Unauthorized Art

December 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Graffiti, Miami Art Basel, Music, Life, Art, News, Public Art, Travel Updates, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment
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We’ve been blasted with winter snow for the past five days and its been a busy month as I prepare to travel yet again. I always come back with trips with even more on my plate than I already have, so I’ve been distracted for a few days as I try to wrap up some projects before my business trip. This is my first lapse since my daily efforts about a month ago. I started a new blog, am sleeping odd hours, and have a twitch in my left eyelid.

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Photo on Dec 22, 2008 from the deck

The word Basel is associated with banking and a city in Europe close to the border of France, Switzerland, and Germany. I’ve seen the long trail of news articles and blog entries with this word in it comes across my desk, and some of them are rather interesting. Between the mid-summer event in June in Europe and its Miami counterpart, bloggers can feed on the continual supply on art news. Since I am intrigued with this event because my interest is Contemporary Art   and    Beyond , its been the subject of many blog entries.

Recent news has shifted westwards since the end of Miami Art Basel in Early December to the west. It looks like the MOCA stalemate has finally ended. I just discovered that the fellow who offered a bailout for the beleagured MOCA (Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of the founders, and the latest news is that this morning (Tuesday, December 23rd) the museum will release news about its financial plan and new officers. You can be sure there will be a flurry of commentary after this, in fact it has already begun.

A very innovative use or incorporation of art into a public space is this library in San Jose that is using illuminated cell glass art that should be a model for public buildings. Tree Hugger also has an article on this new library. Artists exist and work regardless of whether or not there is a venue for them, but when it becomes available, as in the case of a property owner in Palm Desert who paid an artist to decorate signal boxes that belong to the city.

If I had attended Miami Art Basel, the stuff going on over at the so called Wall of Fame would have been ground zero for me, I always am interested and pursue awesome artists who resort to interesting measures to get their art seen. Its the future. Fecal Face is an awesome site has its finger on the pulse, with a ton of pictures of the gorgeous graffiti art that went on display by  this core group of artists during Art Basel Miami Beach.

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The city has moved to regulate any future artist who choose to do the same. I went to an alternative public high school, so I was interested to read about a new public art school in Los Angeles for high school students that is supposed to open in 9 months. Hopefully it will represent a broad spectrum of students from all across Los Angeles. The San Jose Mercury chimed in on the ongoing debate about public art with its own commentary about the need for art in public spaces, adding richness to the experience of city living. The city of Santa Barbara is setting a great example in its work to recycle used items that would otherwise become trash and educating youngsters in the process. I guess my main gripe with events like Art Basel Miami Beach and the traditional Gallery/Museum scene is that there is very little of this interchange with the public.

Its really sad that the artists in Miami work tediously in the hope that they will have an audience for their art, but the community has no way to benefit from these art events and fairs. There is so much richness and excitement in the artists who I work with who are on the fringe and half of their work as an artist is just finding an artist or struggling to pay for materials. It is a touching experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’ve often compared Seattle to a third world city in its rampant building. I was over in the Eastlake neighborhood, and I counted no less than nine cranes in my frame of view. Public Art is actually one of our initiatives that we are working on here in Seattle, in regard to the non-stop building that is going on, since our real estate market does better than most of the country. New Dehli is taking command of its public spaces for contemporary art. The push by local artists to create and preserve public art is a model for cities like Seattle whose face is being changed in a way that the common citizen has little or no control of.

I like the Visuals and concept of the slow painting website. Its got links to other art history website and blogs, and you can read about an exhibit on Greek Vase Painting in Manhattan in this recent post. Moco Loco is another cool art blog that I just discovered. I haven’t gotten in depth yet so I don’t know quite what its approach is, but its a modern and contemporary art blog with a clean design and colorful and cartoony art that I enjoy so much in today’s entry.

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Whatever feels right

December 16, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Posted in Deep thoughts, Music, Life, Art, News, Upcoming Events | 2 Comments
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I have used the same keywords for my alerts since I started this blog, and I almost never see the same blog twice. One that had a nice clean design and a strange image drew me in. It was of a potato with a nail through it, and it was on the LACMA blog, which is called Unframed. Much like Art Basel Miami Beach, MOCA has been in the news, so anything art and LA related in the news stands out to me.

LACMA is an acronym for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. MOCA Los Angeles still manages to fuel speculation in the art world in spite of its current stalemate and the eerie silence on the part of the challenged institution. A blog on the possibility of the museum, discusses the controversial practice of deassession.

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Art By Paper Monster

Las Vegas doesn’t pop up on my art radar for obvious reasons but today, I did read an article about the revival of a Contemporary Art Center, which, according to the article, Beate Kirmse helped rejuvenate over the past year. I found it a little disturbing that while informational and seemingly positive in its overall efforts, this article by the Las Vegas Sun paints a nice picture, but it doesn’t address the really important issue, which should be the establishment of some measures on her part to make sure that the artists continue to get the recognition they need after her eventual departure. The article closes with her saying, “Maybe I’ll go back to the East Coast.”

I blog a lot about public art and how art can intersect with and uplift metropolitan cities and serve communities, so this article on a public art project that gives young artists a chance to display public art was the subject of an article in the St. Cloud Times website. Just yesterday I blogged about Art with Barack Obama as the subject matter, and it turns out there is a book on the New York Times bestseller list dedicated to illustrations of Barack Obama.

Paper Monster is a graffiti/stencil artist in Los Angeles that is making a name for himself. The tragic beauties in his stylized and crisp designs create interest with their beauty, but you can’t stop staring because of the amazing colors and layered compositions he creates in various types of media. He has some Obama art on his website too.



Sometimes I just happen to stumble upon the most random blogs, only to be completely arrested by a beautiful image that I have to mention. You don’t need to be a fancy art blog or a big topic to be worthy of mention.

There is a lot of strange and beatiful things hidden in the strangest of places and I’ve developed a little knack for digging them up. This blogger Karl Jones has been blogging since before blogging was cool, I don’t know how well-known he is because I am new to online publishing but this guy knows what he likes. I dig his blog because its a funky mix of cool tidbits and his really cool digital designs that he makes into computer desktop wallpapers.

Art by Karl Jones

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Not PC is another blog that is not an art blog but has something out of the ordinary that got my attention because it had something interesting or useful about art in it. In this case, it was a venture into art & perception. I’ll be honest with you, my dear reader, I really don’t understand what his blog/mission is about. I wanted to include a short description in my mention of it but I am kinda stumped. Maybe you can figure it out. Its definitely not an art blog.


From the beginning, I had so much to say about the whole experience of diving into a relationship that went further than your casual observer with some of the most offbeat artists in the city. I’m never satisfied when obvious perks like wanting free videography or an attractive host might be yours as a result of my meeting and working with you. Sure, those things are tempting for an artist, but for me, I am making art. So I am thinking about other things too.

Its taken a lot of flexibility and patience as well as simple tact to get through some of these situations. I do know that artists are also busy making their own art, and it is somewhat of a stretch for them to give me yet another part of themselves and experience for the art I want to make. But it wouldn’t be the SEA SHOW without it. I am enamoured with the artists I have worked with from the beginning and who I continue to meet. To me, they are important.

The fact that the copius excitement that ensues with creative and intellectual interchanges occur is just icing on the cake. There really is a lot of potential, and its what’s really fueled my commitment whenever there have been challenges this past year and a half.

When I am in SF next month I’ll likely ponder these concepts and more in the Art of Participation exhibit at the SF MOMA.

Without speaking directly to circumstances, I am working hard to balance sensible thinking with my warm affection for the work and life of an artist. I think part of the constant challenge is finding that place where an artist can really step outside of his or her work, so that it can be elevated, heightened in a new way. This could be a flagrantly selfish pursuit, but I sacrifice and give so much that this is far too simplistic an observation or what motivates me. I suppose if you knew me personally, my motivations might make more sense. I know artists understand and like it, and as long as that is happening, The SEA SHOW must go on.

Day 5 : American Salon is Art Basel Miami Beach

December 8, 2008 at 9:25 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough, here is one last post on all things Art Basel. While I did not attend the week’s festivities, I’m not the only writer to report on the event without ever setting foot on the sands of Miami.

It turns out my clumsy conjecture may not be so off point after all. Things didn’t look good for Art Basel, but it was not the funeral everyone predicted, as this Indian Reuters article suggests. In these other websites, its not so clear what is going on. I like the clean design of this site, which mentioned Miami Art Basel. After checking out the link, I was not really sure what this website was about. Then I realized its a fashion blog and these darlings had the pleasure of attending the festivities at some point in the past week. If this is the future of fashion, then I’m scared. I didn’t get anything out of this site at all.

In my art coverage, I was also directed to the Take Part website for their Miami Art Basel 2008 coverage, which is yet another one that is new to me.

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During a stint as a travel writer a few years ago, I was interested in Macao and since 1999, when China gained control over it and made it a special administrative region, it has become the Las Vegas of the far east, when it had been a formerly Portuguese colony since the 16th century. I don’t imagine that the buzz has quite really caught on, but Contemporary Art is working on creating a foothold there. Is this a future site for Art Basel? Are we going to keep the ocean theme? How about inviting the SEA SHOW for a multi-disciplinary art performance and roundtable discussion? :-> I came across a page for a gallery in Macau that had links to archives of previous exhibitions in my search for images of Contempory Art in China .

When I look at a painting, especially one by a local artist who I might know personally, I cannot help but think of the Salon de Refuses, which was set up for the famous impressionists who gave so much to modern art, as they were repeatedly turned away from the Salon. In a broader light, I can’t help but think of Art Basel in the same light. So many that purchase and influence descisions about art don’t create it themselves, and so its almost inconceivable that they would buy art from an unknown and undervalued artist, or and do whatever can to help them. I don’t think the art world has worked like that since the Rennaissance, if ever.

painting_floorPaintings by Dr. JohnnyWOW!

When I see a painting in front of me by a talented local artist, I see a Manet in the works, and the art is precious to me, because of the effort of the art. If it weren’t like artists who I know first hand who would create art even if they were homeless or you would think there was no way for them to create, find a way. And I think its beautiful. If there is a collector like that out there, please let me know.I have to say, I do applaud the efforts of the man trying to help MOCA. But imagine if everyday artists had access to that. What would happen? Surely something more exciting than the uninspiring reports I am reading from Miami Art Basel.

Art Antics

November 30, 2008 at 10:19 am | Posted in Miami Art Basel, Music, Life, Art, News | Leave a comment
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All sorts of interesting things come across my desk every day. Using simple search terms nets me stranger results.

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You can be sure that an expansive display of modern art will be on view at the new MOMEMA (Museum of Middle East Modern Art). With a 50 billion dollar price tag, you know that this imminent destination will draw art lovers from all over the world.

This will definitely be a hub of action once its completed during the annual Art Dubai Festival. Think of Miami beach and add a large helping of Arab culture, and you have an awesome event that draws galleries from Brussells to Mumbai.

Despite the political tension artists experience, new trends in art has been quietly unfurling in the middle east. Just this year, records were broken in Contemporary Art sales in the Middle East. Its clear there is a market for Arabic and art work in the East if you read what is said about collector’s interest the Iranian and Middle Eastern Art for sale on the Christie’s website. Traditional Muslim visual design shuns iconography, so these guys were making modern paintings and developing fanciful calligraphy centuries before the west gave up its perpetual affair with the human figure.

Mumbai was also in art news this week, a planned show of some art from Poland was canceled at the last minute due to recent events there.

If you visit us daily and read are news from all over the web, you might be interested in a new podcast by the Art Institute on Curating. Contemporary artists can learn what curators are looking for, so this is a great resource for you up and coming artist or for anyone that is curious about Modern Art and curating.

Fresh off the presses today, is a new show in Pittsburgh. The antics of The Yes Men, as they are known, were jacques2previously unknown to your author. My interested has definitely been piqued. I can’t think of a better example of behavior that the viewer finds a challenge to interpret as art. These guys force you to think, and its great. It will be thie first exhibition and I wish I were there to see it.

This artist is misunderstood as well. While The Yes Men intentionally pull off stunts that border on being legal, The work of artist Sheryl Luxenburg was called into question is created with a technique where she uses dots of transparent color, has created unexpected problems for her, because she used photographs as models for her paintings.

Get the latest on what’s not happening with MOCA Los Angeles here.

Since we’re always concerned with one of the greatest challenges to emerging arts, with is financial resources, this commentary is of importance, the value and sales of Contemporary Art are the subject of this Australian Publications article posted on November 29, 2008.

A small city in Florida named Lucie has suffered some budget cuts and its public art program is suffering as a result. I wonder how many situations like this could benefit the rest of the state if there was a special art tax so that entire state can benefit even more from the event that it hosts every year, Art Basel Miami Beach.

In Irish art news, the Museum of Modern Art in Glasgow is going to see some changes in its collection, thanks to a$1 prize from Art Fund International. Modern and diverse works will be represented, including the Palestinian themed art by Emily Jacir.

Art that moves

November 26, 2008 at 11:39 pm | Posted in vlog | Leave a comment
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The internet and changes in media have opened a lot of doors for alternative forms of media. We can look forward to some more interesting inroads by artists into 2d and 3d animtion if the first episode of Murakami’s is any indicator. In my alerts I came across some comments in the art websites about the sale of Loius Vuitton bags he designed at his art opening.

The art community of Los Angeles has pretty strong feelings about MOCA, which is safe thanks to a philanthropic bailout – but many are happy that the artist will be paying taxes and creating jobs when his animation studio opens.

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Art by Murakami

While I think there are a ton of overlooked animators out there, there is a chance for you to see some animated art. Interestingly, the show I’m sure consists of many artists who work with and know one another so its interesting to see the individual work, but also the work in the context of its influences and these artists acquaintance with one another.I had a love affair with the impressionists then later Picasso when I would check out library books after high school.

It was fun to read about these artists with crazy ideas that were unaccepted and broke but they did anything to go for it! I see a similar picture here. Seattle was awesome when I got here and its spirit is still strong, and it had a lot of ties its sister city in the northwest, Portland.

The December opening at Art not TV gives working animators an opportunity to show us what they can do with the talent they have when they’re not trying to get paid to be artists.

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Cartoon artists and animators have some very colorful imaginations, and its really cool seeing abstract concepts from artists like Richard Mather come to life with sound and movement. Its great to make a living as an artist, but its nice to be just an artist too.

Art by Richard Mather

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