Monday, January 11, 2010

Next !!

_Preparing boxes of handstamps for Mobius exhibit

_This week in the studio I’m working toward putting some parentheses around my Ox and O's work in progress for this weekends exhibit at Mobius in Boston. My current work on hand stamps, choice and identity will be on view Saturday the 16th at 8pm at 725 Harrison Ave. in Boston. I say parentheses because the exhibit is part of the Works in Progress program running at the gallery this month and my work on this idea seems to find new tangents to explore. So I’ve got to wrap a cover around where I am at this particular moment and present what I’ve got. Those that have followed my thinking out loud here have seen the personal mythology symbol stamps and Ox and O's game box. I’ve also produced two videos and an handmade artist accordion book. This weekend I want to explore an aspect of choice that I need an audience for: how our identities are constrained by the choices we are NOT allowed to make.

Collection of personal mythology symbols

_When I think about this game (or life) played with choice I think of the tic tac toe grid as a structure which constrains the freedom of expression and identity. There are many things we are not able to choose; our place of birth, our sex or orientation, our parents or their status and many others. So to further this idea I want to involve others in a dialogue in order to gather material via photos and video for the next phase in this project.
_From the press release: “Simple tic tac toe grids on paper are provided as well as a selection of the artist’s hand-carved symbols. The audience completes the work by playing the game and taking the art home.” So perhaps by next week this will evolve from constraint, choice and personal identity to the interlocking grids that form our social mesh.

At ZieherSmith for Visual AIDS opening
My card is top row just to right of my head
_The windy city title that Chicago bears could be applied to my weekend trip to NYC. Braving the cold was a small price to pay for slipping into the the Big Apple for a couple of shows. The main mission was attending the preview party for the Visual AIDS benefit at ZieherSmith gallery in Chelsea on Friday night. Packed doesn’t begin to describe the gallery as Karen and I arrived around 6:30.
The exhibition consists of postcard-sized works created by artists both well known and not so well known. All the work sells for $75, with the idea that you could pick up a work normally out of ones league; except that the pieces are signed on the backs. So if you’re looking to collect Ed Ruscha or Ida Applebroog you better have a good eye.

preview party at ZieherSmith
_No sales were allowed during the preview and all works were on display, if one could get close enough to see them. A perimeter trip took about an hour with a couple of time outs for refreshment. Karen and I were on the look out for my piece and those of several artist friends that we knew had contributed to the show. I managed to locate mine as well as one by Keith Buchholz.

Center postcard by Keith Buchholz
_Earlier that day we had also faced crowds at MoMA to see the Tim Burton and Bauhaus exhibits. Burton’s was approaching unviewable status because of the number of people allowed in at a time. Still with selected slipping and jostling we were able to see enough to confirm my admiration for Burtons creativity. From his early years growing up in Burbank his sketches and other works on paper show the arc his career would take. Many early ideas eventually find their place in later movies or animations. I hope to get another look before this closes at the end of April.

Entrance to Tim Burton exhibit at MoMA

_The Bauhaus exhibit will only be up until Jan. 25th so if you haven’t seen it yet…! The exhibit struck me with the feeling that so many of the ideas worked through during its existence seem so integrated in our design sense as to be like the air we breath. It simply is there.. all around us. The implications of the artist commanding the machine and production has now spilled into our information culture although one wonders whether we will ultimately have inexpensive but beautiful information or corporate noise.
Entrance to Bauhaus exhibit
_As a side note I have always loved the work of Paul Klee and to see his puppets right after the Burton models and props once again proves there is nothing new under the sun.

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