All notes with the topic David Bell | Notes on Looking

Jenny Yurshansky | Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory

Through the tall slender stalks of deer grass, and clumping masses of wild rye, she treads gently. Shadows still laying horizontally she takes shade under a California Bay inhaling the sweet smell of lavender and sage carried in from the quiet breeze. She removes her gloves revealing the dirt embedded deep in her nails, bends down takes off her shoes and begins to extract the foxtails that have woven themselves masterfully into her socks. Holding the removed seedpods in the palm of her hand while using her thumb and index to excavate the others; she draws out strings of cotton with each failed attempt. The act seems violent. She sits in the shade, feet out in the sun. Without identification, who are you? How old are you? Where are you from? Can you prove it? If you are pulled over by the police, you must present them with a card. This card states that you belong; you are identifiable. You may nervously smile, trying to simulate your photographic self, explain your situation; where you are coming from, where you are going. Has your name changed? Is this your current address? Are you wearing the glasses in which your card states you should be, are you legally blind?  Mediterranean mustard is an erect, canescent, biennial or perennial growing to some 3′ tall.   With the delicate eye of a botanist and the unique ecological perspective of California’s Invasive Plant population, Jenny Yurshansky’s solo show at Pitzer College addresses issues of permanence and belongingness, combined with sociopolitical awareness and hidden agendas.  The stems are branched both from the base and above, and...

Carmen Argote: watermelons, no catchies or bouncies at Commonwealth & Council

The blacktop of the playground ignites a very specific memory to my individual history. I grew up mostly in a small solar powered house with a well that supplied my family’s water. Washing clothing was an issue for two reasons: one, because the machine sucked all the power from the rest of the house, often forcing us to start a noisy generator in order to finish a load of clothes; and two, the water that came from the well was straight from the earth, anything white would eventually become slightly off-white, then eventually beige and sooner or later would have to be discarded. This inevitably led me to wear mostly dark colors, or black; nothing that allowed for visible stains. Unfortunately, my school provided a uniform for Physical Education, white shirt and grey shorts, as an attempt to make us all look “the same”. Most kids enjoyed getting dirty during recess; I became an expert at participation without overexertion. Anything involving a ball and the blacktop meant dirty hands, so as I watched other kids casually (or aggressively) wipe the soot on and into their clothing knowing they could take them home to their parent’s magical machines and return the next day looking fresh and clean; I caught the ball at a distance, kept my hands slightly off to the sides of the material that threatened to expose my home life. A day when I didn’t have to take my uniform home to the washer was a successful day at recess. Carmen Argote’s Painting for an Exterior Wall presents the viewer with a simple Mondrianesque arrangement caked with a...

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...