Friday, September 25, 2009

50/50/50 Exhibit Opens

Emerge digital collage Bill Evertson

The Eclipse Gallery 50/50/50 exhibition opens Saturday 26th. The exhibit's theme features fifty artists from fifty states working in fifty different mediums. The show highlights the moving and often hard to define differences and intersections of fine art, craft and indie design.

50/50/50 Exhibition Opening Announcement

The show is curated by Sarah Elizabeth Condon who states, "I am interested in the intersection between art, craft and design. This exhibition will not only highlight the importance of all art disciplines but will also stress the importance of all working artists regardless of their location."

My work for this exhibit is a digital collage. "Emerge" was created both on paper and in Photoshop. I combined a series of photographic, scanned and drawn works to produce the piece. A deep sea divers suit I photographed at a maritime museum in Kingston, Ontario, sparked the original idea. I worked with a few other photographs of water and sky to obtain a setting for the divers encounter with the lotus. This is one of my occasional forays into Buddhist inspired art. My friend Ria commented, "love how the lotus flower (?) is reflecting in the man's (woman's ?) visor-wait maybe that's even the other way around,...mmm...from a Buddhist standpoint that 'll get me going on interpreting...;) Emerge...excellent title!"

I was pleased to learn that two artists who's work I follow via their blogs are exhibiting in this show. Jennifer Zoellner, representing Flordia and Corrine Bayraktaroglu from Ohio.

Rag Dolls Mixed media by Jennifer Zoellner

Jennifer Zoellner, who I recently met at the A Book About Death opening in NYC, curated the Chromatophore exhibition of mail art I submitted a piece to. Jennifer's unique rag doll creations for 50/50/50 seem to go beyond simple toys/keepsakes due to their idiosyncratic juxtapositions of textures, fabric and facial expressions. I'm a bit reminded of ritual objects from natural history museums in the way they address a particular culture. In this case our fascination with a folk art icon seen through a pop art lens. (Jennifer - feel free to correct my impressions)

The Prick Who Came to Dinner Embroidery by Corrine Bayraktaroglu

Corrine Bayraktaroglu, self described on her blog as a Jafa (just another #%!@&*% artist), works in a variety of media including embroidery, painting, knit graffiti and mixed media. Corrine's most recent work is embroidery based. Her piece for this show "The Prick Who Came to Dinner" is Corrine's commentary in thread on a rather rude dinner guest. She has a way with words and there is more to the story. Lately her blog has shared several embroidery translations from her sketchbooks. (the sketchbooks being works of art in their own right)

Part of the Eclipse Gallery's vision is to provide artists working out of the mainstream art hubs a venue for exhibition. One of the ways artists and curators like Sarah Elizabeth are able to connect is because of social networking via blogs and Facebook. Sarah's ability to seek out and curate for Eclipse exhibits via the social media outlets is a continuation of the historically recent advent of alternative artist spaces. Many artists (for a variety of reasons) are not exhibiting in the larger art markets, yet their styles of work lends itself to the more experimental nature of those spaces. Congratulations to Sarah for her hard work launching her gallery and for the courage to take chances on artists working in often hard to define and experimental modes.
Best wishes for the opening of 50/50/50 at the Eclipse Gallery. Reception, September 26 at the gallery located in Algoma, WI and running through Dec. 31st.

MoMA has obtained A Book About Death

In other news: I learned that MoMA has obtained a complete set of the A Book About Death pages. I am completely amazed that somewhere in the depths of that giant establishment of the art world there is room for such an egalitarian project that sprang and grew from the world of artists networking artists. Again, thanks to Matthew Rose for his organization and to Deven Marriner for compiling the pages for MoMA. What would Ray Johnson make of this development? Further reincarnations of the project are already springing up. Bookmark for further developments.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

One More Word

Ok - One more word on A Book About Death. Just because this is too precious not to share ;)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

You Can Take It With You!

Bill at the A Book About Death Opening
** My “final” word on the A Book About Death exhibition – I am happy to be a page! The opening September 10th was huge! It was crowded beyond belief plus a 400-person line to get in the gallery covered the sidewalk between Spring and Prince Street here in NYC. An inconvenience to those waiting, but a testament to the global, viral and ultimately egalitarian nature of the project.
Missed the show or the line was too much? Emily Harvey (537 Broadway, NYC) is open 1- 7pm Tue-Sat and the shows runs through Sept. 22nd; but plan to attend before the pages "expire."
Not in NYC - visit the blog or web wall.
Matthew Rose comments on A Book About Death
Before the opening of the exhibition I shot video of a few words by the very busy Matthew Rose who organized and shepherded the project to completion. “The only exhibition that you take with you” sums up a key point to the exhibit. All the artists involved in the project produced 500 postcards to the project. Gallery visitors are encouraged to take “pages’ with them to form their personal "Book About Death”

Scene from the opening of A Book About Death
As a tribute to the Ray Johnson the exhibit is purposely ephemeral. Best said by Christian Xatrec, NYC director of the Emily Harvey Foundation, “The developing mission of the Foundation, and Rose’s show, refuse the notion of hierarchy and the buttressing of institutional framings.” Indeed, many artists aided the development of the project in a 21st century continuation of Johnson’s fascination with the distribution of art by correspondence.

Pages of the Book About Death waiting for a home
I personally became aware of the project through the social networking of blogging. ABAD gained a steady global following through Facebook, Twitter and bloggers. As the press release notes, artist from Spain, Belgium, Australia, Asia, South America; indeed across the globe contributed a kaleidoscope of works. Caterina Verde, artist and website designer of the “wall site” for ABAD commented that “to see the images submitted from around the world and cultural permutations of the subject, the variations of temperament, thoughts, aesthetics - is as we observe ourselves walking through life; Ordinary and Extraordinary.
I capture Charlotte Soehner as she greets the opening crowd in English, French and Chinese
I arrived early afternoon of opening night and was able to lend a hand making sure all the artists who submitted work were represented on the wall. While I had been fairly diligent in viewing work as posted on the growing virtual wall, I gained a new perspective from handling the art of so many people I had become friends with because of the exhibit.
Many new friends lie in repose here at ABAD
Well done Matthew Rose! I think Ray Johnson was with you.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ABAD Opening

A Book About Death Exhibition poster by Matthew Rose

** The A Book about Death exhibition open this Thursday in NYC at the Emily Harvey gallery. The exhibit, organized by artist Matthew Rose, is part homage to the influential mail artist Ray Johnson and tribute to the late Emily Harvey. The exhibition is envisioned as an unbound book with the contributing artists providing the postcard size pages. All contributions concern the many faceted topic of death. The artists contributing to the show have drawn deeply to provide visual exemplars of their personal experiences with a difficult topic. The variety of thought and approach to the topic range from feelings of ones own mortality to examples of personal loss to heroic struggles to philosophical musing on purpose and value.

All artists have provided editions of 500 of their individual page. The pages may be collected to form the book. The pages are free for the taking to anyone attending the exhibition. In keeping with the theme the book will disappear during the course of the exhibition. (Although by the very nature of the distribution there are certainly reincarnation possibilities)

My contribution viewable here as a prior post or on the ABAD blog (artist #38 way back when) contains an enclosed short story entitled Text Messages from the Dead. The 400-word story is viewable for a limited time in the right margin of this blog.

The exhibition opens this Thursday, September 10th from 7:30 to 11pm at Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery at 537 Broadway in NYC.

The press release for the exhibit contains a full listing of the performances that accompany the opening as well as a wealth of background on the concept and innovative organization of this type of project. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the project is the viral nature and global reach that found roots in the correspondence work of Ray Johnson.

Everyone is also invited to freely download the ABAD poster art available as high resolution PDFs at Posters by Hoffman, Mars, Touchon, Verde, Rose, Rager and Hertz are featured.

Caterina Verde has also designed a companion website with the art visible as a mosaic wall or individually.

See you there!

By The Way
For those in the central Connecticut area, I'll be participating in an on the green show in Glastonbury, Ct. this weekend. The show (surprisingly titled On the Green) is this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


2009 Nightball T-Shirt

** Once again I have been chosen as the official T-shirt designer for the International Nightball Tournament. This year's design features a juxtaposition of a 1950's croquet rulebook with a brush wielding hand emerging from a serpent's mouth producing some graffiti. (blame my fascination with Mayan art for the latter)
Nightball, a lawn game using a standard croquet set is played during the night with balls and mallets on fire. The croquet set is usually consumed during play.

This years shirts are printed with pride by Curt Prestash of Curtcorp.

More on (de)clutter:

Ria's original mail art - awaiting collaboration

Additions to Ria's original

Last post I mentioned clutter and several comments were concerned whether I found any treasures. One major item was Ria's mail art (Ria of Painting2Cancers) which I had to finish my collaboration and mail off to a third party. My contribution was to add a bit of three dimensional fun to the piece and now it is safely in the hands of the postal service. On to a fellow mail artist for further modifications. When I spot it on FB or another blog I'll be sure to share.