One Ring Circus, an anthology of essays on boxing she’s written over the years. She’ll be my guest tomorrow at 10:30AM on Creative Type, my newly-dubbed podcast at W+K Radio.

When I first met Katherine she was not a boxing fan at all. We met at the Long Goodbye’s weekly open mike poetry readings in 1978. By ’79 I was living in NW Portland, her neighborhood. (The Polaroid above is from that era.) Often we met for coffee and cigarettes early in the morning at her place and she would tell me long stories about how she was dreaming up this fantastic character, this hunchback pigmy girl. Ten years later, we had Geek Love.

I was around when she met her soon-to-be husband and had the honor of doing her makeup for her wedding, when I was hardly the professional makeup artist I would someday be. She was incredibly inspired by boxing by this time, but I’m not sure if she was writing about it yet. I left Portland in ’81, gone for sixteen years. But when I returned, we picked up right from where we left off.

It’s an understatement to reveal that she’s been one of the most important mentors and artists in my life. I couldn’t begin to express it, so I won’t try. Katherine of course is a radio pro herself. In all the time I’ve done radio, I’ve never had her on and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Anne Grgich on KBOO

Anne Grgich is a self-taught artist working in the tradition of Outsider Art. She makes books and works in paint and assemblage. She has shown all over the world. She’s also someone who used to live here, traveled all over and now she’s back.

Yesterday I went to her birthday party and she showed me a bunch of books she is working on. Some of these are not “books” as we tend to think of them. They are big mirrors or frames or whatever else she has on hand, sometimes beaded and gilded and totally over the top. Then she mounts them together as though they are book pages. She’s my guest this week on Art Focus at KBOO.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jim Neidhardt, Art Beat

Now every Friday at 10:30AM W+K Radio will feature my interview with a creative type. So tomorrow I will have Jim Neidhardt on W+K, who has a show called Book Lovers at Blackfish (see image above). With this Jim has joined the ranks of artists who mess with books but he has also created paintings, all kinds of art objects, videos and films.

I will also be a part of PCC’s Art Beat, giving a lecture tomorrow at Cascade. Jacqueline Ehlis asked me, saying: “I want you to present yourself as an artist.” Whoa, easier said than done. Last time I lectured, it was just about the Targets. That was fairly contained compared to this.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Dinh Q. LĂȘ on W+K Radio

Halo in the Night I , 2009

Dinh Q. Le is in town for his exhibition Signs and Signals From the Periphery at the Elizabeth Leach Gallery. We met at the W+K Radio studio for a short interview about his new work, which will air at 10:30AM Friday, May 8th and then be archived here afterwards.

Make at W+K

Tonight I will be checking out the Global Agency Art Show at Weiden+Kennedy, Make. This is an exhibition celebrating the creativity of W+K and is also a benefit for Room to Read, a nonprofit which promotes and ables global education. The show features over 100 pieces, all made by Weiden Kennedy employees from their seven offices: Amsterdam, Dehli, London, New York, Portland, Shanghai and Tokyo. Check out the work – it’s completely collectable, affordable and fun. All of it is purchased online, but only here in Portland can you go down to the agency and see it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

more women and Molly Haskell

I know exactly what I want to paint right now. But I cannot do it. So I montage quite a bit. Above you see another LT. It’s the combination of Los Angeles transforming into a track housing grid with the actress emerging into color from black and white. This is the biggest piece I’ve made yet in this series, almost 18 inches square.

You may think I have some fascination for Liza but I do not. I just have a very extravagant Life spread from when Cabaret came out, that’s all. The center target is from the 2nd piece I made in this series over a year ago. It was never right, so I yanked her out and placed her with torch songs from the Middle Ages.

"I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." – So said Oscar Levant about the star. Her success shoved her into the role and I think her time with Hitchcock showed how much she was capable of. I made this collage right around the time I came across Molly Haskell’s great essay on Doris written in the 70s. By the end of the 60s, Day’s whole virgin schikt was stupidly tiresome but Haskell has some very smart things to say about her. Right now I’m reading her new book Frankly, My Dear. Just as she did with Day, she’s giving Scarlett a whole new attitude.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mark Woolley on KBOO

Tomorrow my guest on Art Focus will be Mark Woolley. He’s been in the news a lot because he is bringing his gallery to a close. He has one more show to mount in that space: I could have been a Collecta. We’ll talk about his future plans and reminisce about his favorite shows.

It’s also pledge-drive time for KBOO - which means I’ll be offering a couple of family memberships to the Portland Art Museum during my show, as a way of thanking you for supporting the station. We’re also offering a glamour-filled evening at Bluehour. I hope you tune in.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sarah Waters on KBOO

Some may call it a guilty pleasure, but I am fine with admitting that I’ve read everything Joanna Trollope has written and with a vengeance. One evening while tracking her down on Youtube, I saw that she recommended a newish novel by Sarah Waters, the Night Watch. I devoured the book, which goes back and forth in time, tracing the lives of gay and straight people working (and loving) literally in the dark during the Blitz in London.

Now Waters has a new book out called the Little Stranger and I’m going to interview her about it this week for Between the Covers. In this story, Waters examines a fragile postwar family who were once glorious in the style of Gosford Park, with its upstairs/ downstairs, family-secret mode. Now they can barely keep the lights on as their immense estate crumbles. The doctor who helps them out is the son of one of their maids of a bygone era, so class issues and transitions abound here as he moves up while they move down. It’s also a ghost story with Gothic touches. Sarah Waters will make an appearance at Powell’s on May 4th at 7:30PM.