All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

Still shaking that stick:

Aimard   Messiaen Ravel Chopin   Wednesday Disney Hall   Wow   You got it, you got it – yet another opportunity to hear a master play the masters. This time I’m giving you 24 hour notice. Head straight to the box office and buy a pair. Link to LA Phil calendar more in a while, lunch is over b-bye...

More music than you can shake a stick at!

Tonight   Vicki Ray The Eclipse Quartet Morton Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet   YAY   Hey, I’d love to pretend I know all about Feldman and his music – this would make me feel so smart. I don’t. I know people who impress the hell out of me are deeply impressed by Feldman’s music. I know he was friends with Philip Guston until Guston made that cartoon-ey / realist move in his painting. I know what is probably a hugely apocryphal story – told by Feldman himself and repeated in a June 2006 Alex Ross New Yorker story: “My teacher Stefan Wolpe was a Marxist and he felt my music was too esoteric at the time. And he had his studio on a proletarian street, on Fourteenth Street and Sixth Avenue. . . . He was on the second floor and we were looking out the window, and he said, “What about the man on the street?” At that moment . . . Jackson Pollock was crossing the street. The crazy artist of my generation was crossing the street at that moment.” (Read more of this Ross article here:  http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/06/19/060619crat_atlarge#ixzz16mUk6Cr3) Gross name dropper. About his music I only know what I’ve experienced. It always seems kind of quiet to me. Kind of jazz-like. Maybe if Stan Kenton and Miles Davis played real softly in a room next door to where I sat with a book, smoking a cigarette and a drinking cocktail; reading and thinking –  that would be Morton Feldman music. TICKETS ARE ONLY $25!!! ZIPPER HALL AT THE COLBURN SCHOOL TIX HERE:...

Affordable Art Sale + pretty exciting news about me = I’M HAVING A BLAST! So should you.

Dear friends of NoL, Specific Merchandise and Brooks Hudson Thomas are hosting an art sale this coming Saturday, December 4th with all of the spectacular art on offer priced under $301. The event will be held at the home of their operations, Specific Merchandise, 7374 Beverly Blvd., LA, 90036, tele. 323-930-0220. Let me turn up the heat a little on this offer. I visited Brooks et Cie on Saturday and dropped off thirteen of my own drawings. Yes, you read that correctly. May I shyly tell you that I’ve wanted to show you my work for a decade? When I’m not writing, when I’m done working for the architects, after I’m done going all over town and talking with dealers and curators and writers and other artists – I go home and….. work some more. Some of you (many of you?) will know this because I’ve mailed you a drawing as a thank you or a greeting or as a congratulatory work of art when your show has particularly moved me. For those of you who aren’t aware – I’ve had a decade long practice of mailing a drawing (or several) to artists that I admire. I’m up to some 250 art correspondences. Maybe more – beyond knowing that I’ve sent something to each artist D and I’ve bought work from over the years I haven’t kept track. Having said all that, I’ll say more: I’m proud of these drawings I’m showing and I’d love for you to see them. I hope you’ll stop by Specific on Beverly and take a look.  (Did I mention that everything is for...

Donald Moffett Blue (NY) redux

Hello lookers and readers, It’s nice to see you again. On Nov 6 I posted “Donald Moffett: Blue (NY)” about political abstraction. I made you the promise that I’d scan the pages from said catalog to a higher resolution so you could read the text. Let’s see, it’s been 17 days – I came close once but then thought better of my plan. Instead now I’ll retype the text as quotes – in a manner similar to what I did with WORDS WITHOUT PICTURES. (WWP IS available from Aperture Press. Those posts began at the tail end of my Aug 5 post, continued in the Aug 6 post, and reached something of a conclusion in the WWP Aug 7 post) This translation from fuzzy jpg to text will allow you to read Richard Torchia’s fascinating questions and you’ll begin to appreciate the skill with which he crafted them, knowing all the while that Moffett would refuse to respond. As I did, I urge you to seek out a copy of this book – I’m bringing you just a brief passage. Abstract painting is with us again (and always) and artists are investigating its possibilities with great vigor. We need to be aware of more than the formal balance and tension among materials, lines, colors, textures and shapes. I think artists need us to look for ideas in their paintings. Torchia’s book will help. Quoting Torchia: I also want to suggest, however, that your photos can function as meta-monochromes. They arrive at the end of a century marked by the persistent exploration of the single-color image. But because they are...

Interviews with Mullican, McCracken and Halley

I bet that headline got your attention. (insert big smile) Welcome to the wonderful world of the Silver Shed and the Silver Shed Reader, pdf available for download here http://www.thesilvershed.org/ I’ll allow the group to speak for itself, “Silvershed is an artist-run contemporary art project space in Chelsea, working between New York, Los Angeles and Berlin, as a collaboration for exhibitions, publications and events. Silvershed explores social dynamics of increasingly lateral flow of exchange of information, ideas and resources among artists to generate and to connect discussions of contemporary art values, ethics and aesthetics of the 21st century. Started in 2008 by Patrick Meagher, Yunhee Min and Oliver Lanz, Silvershed is volunteer organized, and accepts tax-deductible contributions as a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.” I think the Shed now exists online (where downloads of previous projects are available as I noted above) and also through a continuing series of collective exhibitions titled Collective Show. I urge you to visit the Collective Show Frequently Asked Questions page in case I mislead you. For instance I just learned that the CS “evolved out of ABCyz.org, who also have a FAQ page. Perhaps I’ll continue by offering the vague almost facts and partial misunderstandings I’ve developed by watching from afar, rather than try to scurry around the websites so I may provide what may still be my own misinterpretations of the facts available. Whoo daddy. My friend Yunhee Min spent the last several years living in NY. Through occasional visits, emails, etc., I learned the she and Patrick Meagher and Oliver Lanz had joined forces and one or another’s...

Jen Smith “Oh I Limp Concise Sadism”

I watched Jen Smith’s video at the closing party for Link Arms and Listen at Commonwealth & Council on Saturday. Oh I Limp Concise Sadism (click for YouTube upload) shows Smith wearing a paper mache horse head, lots of silky colored ribbons suspended from the horse’s neck (making for Smith a tangled,  floating gown),  and dragging the beast’s hind quarters behind her. She’s barefoot and walking on the grass of an isolated lawn at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With her head covered she’s blinded and mostly deaf. Gretchen Hildebran’s beautiful videography captures the simplicity of the green lawn and the regal white buildings – for the opening shot the Washington Monument and the Capitol are just left of center and several layers of traffic pass by on different roads. Jen Smith in her horse goddess cladding enters from the right. The various crisp whites, greys and greens and her many-colored ribbons make a beautiful passage as her feet feel the way and she probably is hoping not to stumble. She moves on to the World War I Memorial, a small round domed and columned building, and finds her way around and up the stairs then around the inside; finally lying in repose near a fluted column – devoured by her ribbons and making a perfectly lovely picture. Daily life on the mall continues in the distance – evident in the sounds of passing cars and sirens. I say all this because I don’t have images. If you’d like you may follow the above link to see the video for yourself. Imperialism, blind followers, an unnamed Roman or...

in November

Hi my friends, The poem I posted on Nov 19, ‘Growing up gay,’ I wrote in 1984. The words have stayed with me and have become part of my writing DNA. Some lines are quotes from pop songs and all of it is my 24 year old voice trying to say meaningful things from the fairly solitary place I lived. Over the years drawings and writing often occupy the same space for me. In 2008 I began to work with a few simple drawn characters who have come to people the broken narratives I write. These not-quite-narratives or stories take bits from my personal life, histories recollected from obsessive reading, and fantasy – I don’t draw much distinction among these sources. The poem below, ‘…it was a night,’ is drawn as the border of a drawing of two of these characters. This placement makes a continuous loop and requires one to hold the drawing and turn it in one’s hands to read. This panel is one of several introductions to ‘Polley and Droolus’ (a black blob and a white diamond shape) although this particular panel in the series comes two years after they were ‘born.’ These ‘books’ are from 5 to 13 pages long. Some are one-sided and some are two-sided. and it was on a night it was a night they would remember the friends and the hills and the highways and the night the silent call the murmur the place they made theirs the traces disappeared the lights and the people behind the lights passing without...

a melancholy poem from 1984

That one day better be your life you don’t go crying for tomorrow when you’ve got today man sing me a sad one, a mourning song give me the hot blood of your soul steaming on plate take my eyes I’m in love not with me, not with you with a fleet sensual nothing young men in special glances and in shorts a wavering woman reaches to a neighbor hands across the lawn her motion describing dances in a pint loneliness what I ever find looking across the bus at a girl named capable and a guy who knows what I really want a finer time, a truer sensibility love not lost but let go I never had no good old days never even wanted ’em just think so now and again turn it over and find today turn over that crying face growing up gay Take me out of this house stop again mister – I want to go candy from strangers is ok cuz it’s free and the people you know gotta live with you forever like More and more beneath an eternal flame guarded by the highway and me an old Slavic man “Oh, I’ll care for you I’ll travel you I’ll take you into my geriatric ward…” (not for me the fortunate few) five’ll get you a dime and a half-pint and a diet pepsi I remember yearning for the dirt for the street I remember so much that never came offer me a ride, fucker – I’ll blow you to heaven too clearly did I forget their scorn how could what I’m missing turn...

Keeping the weekend random

Hello my friends, Those among you who’ve visited already this week witnessed my somewhat random/manic blog post development strategy. Thanks for being along for the ride(s). Before we settle in let me put on my gray cardigan, get out my pipe, and lean against this handy mantle so I may introduce our musical selections for the week. Ok, there it is. Everybody comfortable? Merle Haggard, I Can’t Hold Myself In Line. Haggard was raw and beautiful and back then country music was natural family with the blues. Dispossessed and passionate. Somehow since 1969 country music has become a smug pabulum which our ruling class consumes in an effort to reassure itself of its validity and down home roots. Cue any current track for whatever politician’s rally. Enjoy the real thing. Great Merle Haggard discography on Slipcue. Linda Ronstadt, Girls Talk from her 1980 album Mad Love. Um, dunno. I was twenty, enough explanation probably. Things feel pretty hairy recently and I’m a trifle overwhelmed. (I’m warning you. If I pack too much in blame the generosity of our artists, not poor bloody-fingered me!) Thursday, Nov 18 at the PDC (Melrose at San Vicente in West Hollywood) a million things open. Eek. Honestly there’s too much for me to interestingly list. The PDC website does a good job and has links to gallery websites, go there. I’m fairly certain this is the inaugural exhibition for Annie Wharton Los Angeles. Congratulations Annie! You’ll help bring the mojo of Chinatown to the near west side. Favorites of mine are in The Way The Morning Broke Was Quite Unusual: Ingibjorg Birgisdottir, Alika Cooper, John...

Dear Stephanie: not quite “right back at you” with those musical recommendations

But still, here goes. Tonight is George Crumb at Disney Hall. I don’t know what to expect, I did read this LA Times profile by Delia Casadei so I’m a little prepared. I imagine tix are still available (you have to order thru Ticketmaster online, I prefer the box office) I don’t know whether the box office offers discounts the day of the concert – the normal prices are $42 to $62. The official George Crumb home page. More to come, I swear....