All notes from Archives | Notes on Looking

Mitt Romney: The Perfectly Lubricated Weather Vane

DANEY SAYLOR – OCTOBER 25, 2012 On Tuesday November 6, 2012, the United States will vote to decide who will lead our country over the next four years.  The choice in this election could not be clearer between the two dominant political parties – the Democrats and the Republicans.  What is at stake in this election?  President Barack Obama and the Republican nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, have very different visions for the future.  They also have very different positions in policy that map the journey along these two distinct paths. Walking into the Oval Office on his very first day on the job, President Obama had to reckon with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression along with two wars in the greater Middle East.  Under the leadership of President Obama, the country’s economy has stabilized and added jobs for the past 31 months with the rate of unemployment recently falling below 8%.[1]  As Commander in Chief, Obama stopped combat missions in Iraq and ended the nine year manhunt of Osama bin Laden by launching a mission resulting in bin Laden’s death.  President Obama has signed health care reform, repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and Wall Street reform.  President Obama has made progress despite the Tea Party and Republican intransigence; the opposition has made the filibuster commonplace and expected for every vote in the Senate.[2]  But the larger point is that the American people have gotten to know President Obama for the past four years.  Every movement, every decision, and every statement the President has made have been scrutinized by the public, the media,...

It’s So Nice to Meet You

Sitting in my beat-up car outside the banquet hall, I can see the men standing around. Some talking, some smoking, some peering into the newly-arrived vehicle to try to catch a glimpse of who might be inside.  I turn up my music a little louder, savoring my last ten seconds of solitude before I step out into the fluorescent light.  The car door opens and I am outside, wearing the black leather dress my boyfriend had zipped me into an hour earlier before I kissed him gently on the mouth and said goodbye for the night.  Have fun, he said.  I will, I said. The tiny, sort of squirrely Turkish man who is my boss greets me with a hug as I walk through the French doors into the small lobby.   He is thrilled by my outfit, and suggests the only thing that is missing is a whip.  Of course, I giggle and laugh, perhaps gently squeeze his shoulders, and continue toward the table to say my hellos to the guests who are already seated, all of whom I have seen here before.  They are regulars.  They know me.  Well – they know Alexa Grace.  That’s who I am on these nights. I wish I could tell you I chose to have a fake name purely for practical measures, as a way to safeguard my own identity from being linked to the game, or the players, or the cash.  Certainly, this was part of it.  But the reality is I felt my heart swell when the idea of having an alias entered my mind.  Mainly, I chose the pseudonym...

A conversation: David Bell and Geoff Tuck

Geoff Tuck David Bell G. How much of the outcome (in your ptgs) is due to the strangeness of your tracing, and how much is it due to creating a likeness? Clearly both must be present, right? In the painting of Young Chung, Jay Erker and Bettina Hubby, The People I Choose To Surround Myself With (see below), I think Jay relates to the earlier EJ Hill likeness, which was squished into your own frame, or figure. If strange in a painting refers to a level of unreality that allows us to believe its image, is your Jay strange enough to be herself? D. I remember walking around in Florence Italy when I first began making art, and s seeing a guy with no arms paint perfect portraits of people on the street with his feet, and thinking, I’m fucked.  When I first began making this series I was trying to think of a way to give myself a handicap that I could put the blame on if I didn’t like the result, I didn’t want to over dramatize it by bending over and painting with a brush pointing out of my ass or anything, so I began tracing people, when they stand up they can see immediately that I’m going to have a hard time making it look flattering in anyway; it kind of starts with an apology.  G. Aah, an apology. Something to which I relate quite sincerely. I’m forever apologizing for my writing. We must accept that this nervous ritual serves existentially, rather than relationally. No one hears. D. Social networks have allowed us to be...

Christopher Michlig at Marine Contemporary

First I think of the utilitarian basis of play – nothing useful should not also be fun. Then I think back to conversations with Chris Michlig about Russian Constructivism and Suprematism. I wonder whether part of what the Suprematists were doing was not so much repudiating the Constructivist’s utilitarian imperative as they were proposing Malevich’s pure feeling to be useful. After all, if only to bring humanity to life, feeling is necessary. Michlig’s sculptures in his White Noise exhibition resemble low tables and stools on which are stacked and piled letter and number shapes which have volume (they are made from cut pieces of brightly-colored poster material). Past work by this artist also makes use of recognizably human-based objects for supports, as though by doing so – by using chairs, slender wooden frames that look like folding furniture, and now the tables and stools in White Noise, Michlig wants one to respond physically and psychologically as one might in the home or office. The new sculptures are made of light wood, and some have molded plaster or concrete legs. I recall that the top surface of a few are plain and others are covered in white laminate. I distinctly recall liking heart-shaped supports in one sculpture, and this one, along with another that holds a colorful Ferris wheel, make me wonder how personal is this artist’s work? In the past Michlig’s sculptures challenged me to counterpoise in my mind utility, or anthropomorphy, with abstraction, and these new sculptures feel based in humor. It’s a nice place to start. The (mostly) modestly-sized poster collages that he shows push farther into...

Offramp Gallery Organizes an Artist Exhibition and Sale to Benefit Lisa Adams

Benefit Exhibition & Sale for Lisa Adams November 3-4, 2012 Opens Saturday, November 3, 1pm Closing Reception: Sunday, Sunday, November 4, 2-5pm Offramp Gallery is pleased to announce a Benefit Exhibition & Sale for Lisa Adams to be held the weekend of November 3-4, with a reception on Sunday, November 4 from 2-5pm. The exhibition opens at 1pm on Saturday, November 3. Be among the first to select works at benefit prices by Los Angeles luminaries such as Laddie John Dill, Ed Moses, Kristin Calabrese, Larry Bell, Chuck Arnoldi, Iva Gueorguieva, Anita Bunn, Susan Sironi, Jim Ganser, China Adams, Joshua Aster, Erin Cosgrove and many more (see below for full list). Veteran Los Angeles artist Lisa Adams had cataract surgery last March. This procedure is common and usually full recovery takes place in a months’ time. Unfortunately for Lisa, the healing process took a turn for the worse resulting in emergency surgery to correct a torn and detached retina. The recovery time is not only very slow after this surgery (two months), but on occasion the surgery is required a second time. We are asking for your help and generosity to help cover Lisa’s medical costs. 100% of sales from the benefit will go directly to Lisa. Cash donations will also be accepted. Participating artists include: Kim Abeles China Adams Chuck Arnoldi Joshua Aster Lindsay August-Salazar Lou Beach Edith Beaucage Larry Bell Anita Bunn Kristin Calabrese Erin Cosgrove Cherie Benner Davis Laddie John Dill Guy Dill Tom Dowling Amy Drezner Merion Estes Chuck Feesago Renée Fox Nicholas Frank Jim Ganser Iva Geourguieva James Griffith Noah Haytin Julienne Hsu Kohl...

MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC………… AND ART AND ARCHITECTURE

SASSAS Listening Parties are famous for showcasing idiosyncratic music selections in adventurous architectural spaces. In the past, SASSAS has invited to spin sounds such art-related pairings as Mike Kelley with Raymond Pettibon, Roy Dowell with Eamon Ore Giron and Patrick Hill, Andrea Bowers with Alexandra Grant and Brian Kennon and SASSAS placed these sound-loving artists in totally WOW architectures: Jorge Pardo’s Veronica Gonzalez home, Cecilia Dan’s Frank Israel place in Malibu, and the home of Pae White and Tom Marble. You get the idea – each Listening Party is like a three-way of stimulation. Aah yes, the mathematics of architecture meets the arithmetic of sound and each of these logics of beauty ennoble the lumpy yet beautiful organisms that we are. Well, some of us anyway, are lumpy. Perhaps it’s a middle-age thing… The kind and good people at SASSAS have photographically documented each of these stellar events here.) While the pictures after the jump are wonderful – and free – THEY ARE SILENT AND ARE POOR REPLACEMENTS FOR THE EXPERIENCE!! Especially since for a mere $125 (plus any additional donation you may wish to add) YOU CAN COME AND LOOK AND LISTEN. YAY! Sunday, October 21 at the Pasadena home of Steve and Sari Roden, and more specifically in the studio of the aforementioned Steve Roden, Meg Cranston and Geoff Tuck will each play selections of sound and music that spring from deep in the lumbar regions of their (our) individual musical ids. The music will be a surprise to all – I have no idea what Meg might play. I do know that my own set will...

LA is getting its murals back!

Back in July, muralists from all over Los Angeles filled up room 340 in City Hall to find out that the LA City Mural Ordinance could not be agreed on and we’d all have to wait until September to find out when and under what circumstances original art murals on private property would be legal again.  But then in September the City postponed it to October.  After a 10-year Mural Moratorium, artists were getting tired and fed up.  (Here’s the link to my post back in July about the Public Hearing in case you missed it.) So on Thursday, we all returned to that same room in City Hall to find out about the future of LA’s walls.  The City Planning Commission (CPC) heard many artists, teachers, activists, etc. explain once again what should be included or disregarded in the proposed ordinance.  Many agreed on the same issues as last time, such as how the definition of “Original Art Mural” shouldn’t include digitally printed images and that single-family homes should be able to have a mural.  The difference in this hearing was that more artists who wanted digital murals included in the ordinance spoke their minds, including Judy Baca from SPARC (who failed to attend the last hearing). After the discussion went back and forth between council members, compromises were starting to be made.  In the end the council members agreed that residential buildings with 2 units could lawfully display a mural.  However, even though there was a big divide in the issue of digitally printed images being permitted, it was not voted against.  We will just have to...

Daniel Rolnik – curator and bon vivant

Dear Daniel, We’ve messaged back and forth a few times about seeing the show you curated at Curio Studio and Collection in Venice Beach, and I still have not made it. I was in Venice this week, but alas it was Wednesday and the gallery is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6 PM. It may be that I won’t get to see the show at all, I will regret it but I have limited time. For instance, today I am doing this. lol I have been mulling over in my head how to approach writing about without seeing your show Interviews. On the webpage you set up to feature the work, I see that in addition to the usual images and credits, you offer prices and the ability to make direct web purchases of the art. <ADD TO CART> And indeed, many of the works of art have already sold. Congratulations to the artists! It must be exciting to sell work. (laughing, so far I’ve only given mine away!) I’m both charmed and taken aback at your forthrightness – the business of art is rarely so transparent, and when openness is offered it is often met with the self-serving suspicion, “If they’re so open about prices then it must not be good art,” or some version of this sentiment. The elitism that is inherent to commercial secrecy entitles those who play the game to feel special for their “inside” knowledge and access, and sometimes people require these indicators of elitist reassurance to augment or replace their own judgment. Of course the matter is more nuanced than that, but...