Monday, January 31, 2011

Jesse Hayward on KBOO

Listen to the interview here.

The next exhibition at the White Box will be COLLECT FOUR: Scenes From Portland’s Bleeding Edge. This show includes four artists and is curated by Jesse Hayward.

Hayward claims: "The artists in this show are all, first and foremost, collectors. Ben collects moments. Jason collects motif. Midori collects abstractions while Matt collects simplicities. They are earnest. They emphasize the clean and clear display of their artwork. These are not artists who confuse, misdirect or rely on trickery for effect. These are artists who sample first and filter later. Their early careers run parallel as well. All studied art and show regularly in town. Most participate in art collectives. They are roughly the same age and live in the same part of town. So in this show, we are truly watching different aspects of the same attitude, a very Portland attitude."

The show includes:Matthew Green, Midori Hirose, Jason Traeger and Benjamin Young. It opens today with a reception on the 5th. Jesse will talk about the show on Art Focus tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Studio Visit with Steven LaRose

One of my favorite Oregon painters is not in this town. Steven LaRose lives in Ashland and whenever I visit the home turf, I try to see him too. These pics are from yesterday. He also blogged about the visit (– and we also made a fun studio visit video a couple of years back).

His current works stands up to all that “unadventurous” painting Wes Freese and some of us were swooning over at Sharon Butler and Facebook (in reference to a Holland Cotter review). There’s also kind of an Asian thing to his painting that I can’t quite put my finger on, a fluidity and sureness. He’s really good at flowers, nature, can paint anything really. He even gave me a nifty pencil drawing of a tree.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daniel Fagereng on KBOO

At the Japanese Garden will be an exhibition of photographs of the Katsura Imperial Villa by Ishimoto Yasuhiro, all taken in the 1950s. A great compliment to this show are the box constructions made by Portland artist Daniel Fagereng. He'll talk about this exhibition this coming Tuesday, the 25th, on Art Focus.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Twist and Crawl

Timothy Buckwalter has curated a very interesting three-part exhibition at the National Institute for Art and Disabilities in Richmond, CA. Life in the World to Come: Twist and Crawl features work by artists and work by individuals with disabilities. Of course some artists are both, always were. There are a few artists in this series I recognize - such as Chris Ashley (who I showed at Chambers) and Sharon Butler, who writes Two Coats of Paint. I’ll be in the exhibition in the spring. The reception for the artists is this afternoon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Anonymous Women

In the Targets I dealt with famous women. Some suggested an anonymous woman might be a better choice, and while I’ve made a few, in general I disagree. When a woman has no story, it's easier for people to project their own fantasies on her. That’s OK but my own obsession dwelled on the stories of women who worked hard enough to be known - I build upon their complex narratives. There's a reason they're a target and it's never just about how they look.

Even so, I collected images of beauties unknown, models and the like, many from previous eras, before models became famous. I couldn’t resist collecting their faces, even as I declared I couldn't use them. It was perhaps a delicious return to girlhood, but it wasn’t just that.

After a fifteen year hiatus, beginning in 2009, I was working as a makeup artist again. It was never really discussed because I didn’t have the words, but this time going into it, my whole view of the face was different - I mean the one I montaged with, not just the one I painted. The return to a makeup career, such as it was, freed up and reshuffled my idea of the anonymous beauty.

And all along I had this building sweet stash of art history images. Sometimes I would just look at the Greek vases I studied at the U of O and then visited often at the Met and the BM. But what was I going to do with them? This has been vaguely in the back of my mind for decades. The perception was that certain types of pretty women had little to do with serious art.
(Anonymous Women is a working title and up for change, depending on where this all takes me.)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mary Adams the Dress

Listen to the interview here.

I remember when I first moved to New York in 1986. A band of Portland ex-pats marched me down to the Lower East Side. We hung out at The Hat, read our poems and showed our art at ABCNoRio and gawked in homage at Mary Adams The Dress, a storefront of nothing but. Her venture of the most elegant in dresses in a not-so-elegant part of town really impressed me.

Talk about commitment. Plus Mary was a homegirl, went to the U of O, was one of us.
Even if you go to her website today, you might see words like “Bits and Pieces” and think, oh, she’s showing separates here. But no, it’s all about the dress, the dress, the dress. She never veered nor swayed.

Mary Adams has a new book called The Party Dress which actually shows you, step by step, how to make something like what she makes. AND she’s town, making an appearance at Powell’s today! She’ll also be my guest on Art Focus this Tuesday, the 18th. Her dresses truly are works of art.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ben Pink and Chris Haberman on KBOO

Listen to the interview here.

I’ve described Ben Pink previously as “The Godfather,” because his reach was so wide and varied. You could say the same about Chris Haberman. Ben runs Launchpad and Chris has curated more shows that I could list. Launchpad right now is hosting a collaborative exhibition of Chris with Scott Chase called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (see image above).

As Chris tells the story, he met a “laborer” – that would be Scot - who, to his great surprise, could draw, could paint, had more than a passing art bent. And he didn’t care about “the art world,” he just wanted to make his work.

Actually, I am not so surprised. As someone who ran in the non-art world while still very much an artist, I have met countless creatives who in some way could draw or manifest images - and without much prompting, have their own style. I’m not saying they have the grit to have 30 years of one person exhibitions, but artists come in all shapes and sizes and many are not in the art world packaging.

Friday, January 7, 2011

the Best of

It is considered unseemly to criticize or swoon publicly over what is written about you. This is only a momentary gush of thanks and thrills.

PORT has published its Best of 2010 list and I’m on there twice. It’s the "Break Out" arena which has me highly amused. At 20, you may anticipate shifting the world. In your 50s, you’re generally not breaking out of anything but the last midlife crisis. 2010 was the banner best-of-times, worst-of-times year. Sometimes my deal made with the devil to live as an artist felt very tested. I’m underemployed (like half of Portland) and from day to day, can’t predict anything. But I do know that what I wanted, all of my life, what I lusted after, what seemed like a big pipe dream, is still possible, is still new.
The above is part of a new series I am working on, Anonymous Women.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Anna Solcaniova King and Graylan King on KBOO

Listen to the interview here.

This coming Tuesday my guests on Art Focus will be Anna Solcaniova King and Graylan King, who own and direct Anka Gallery. Anka is a big space at the Everett Station Lofts. They are able to present several shows at once, most of them of emerging artists. Anka came to my attention through the artist Lawrence Morrell, who joins the Monday night drinking club occasionally.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

to 2011

Here's to 2011, wherever the road may take you.

I started 2010 going in 2 very different directions. The year held my favorite exhibition ever, but it also seemed very possible that I would take a major right turn. Right turn in every way - corporate, managerial, almost Gestapo. It meant all kinds of things to my body, mind and time but I felt I had little choice.

Then overnight that option was gone. While I reeled and revamped mentally, I looked at my cut and paste table. The simplicity was a balm - 2 + 2 equals a million. It became my major resource for December and suddenly everything that was old was new again.